Lyrical Laughs

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The driving force that saves our marriage (or at least the ride home)

My husband and I are very fortunate that we are able to carpool to work most mornings. It saves money on gas as well as wear and tear on both cars. Those are the pros. The most notable con might be that we are both trapped in a car for 25 or 30 minutes. Together.

This means that he had better hope he started the morning off on the right foot with me so there is no concern of that Eject button finally being installed in the passenger seat.

I have tried warning him not to tick me off first thing in the morning in the car before I drop him off, so that I won’t want to drop him off miles before his actual stop (he works in a hospital - how ironic). Still, there are points the man feels he has to make, last words he believes he has a right to squeeze in, without any concern for his own wellbeing. Because really, in the long run, that's what he should be concerned about - that long, long, Long ride home he will endure because #1) I am not a guy and I don't forget – anything - by the end of the day, and #2) because I am still driving, as well as controlling the speed with which we travel, the temperature of the car, and - as a final jab - the radio station.

It is typically my expectation that he will come to his senses usually before lunch, and I will get an apologetic text message or quick phone call. Under most circumstances I accept said apology, we will banter back and forth about whether I'm going to pick him up after work and if he should borrow a body bag, and it's all good by the time I pull up to the building at the end of the day.

It is my belief that this does not happen without divine intervention, forces at work. I mean this last part literally – coworkers - who straighten his butt out. We will call them his Coworker Conscience.

I imagine that he must start his day in a huff over our last moments and carry that "I was right and I sure told her" mode right into his break. And then he shares his imagined triumph with the other guys.

The CCs.

S (for spouse, you may assume): My morning started off just great. Had a fight with my wife on the way in.

CC1: Oh, man. Not a good way to start the day. Did you apologize yet?

S: Hell, no! She was nagging me. She sounded just like her mother.

CC1: Holy crap. Tell me you didn't say that to her.

S: I did - why shouldn't I?

CCs: <Collective gasp>

CC1: Are you out of your freaking mind? You think this is about being right? How long have you been married? That was such a rookie move.

CC2: He's right, dude. Seriously, apologize.

S: What for? She ticked me off! So what if she carries this over to the end of the day? It's not like I care about a quiet ride home... or that black cloud over the house that somehow appears... or the way the animals huddle in fear in the corner. Oh sh--

CC1 and 2: Exactly.

CC2: And the conditions.

CC1: Oh yeah, what are the conditions?

S: The – what??

CC1: You know – the thing or things that got tacked on because you set yourself up for having to apologize. The conditions!

S: <Puzzled expression, slight head shake>

CC2: Did she happen to throw anything into the conversation once you apologized about what she expects you to do now? Are you suddenly responsible for making dinner every other night? What about the remote – did she mention anything about you relinquishing control of the remote? There has to be something…

S: No, no. She just accepted my apology, I swear. It was really fine once I said I was sorry and she said she wants me to account for every cent I spend on lunch. She did mention something about finally getting the garage cleared out so she can get her car in there…Oh sh--

CCs: The conditions.

The good thing about my spouse is that, while he may fold his arms and stamp his foot with me, he will usually take the wise words of the CCs into consideration. That’s when I can expect the text or call, occasionally a face-to-face (more like face to windshield) apology when I pick him up. But more often contact is made ahead of time, most likely to ensure that I will remember (ahem) to pick him up.

He’s not the only one who thinks he has to get the last word in at the most inopportune time. I have been known to fly off the handle (though seldom, according to me) about something first thing in the morning and won’t let it go until after we’ve parted in the morning. To my advantage, though, is the fact that I’m a female and I work with mostly females (one guy and five women – he doesn’t have a chance to have an opinion, really). What are the chances of them trying to convince me that I’m wrong? Right. And let’s face it, most likely he did or said something to start it anyway. At some point. Within that same week, probably.

Funny how we can be in the same car for hours traveling to various destinations on the weekend, but there is something about that drive to work that can make a car seem like a verbal inferno, or worse, a cavern of silence. Seriously though, those days really are blessedly rare. I can honestly say that I miss our mornings together for the weeks he is on call and has to take his own car. That is, as long as he has been on his best behavior.

Now it’s the weekend and we are planning on getting out there and enjoying a break from shoveling or driving in snow (four storms in two weeks – is it any wonder temperaments are stretched?). There will be no harsh words, no conversation-ceasing sarcasm to ruin our day. It will just be fun and good companionship.

And I won’t even have to mention that I had the Eject button installed last week.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Remind me...

If you look at the calendar notes on my cell phone, you might be puzzled. Truthfully, so am I most of the time. Examples, you ask (say the voices in my head)? Happy to oblige.

Apr 29: Mon Song

May 31: Car!!!

June 30: Seasonal, linens, crafts, fabric

Aug 2: Magnesium

Oct. 5: Yellow Brick Road Lyrics

Raise your hand if you make notes like these somewhere - anywhere - and then can't recall their significance.

I knew there were kindred spirits out there.

I blame my lack of memory (that would be short-term, as in... wait -- what was I saying?) partially on chemo's effect of fast-forwarding menopause and throwing me full thrust into PSM (pre-senior moments) beginning in my late 40s.

The rest I blame on my own lack of detail.

What is a Mon Song and why did I find it necessary to give it a particular date?

The car? What about the car? Am I supposed to drop one off to be repaired or buy one? I like the second option better, but I'm sure my bank account would find that hysterical. And what is this thing I have about exclamation points???

Seasonal linens, crafts, fabric. First of all, for which season? Summer, since it's dated June 30? And have I mentioned how completely uncrafty I happen to be (see last May 25th's post for the sordid details)? This whole entry sounds masochistic to me.

Some are easy, like the reminder to buy magnesium (because, really - what else would that mean?). Not that I remembered to do so after my calendar alarm went off, because - well, here's the other thing about calendar reminders on your phone. They are never, ever conveniently timed.

So I'm driving down the road and my phone does this chimey thing that means I have a calendar reminder. I don't know about you but my habit is to glance at the note (when it's safe to do so), think to myself, "Good thing I put a reminder on my phone about that," turn it off - and forget it. Why? Because I set the dang thing for a time when I can not just drop everything and follow directions.

Even when I think I've set it for a convenient time, it usually isn't. A 6 a.m. alarm reminding me to grab my gym bag so I have it after work? Great idea. Except I'm usually trying to convince my hair to have a normal shape, applying minimal makeup on a high maintenance palate, and figuring out what to wear that doesn't have obvious stains at that hour of the morning. By the time I stumble into the kitchen and guzzle my first mug of coffee, I don't even remember that I belong to a gym.

The reminder about the Yellow Brick Road Lyrics gets repeated every few months, more or less whenever I hear the song on the radio and once again have to admit that Elton John is probably not singing "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, where the socks south avenue trowel." I mean, it sounds good... but I have my doubts. Unfortunately, it never seems to be at a time when I can simply take advantage of the $743 a month we pay for accessing the internet on our smarter-than-you phones.

I guess I'm complicating my own life with these inconvenient, mystery reminders. It's probably time to try another tactic which I will tackle as soon as I have a chance.

Let me just send myself a calendar reminder about it for tomorrow at 6 a.m.