I’m not gonna write about it today. I am saturated with news about the c-word, and I want to focus on something else. So I won’t mention it. Instead, I think I’ll write about something non-sensical that happened at the breakfast table this morning.
My husband, Bill, is a wonderful guy who loves to take care of me. When he’s home, he does the cooking, which is funny, because I am a pretty good cook myself. In fact, my cooking skills were one of the things he liked most about me when we were just dating. There was a time in my life when I was actually paid to cook. I even wrote a cookbook when I was in the Peace Corps.
Because Bill is working from home on account of the c-word, he made us breakfast. Today, it was hard boiled eggs, a piece of fruit (strawberries for him and a banana for me) and a piece of bread that he made himself. As I sipped coffee, I looked over at Bill, who was talking about current events. I tried to focus on his face, but I was distracted by a really long eyebrow hair that sprouted just over the brow line of his right eye. It was probably half an inch long, and sort of cocked to the side.
I said, “Baby, I highly recommend that you go upstairs and pluck that wild ass ‘horn’ growing from your brow.”
He gave me an embarrassed look, so I said, “I’m sorry, but every time I try to listen to you and make eye contact, I notice that long hair and it distracts me. Blame my dad. I never used to notice these things until he made me pluck his eyebrows for him.”
It’s true. When I was in high school, my dad often asked me to do that bit of personal grooming for him. He said his eyesight wasn’t good enough to rid himself of those “wild hairs”, which I know he could see when he wore his glasses, but maybe couldn’t see when he took them off. My dad, being a military man himself, was always concerned about his personal grooming standards, even if he wasn’t always very fashion forward. I do recall some very unfortunate clothing choices he made at times.
I remember being 17 years old, armed with tweezers, plucking mutant eyebrows from my dad’s face. I hated to do it, but you know how it is. He brought me into the world…
Anyway, ever since then, I notice things like long hairs growing from ears, noses, chins, and eyebrows. They drive me nuts.
After one or two more grimaces from Bill after I apologized for embarrassing him, he finally went upstairs and did the deed. I had told him that he really needed to get rid of that one hair, but I recommended that he get rid of a few more while he was at it. When he came back down, he was looking better. He gave me a mischievous grin and said, “I got rid of a really long white hair, too.”
That’s my boy. I had noticed the white hair, but in the interest of being less of a shrew, I didn’t say anything about it. I’m glad he took care of it, because I know my patience would have eventually worn out and I would have threatened to whack it myself.
Scenarios like these are kind of akin to talking to someone with a really big booger hanging out of their nose. It’s distracting and embarrassing, and you know that the person would be embarrassed to be seen with such a large “bear in the cave”. But I often hesitate to mention these things to others, since people have a tendency to shoot the messenger in these situations. Bill’s mother is smart about it. She always taught Bill to accept a tissue or a breath mint whenever anyone offers. Maybe it’s their way of telling him something. But what do you do when you’re in a situation where there are no mints or tissues?
Think about it. Would you rather someone tell you your fly is down, you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe, lipstick on your teeth, or you have a big snot in your nose? Or would you prefer to be oblivious, walking around like that for the rest of the day… or at least until you visit a restroom? Personally, I’d want to know, even if it’s very embarrassing. If I know, then at least I can do something, right? But one hopes that the bearer of bad news will be kind, considerate, and polite about it. I always try to be… even though I know it’s not news anyone wants to hear, including me. I do have empathy.
I’m very lucky that my husband is such a good hearted, reasonable, and kind man. And although the c-word is severely cramping our style and has already caused us loss and heartbreak, there’s a silver lining in every situation. It’s a blessing to get to spend so much time with Bill. Were it not for the c-word, he would probably be TDY and I’d be sitting here alone again… naturally. We’re also very lucky because while we’re husband and wife, and we are attracted to each other, we’re also best friends. I can say and do almost anything– short of going on a murderous rampage– and he’ll understand and support me. And the same goes for him– I will love and support him through almost any travail, short of one in which he purposely hurts others. Having known Bill for as long as I have, I don’t think that will ever happen in our lifetimes.
I realize how lucky I am to enjoy such a love, especially since I’ve never thought of myself as being the type of person to attract someone so perfect for me. It’s not like anyone wanted to date me when I was single.
So… although the c-word has changed so much about life —and despite what Trump says, it will change life for some time to come— I realize things could be much, much worse than they are. And I’m glad that if I have to stay cooped up, I can do it with a man like Bill.
On another note–
Last night, I was reminiscing about high school with a friend. She and I met when we were eight years old, way back in 1980. We were in the same third grade class, and eventually went on to graduate from the same high school ten years later.
As we were lamenting about how stupid and selfish Trump is, I told her about how I remember talking about Trump in Spanish class. A well-known and popular classmate of ours named Sally complained about how much money Trump had made in 1988.
Another well-known and popular classmate quipped in a matter-of-fact tone, “Sally’s a socialist!”
Even back then– or maybe especially back then– our hometown was deep red with conservatism. I recall that after the Trump quip, we started talking about how Geraldo Rivera got his nose broken on his talk show. He’d invited a bunch of skinheads on to talk about why they were so racist. One of them called a black guest an “Uncle Tom”, and that started a brawl, which of course was filmed and aired. Geraldo was shown holding his busted nose at the end of the program.
The same guy who said, “Sally’s a socialist!” said of Geraldo, “Someone is going to get him!” Wow… what I wouldn’t give to go back to a time when the tackiest, most obnoxious, and outrageous things were said on Geraldo’s show.
Anyway… no more talk of the c-word. It’s caused us loss and pain and I get depressed when I think about what life is going to look like for the foreseeable future. But… at least if I have to stay inside, I can do it with the sweetest and most wonderful man I’ve ever known.