The Stovetop Smoker

My Husband likes food.  He loves to go to new restaurants and try new things.  He really loves things that are smoked.  Now, we live in an apartment with no outdoor access, so smoking food is not the easiest thing for us, but one day we were out and saw an indoor, stovetop smoker, and an idea was born:  Husband said, next time I needed to buy him a gift, that was what he wanted.

Now, when Husband says that he wants something material, I usually get it, because he really doesn’t covet much.  But an indoor, stovetop smoker?  I smell more than cedar chips.  See, Husband is not great at reading directions, and putting those directions into actions.

I told him “Here’s the deal.  I don’t want to smoke meats.  I don’t really like smoked meats.  This is not a hobby I want to pursue.  So if I get you a smoker, it’s all on you.  You learn how to do it, and you’re responsible for it.”  He said “of course.”

So I bought him a smoker for the December holiday season.  And January rolled around and he kept saying “We should break out the smoker” and I would ignore the use of the word “we”, and tell him he was free to use it anytime he wished.  And the smoker sat untouched for January.

February strolled in and he said, “Let’s smoke salmon today.”  And I went into the cabinet where I had put the box containing the smoker and handed it to him.  “Have Fun” I said.

“Can you help?”

“When I bought this for you, I specifically told you that this was not a hobby I chose to pursue.”

“But I don’t know what to do?” (he was whining by now)

“Guess what?  Neither do I.”

“Yeah, but you know how to read instructions”

And all I could think was , yup, this man has two masters degrees.  “I have faith in you.” I said.

Which led to more whining.  So I said, “Here’s the deal.  I will stand next to you while you do it.”

“If you do it once, I’ll get how it’s done.”

My frustration level was at about 1000.  This is not something I had any interest in doing, but how much of a fight was this worth?

I read over the really simple instructions for making smoked salmon.  I told him how easy the process was.

Whining by him.

So I stood next to him in the kitchen, reading him the instructions as if he was a three year old with finger paints (because yes, that is the level of complexity- finger painting)

And the meal turned out fine, if you like smoked salmon, which I don’t.  But anyway.

The other day he wanted to make smoked chicken thighs.  I said optimistically “You remember how to do it?”

”Just help me one more time.  Then I’ll know it.” He said.

”Place wood chips in small pile in center of smoker.  Place piece of Tin foil on top.  Put rack atop that.  Add chicken thighs.  Close cover.  Put on stove on medium”  I said, from memory.

”Wait, what?” He said.

The smoker may end up in the donation pile.


How Do I Put This?

There are about a thousand ways I can approach todays blog topic, because it brings up some observations about me, my personality and my relationships.  When I figure out how to discuss it, you guys will be the first to know.

I am a fairly organized, type A sort of person.  I know- I just revealed a fact you did not know.  The majority of my friends are like me:  we plan things months in advance, we deal with lists and our planners are never far from us.  I have one friend who is not a planner, but she understands my not so laissez faire attitude, so she adjusts a little for me (the very definition of good friend).  I surround myself with like minded people.  And lets face it- I live in a city not really known for its laid back attitude.  There’s a whole bunch of people here just like me, and actually, much more organized than I am.  Ok- so here’s point 1.

My Husband is somewhat type A like me- he likes things organized and planned out.  However, he is not actually a planner.  He hates the actual task of organizing.  He continually double books himself  because he makes plans and either doesn’t write them down, or doesn’t check his calendar before he makes new plans. ( I have many fun and interesting stories about having to play plan Jenga after he’s successfully booked us/him at four different things on the same night)  Now, since my Husband is technically type A-, his friends are a little more varied:  he has friends that are total planners, and friends that just go were the mood takes them, who live life with a devil may care attitude.

This past month, this cause some problems.  We made plans with a couple, S and R, a month ago.  They wanted to do something fun, I suggested a Motown Revue at a club, they agreed.  I bought tickets.  A month ago.

Two days before the event, S calls my Husband and says, “Wouldn’t it be fun to go to a comedy show at X?” Which would be great if A) I hadn’t already bought tickets for the music revue, and B) the comedy show wasn’t sold out already, cause everything in this city sells out in advance. (side note- if a New Yorker is walking down the street and sees a long line, the New Yorker will often just join the line because they assume whatever it is is worth waiting for.  That’s how we found the absolute best cream puffs ten years ago).

I was irrationally angry that S wanted to change plans right before game day.  My feeling is, if you want to go to comedy, just say that in the beginning.  A type like me sees that behavior as passive aggressive, whether or not it actually is.

We had a similar situation with R.  R was throwing a surprise birthday party for his girlfriend.  He gave us the date a month in advance.  No problem.  I blocked it out in my calendar.  Problem was, until two days before the party, we didn’t know where, or what time the party was.  This was after my Husband texted the guy at least six times.  When he finally got back to us, we realized the party was not in Manhattan- we would need to take a railroad.  Which runs on a schedule.  Meaning to be there for the “Surprise” we would have to be on a certain time train.  Which conflicted with afternoon plans that I had.

Now I figured out how to make all the plans work- I did the whole arrange the puzzle pieces thing.  And on Saturday morning, the day of the party, we get a Facebook invitation.  R is having a SECOND party for his girlfriend, and it’s DOWN THE BLOCK from our apartment.

I was not happy.

Of course, it took 30 seconds for me to realize I have something else to do the night of the 2nd party.  It took my Husband 20 minutes to figure out he had something the same night as well.

But, we figure it out, you know, putting all of our brain power into it- cancel Saturday, figure out how to work in 2nd party, etc.

So tonight is the night of the second party.  I also have a meeting tonight that I need to go to.  When I told two of my friends that I was going to race out of the meeting as soon as it’s adjourned, one of my friends said

“You shouldn’t go to the party.  Tell your husband there’s no need to go cause it’s not your friend.  Why should you go to the party anyway?  You already have plans.  You knew about this meeting.”

I told her that this was something I had to fit in, etc, and she argued why I didn’t need to go, etc., and though she made valid points, I knew I had to fit in both.

And this brings me to the next conundrum:

What’s the line for what events you should attend with your spouse?

I am really independent, and I give my husband a really long leash.  He goes on ski weekends without me, yearly guys trips, and attends many parties without me. (for the record, I hate large gatherings.  i hate introducing myself.  I hate small talk)  I am most definitely not the tag along spouse.


I think there are some events I must attend.  This not so great planning guy is actually one of my Husband’s closest friends.  I often see him socially.  This is a party I would feel bad about not attending because the friend is a good guy.  I had to figure out how to make this work.

So, in my longest and most convoluted post ever, here’s the questions:

  1. Can planners and non planners be friends?
  2. Do you need to attend every event as a couple?
  3. Do you need to book things a month in advance?

Thanks for listening to this weeks dilemma!!


The Fight

Today. for something completely different, I’m going to talk to you about a fight/disagreement my Husband and I are having.  This is not to be cruel to my Husband.  This is not for you all to tell me I’m right and he’s an idiot (you can do that any day of the year).  I’m writing to explain how in a disagreement, both parties are right and both parties are wrong. And different people are going to perceive the situation differently- some of you will side with me, others with my Husband, and most will just think we’re both nuts. I’m trying to show that an argument, no matter how petty, is still an argument.  Call this a life lesson.

It’s hard to tell a story without bias.  It’s out natural inclination to tell a story highlighting how great we are.  You all know I’m not so great, so this might be easier than I thought.

On Sunday afternoon, my Husband and I will be attending a classical music concert.  We actually both love classical, and we try to see a live performance a few times a year.  The concert is at 2, ends about 4, and is probably a 20 minute subway ride from out house, meaning he’ll be home in time for much of the Sunday football line up.  I will be home in time to do laundry. (see- bias.  I can’t help it.  I’m trying to make you feel for me)

My Husband said he was going to invite his Father over for the game.  Fine.  I said.  I have laundry and house stuff, and I’m betting my homework for writing class will not be complete, so I can have a productive afternoon/evening.

Then he asked if he could invite his Aunt and Uncle to the game.

Now, I’m going to point out that “ask” means that the answer could be yes or no.  When you ask a question, you have to know that each answer is a possibility.

I said “No”.

Here’s the thing.  I have things to do on Sunday.  I don’t want to entertain.  I happen to like his Aunt and Uncle very much, but I don’t want to rush in the door and Voila, people arrive 10 minutes later.  I don’t want to watch football.  It’s also hard to talk to his Aunt if there is football on- our apartment is not that big.  I have other things to do.  4:30 means we are going to need to supply a meal.  There are all sorts of dietary issues, and most of them are not health related.  Cooking is a pain for this group.  Alas, ordering in food is no picnic either.   These are things my Husband doesn’t think about/deal with.  These are things I will need to contend with.  I don’t want to contend with them.

Why does he want to invite them over?  Well, obviously it’s a nice thing.  His Uncle has Parkinson’s, and his situation is not getting better.  I know my Husband would like to spend more time with him.  I get that.  My Husband feels very guilty about things with his family.  I usually don’t feel guilty about things.  To me, if you feel guilty you are doing something wrong.  I usually feel good about my decisions. (be prepared though- there will be a guilt induced post soon)

I am not a “family gathering” type of person.  My Husband is constantly trying to push this value system on me.  I am not particularly close with my parents because there are just all sorts of issues and I feel keeping them at arms length is beneficial to my mental health and stability.  Truth be told, my Husband would benefit from keeping his family at arms length, but that’s his cross to bare.

But, back to Sunday.

After I said I didn’t want to watch football/entertain on Sunday, he said “Didn’t I say I’d go to the concert with you?”

Now- this is where I got mad.  First off- I don’t like tit for tat.  I thought an afternoon date of something we both enjoy would be fun.  I didn’t think it was a bargaining chip.  I don’t think like that.  I don’t do things just to score points.

Secondly- he asked a question.  I gave an answer.  Don’t ask a question if you aren’t prepared for the answer to be something you don’t want to hear.

So. we’re at a stalemate.  I’ve made him sad.  He doesn’t like my disregard for family.  That’s fair.  But this is one of those things- it’s who I am.  I am not the type of person who wants to be surrounded by family.

We’re speaking and all, but it’s an overly polite sort of thing.  And eventually we’re going to have a big discussion.  But the problem is- he is never going to be happy about the situation, because there’s a quality in me that he doesn’t like.   He sees me as cold, and frankly, I am a little cold and detached.  That’s my defense mechanism.  But I won’t apologize for it.  It’s who I am.

So there you have it.  The story of a fight.  I hope I was able to give fairness to both sides.  Disagreements are never easy- figuring out how to get past them is even harder.  I think the true test of a relationship is not what we fight about- it’s how we get past the fight.

Thanks for listening!

Eyes Pretty Wide Open

I can be a little overbearing.  I can be opinionated.  I can be a control freak. No one would ever describe me as “laid back”.   I think you can ascertain most of this about my personality, and I am OK with that.  I will freely admit that I exhibit many of these traits in the majority of my life.


I am actually somewhat laid back as a wife.  Not in the domestic side of things- I run the household with a pretty tight leash.  But, as far as my Husband goes, I am pretty easy going.

He wants to hang out with the guys?  Go ahead.  No problem.  Wants to go to Alabama to watch a football game?  Works for me.  Wants to hang out with people from ski club, men and women?  Have fun.  Want to go to Montana to ski for five days?  Don’t forget your gloves.

Many women look at me and say- “You’re crazy.”  “You trust him?”  “Why does he want to be out so much anyway?”

I think of it like this: if he’s going to cheat, he doesn’t need an excuse, or a situation- he would do it anyway.  I’m not a particularly jealous person.  I don’t covet things other people have, I’m not particularly envious.  I don’t view his wanting to hang out with his friends as an affront against me.  I like hanging with my friends too.  I certainly wouldn’t want him to tell me what I can and can’t do.  And skiing- well- he loves it.  Me- I figure if I was intended to be ass down in a pile of snow, God would have made me a polar bear… if he has friends to ski with, then I’m a happy girl.

But that doesn’t mean I’m naïve.

Case in point.  Last weekend he was at a ski club outing.  I tend not to accompany him, because frankly, I don’t like many of the people in the club.  When he came home, he talked to me about two of the women in the club.

Him:  “Wow. S and R were talking about the guys they were dating, and how lousy the sex was, and how they had to break up with the guys because the sex was so bad.  They said that sex is the most important thing in a relationship.  I don’t know- when you’re 50ish, is that the most important thing?  Isn’t it just getting along and wanting to spend time together?” he said.

Me: They’re trying to get you to sleep with them.”

Him: No?  Really?  What?

Me:  They’re trying to tell you that they are hot and ready all the time.  That life with them would be one long sexcaspade.

Him: You mean they are trying to lure me away from you?

Me:  Yes.  They assume because I let you off your leash that we have a lousy marriage.  They want to be married/paired off, and they figure you are a willing victim.  They know you’re not afraid of commitment, your kid is almost out of the house, you’re a reasonably nice guy in decent shape….

Him:  Women don’t do that

Me:  Really?  You think?

Now, I’ve seen these women at social functions.  I know exactly the type of women they.  They are not women I would ever be friends with- for myriad reasons.  Let’s just say, if I ever finish my current novel, my next one would be about women such as this.  They are a caricature, and a stereotype, but boy would it be fun to write about one.  Let’s just say there is a reason why one of them has been divorced 3 times, and the other one is desperate to be married….and I mean desperate.

Did my husband learn anything about human nature?  Probably not.  At 49 he still doesn’t realize how conniving people can be.  I know, I know.  It’s my fault.  I’m such an amazing human he finds it hard to believe that there are people with faults…but I can only point out that sometimes people have ulterior motives, that sometimes things aren’t always what they seem.  Except me being perfect.  Because I truly am perfect…….



The Battle of the Relationships

Sometimes my Husband drives me crazy.  There- I said it.

I think this is the case in many long term, monogamous relationships.  Usually things are great, but there are those moments.  And it’s those moments, the moments when our partners drive us crazy, that determine if a relationship will survive.

Husband and I see very differently on a particular subject.  This has been the case for our entire history together.  He thinks he is right.  I think I am.  Now, the good thing is, the catalyst for this issue doesn’t show up very often- so we don’t often experience the strife related to it.  But, the underlying root is always there.  The seed of discontent is buried deep inside.  It frustrates me that he doesn’t see and appreciate my side, doesn’t back me up, so to speak.  I know he is never going to change his stance, I know he doesn’t have the courage to.  I accept that he will never change. Until he expects me to change.  See, that’s the problem- in my mind, what’s fair is fair.  I’m not changing, he’s not changing- we just have to grit our teeth and bare it.  He doesn’t see it that way- he wants me to change.  Our fights aren’t about the issue directly- they’re about his refusal to accept who I am.

That’s where relationships falter- when one partner can’t accept the true nature of the other.  When one partner wants the other to “change”.  This is a wonderful theory- it’s just not practical or realistic.  People don’t change cause others wish it so- people change when the individual wants to.

So what do two people do?  How do they handle it?

Well, Husband and I argued quite a bit.  We had a “discussion” about the underlying issues.  When two people fight, each person goes in thinking they are 100% right.  When another person starts to poke holes in the theory, well, that’s when things have the ability to get ugly.  That’s another test of a relationship- how do the people involved fight.

My Husband likes to say- “Everyone would agree with me on this.”  First off- don’t ever use that as an argument, because unless you took a poll of everyone, this is just not valid.  There is no way to determine what “everyone” thinks. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks- everyone else is not in the relationship.  The only opinion that matters is of the two people involved.  Also, sometimes you’re wrong- sometimes others will not agree with you because your argument is just not “right”.

You can’t bring up the past.  I’m repeating that.  You can’t bring up past fights or past actions.  When you’re fighting, keep it to the situation.  If you have resentments about past actions, then you need to discuss that separately.  If a past issue is resurfacing, then you have to ask yourself if you are expecting someone to change their behavior.  Because as stated, no one changes because you want them to.  If someone did “M” three months ago, should you be getting mad if they did “M” today?  You can’t make someone change, but you can change your behavior.

Don’t put the blame on something or someone.  This is a cop out.  The chance of an outside factor being to blame is probably slim.  What’s that line, “fault is not in our stars but in ourselves”?  Take responsibility for your actions, and how your actions affect others.  Own your mistakes and miscalculations.  Accept what you did wrong and learn from it.  Try not to blame your partner.  I know this is hard- but once you start blaming people….well…how well can you recover from that?

So- to try to summarize this wandering post:

Fight fair.

Be realistic about the issue you’re fighting about.

Remember the other persons point of view.

Accept your partner as they are.

If you want change, you must be the one to change- don’t expect change of your partner, unless they are 100% on board with changing.

Listen to what your spouse is saying- they just might have a valid point/argument.




Relationship Jenga

Have you ever played Jenga?  It’s that game with wooden pieces that sort of stack on top of one another, and players have to remove pieces from it without toppling the structure.  (I’d post a picture, but I hate the whole making sure I’ve credited everyone possible for the use of the image, and it always takes be far longer than it should to repost anything- perhaps I should take a WordPress class now that I appear to take classes all the time)

But anyway-

I always think about relationships like they are Jenga games:  a whole bunch of blocks that make up a sound structure.  Each block represents a piece of a relationship- when you begin a relationship, you have all 100 pieces and the combined unit is strong.  In the beginning, everything is wonderful, and the relationship is solid and will not fall apart.

But as time goes on, things happen in the relationship.  Fights, arguments, whatever.  And each time one of these things happen, the blocks loosen up a little, the foundation of your relationship is a little less strong.  You still have 100 pieces. but 5 or 6 have loosened up.  We know this is going to happen- no two people are perfect together all the time.

Now, sometimes, there are big problems in a relationship.  Say, someone cheats.  Well, that might knock out one or two blocks entirely.  And they might be blocks from the bottom, the foundation so to speak.  A relationship might not be able to stand strong and tall if this were to happen.  But it all depends on the people involved in the relationship- how much the cheating affects it.  Maybe a child becomes ill- though no one has done anything wrong, this can shake even the most stable of partnerships.  Blocks may fall out.

Now- I’ve spoken about the big things- obviously, the larger the issue, the worse it threatens a relationship- that’s logical.

But what about the small things- those little every day annoyances?  If something small happens enough, can it knock out a block from the bottom? Or lots of blocks?  Can small things crumble a relationship as effectively as large things?

Now- lets bring this into context.  Last night the Husband and I were going to see our neighbor in a one man show (my neighbor used to be an actor, and is trying to get back into it- he’s in his early 60’s- so I am in awe of his courage- and his talent, but that’s another thing)  The show was taking place in a theater literally down the block from us, in a theater that has two performance spaces.  To confuse you a bit further, we also have another theater, one street over and down the block, this building containing 3 performance spaces.  Are you confused yet?  Cause Husband was.

Let’s add on, that Husband had a lousy day at work- so much so that he was going to be late to the show.  I text him that his ticket is at Will Call, it’s in the space known as The Underground, and I’m sitting last row, far left.  I set my phone to silent and put it in my bag.

You know that Husband went to the wrong theater.  He wandered around the wrong performance space, tried to reach me on my hidden phone…..

This added another layer to his already crappy day.

But who is to blame for him going to the wrong theater?

In my mind, it was just an  unfortunate situation.  I know I had said the name of the theater to him the evening before (seriously- it’s me- you know I went over this with him) Plus, The Underground is a theater that we have been to before, so my writing it in the text served as a reminder.  (and you know- he could probably google The Undergound in 5 seconds……)

He blamed me.  It was all my fault.

This wasn’t a situation worth engaging in, because I knew his whole day was rough.  I wasn’t going to play into the who did what wrong game.  I let it go.  In this situation, I felt it was the right course of action.

But- my husband is a blamer.  It’s not his fault entirely- he comes from a long line of blamers.  In his family dynamic, every time something goes wrong it is someone else’s fault.  That’s their MO- they don’t take personal responsibility.

Now- we’re going to swing it back to the Jenga analogy.  Though Husband is a generally good guy, he has this one little peccadillo.  And though it appears small, if you add up all the times he has shifted blame to someone other than himself…..

How many times does he have to do this before it takes a block out right from the bottom?

So here’s todays unwanted advice- be mindful of the little things in a relationship, the things you brush aside because they are not worth the argument.  Though, they might not be worth an argument, they probably should be talked about openly and honestly.  And if you can’t discuss something like this, maybe there are greater problems in the relationship that need to be addressed.




When You Can’t Really Say No-

Text from the Husband on discussing vacation plans:

Husband: Can we stop by nephew’s camp?  It’s on way- maybe a quick lunch?


It is not your imagination.  There really is nothing typed.  Because I didn’t respond.  Because this isn’t really “asking” me something. this is telling me something.  This is telling me something the Husband knows I don’t want to do, but really, how bad a person am I if I say no?

So before you hand me a verdict on “guilty”- lets really look at my case:

  1. I am a strong believer in yearly family vacation (it is one thing my parents did that I thought was a great experience)
  2. Family trip does not need to be long, expensive or exotic
  3. Family trip includes only members of the immediate family.
  4. We have a rule that unless a trip is done to specifically see a friend or family member, we do not visit anyone.  We came up with this rule while prepping for a trip to California and realized that we had more friends/family there than we had days on the trip.  To have seen everyone would have been unrealistic, and we didn’t want to choose one person over another.
  5. We are not a spontaneous lot- we’re those irksome planner types.  I have a pretty solid idea of what we will be doing on each day of the trip.
  6. This trip involves multiple destinations.  When planning out the trip, I have taken into consideration driving distances and scheduled activities.
  7. On the day we are driving to destination D (supposedly near the camp) we will have been on a college tour that morning.  I know we will not be in the vicinity of the camp till past lunch.
  8. The camp is not really “on the way”- it is at least an hour west from the road we need to be on- putting us way off schedule by about 4 hours (if you can’t tell- I don’t like to be off schedule)
  9. My nephews are 8 and 12.  They are at a camp that they love.  When we do see them in real life, it is from behind there cell phones because in the real world- apps rule relatives drool.  Seriously, do they really want to leave, I don’t know swimming and fun, to spend an hour with Uncle Dufus and Aunt Sarcasm?  When they never actually talk to us anyway?
  10. On the day we leave destination D, we are heading to Destination E, and shockingly, another college visit- which has a scheduled time.  It is not logical to try and visit them.
  11. I know the Husband does not really care about visiting the boys.  I know it is his sister goading him- guilting him into not “caring about the family” (but wait- there are at least 15 blogs in that relationship- so I’m stopping at that)
  12. I have literally been planning this trip for 4 months.  (I don’t mean every day- I mean in general)- why was this question posed 3 days before departure?

As of right now- I don’t know what we’re doing.  I don’t like that the Husband has put me in this position, and I have told him that. (People in relationships – think about what you are asking of your partner, and always tell your partner when you are annoyed and what you are annoyed at- this is relationship 101)

So: What’s the verdict?

Change: A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there lived a Princess.  This Princess had lived her life fairly effortlessly, but she had some self esteem issues.  She didn’t realize that she was basically a decent person, so she was always trying to prove her worth.  She always tried to be nice to people and went out of her way to help others, but not out of a sense of altruism, but because she felt she needed to, so people would like her.  She did not feel worthy on the inside- she was looking for validation from external sources.

One day the Princess met a Court Jester.  He was not a nice person.  Most people did not like him.  He was smart, but arrogant.  He was attractive, but did not take care of himself.  He was quiet, but not shy.  He thought everyone around him were his inferiors. He drank way too much.  He did way too many drugs.  Of course, the Princess thought this would be an excellent project.

The Princess saw all the bad qualities that the Jester possessed.  But she kept thinking, if only he would change, he could be a great person.  He has all the positive attributes one needs in the world, he just needs to change.  And she kept thinking – he just needs to change, and she was the one person in the world that could make this possible.

And the Kingdom laughed.  Because the Kingdom knew that people don’t change just because the Princess wants them to.

But the Princess kept on dating him.  And married him.  And she kept trying to change him.  She made sure his clothes were always clean.  She made sure he had grooming necessities.  But he did not care.  He still left his beautiful clothes in a pile on the floor.  He still let his hair get unfashionably long.

She told him he needed to stop drinking.  She would pour bottles of alcohol down the sink.  He just bought more.  With her money.  He laughed at her and told her she was useless.  But she still tried.  Because if he would only stop drinking, he would have a great life.  Couldn’t he see that she was going to make a great life for them?

She ignored the sight of him drunk on the toilet, sleeping against the wall.  She ignored the cigarette burns on the floor of the den.  Because he was going to change.  Because she wanted him to change.

What the poor, sheltered Princess didn’t realize was that people don’t change if they don’t want to.  She didn’t realize that the change has to come from within one’s self, that the jester was never going to change because she wanted him to.  She didn’t realize how sad she had become.

The Princess had money.  She had a nice car.   She had made a pretty apartment and had beautiful clothes.  The Princess had all the things she had ever wanted.  She didn’t understand why she was so sad- because she had everything.

One night, a fairy godmother appeared in her dreams.  (Another version says that it was a pea under the mattress, but we’re sticking with fairy godmother.)  FG told the Princess that she needed to change.  Yes- the Princess needed to change her thoughts and actions, because the Jester was NEVER going to change his.  The Princess didn’t deserve to be sad and unhappy all the time.   The Princess felt conflicted at first- to leave the marriage would be to admit failure- she had failed to make the Jester into a Prince.  She had wasted so much time and energy on this person…..Was leaving her only option?  Was walking out the door the only thing that would make the Princess happy again?

Yes.  The Princess realized that yes, leaving was the only possible solution.  The Princess had to pack her pretty car with her pretty clothes and her cat, and the Princess had to flea the dungeon that she had been living in.  She unlocked the chains that kept her shackled to this farce of a marriage, and walked across the drawbridge to a different kingdom.

And she lived happily ever after.


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the U2 Concert…

Coincidence.  That’s the word of the day.  I was going to see U2 last night.  New Jersey Transit was all sorts of messed up, and the Husband was going to be a train behind me. I texted him that it was just so crowded, he should just meet me at the seats.  But in a bizarre coincidence, my husband happened to get on the same car as me, and the exact same part of the car.  The odds of this happening  are…. I don’t know…I have my writing cap on now, not the math one….

After we exit the train and begin walking to the stadium, I heard my name…..I turned around and it was one of my best friends from high school.  We’re friends on Facebook, and we chat, but I haven’t seen her in 30 years.  1987.  The year Joshua Tree came out.  Joshua Tree- the album that was going to be glorified by U2 that very evening.  Coincidence.

So on a night already filled with nostalgia, I was really transported back in time.  For just a little bit, my memory was very clear.  The 80’s just came rushing back.  It was the decade when I graduated High School and College.  Got my first real job.  Became friends with the three most amazing women.  Fell wildly in love.   It was the decade when everything seemed possible.

And as I walked to my seat I looked around.  People were showing ID and buying beer, but the ID was just a formality.  It was clear we were all well past 21.  it was clear that a lot of people were wearing clothes that were old enough to buy a beer.  The crowd was moving a bit slowly, and the conversations centered around tuition bills, and retirements, and arthritis.

But then the stage lights finally started to light red, and we realized there was movement on the stage…..

And the crowd started to sing ” ‘Cause tonight, we can be as one”-

People began swaying, tapping their feet….

Standing and jumping in the air….

And when I looked into the eyes of those around me….

I didn’t see people thinking about retirement….

I saw people as they were in 1987….

Young, full of hope and full of dreams- ready to take on the world.

And as they sang side A- I mean- the first half of that album is almost perfection, filled with songs most will instantly recognize.  But if you’re going to have a tour that is centered around an album, you need to play the flip side.  The songs that you might not necessarily remember.  And the crowd- well, U2 didn’t come on till 9:20, so I’m going to say a lot of the audience hadn’t been up this late recently.  And with the average age being around 47, there were a lot of trips to the bathroom, and some muttered grumblings about the volume…..  and there eyes started to show their age again.

But I looked at the Husband, who I’d met by coincidence tonight, and met due to a coincidence 25 years ago- and I smiled.  It’s wonderful to go back in time for a little bit, to think about places, and things, and people that you may not have thought about for awhile.  I have amazing memories, of love and loss, happiness and sadness, good and bad- and I treasure every one of those moments, because they have made me the person I am today.  I don’t want to go back in time- I don’t wish I could change anything.  I’ve had a pretty great yesterday- today is pretty awesome- and I can’t wait for tomorrow.





A Tale of Two Temperatures: A play in one act

The Setting: Booth in a deli in New York City, 2017

The Players: Mother in Law, Waiter, Son, Daughter in Law

Waiter approaches table, notepad in hand:

Waiter:  Can I get you something to drink?

Mother in Law:  Do you have diet black cherry soda?

Waiter:  Yes.

Mother in Law: In the can?

Waiter: Yes

Mother:  Is the can cold?

Waiter: Yes

Mother in Law: Very cold?  Because I don’t like ice.  I don’t want the soda to be made cold because of ice.  I only want it if its a very cold can.

Waiter:  Yes.  Very cold can.

Waiter begins to walk away

Mother in Law: And make sure you bring me a cup of ice.

Waiter returns with soda, ice, and complimentary bowls of cole slaw and pickles, and quickly leaves.

  Mother in law touches all six pickles in bowl.  Takes one and bites it.

Mother in Law: Blah.  These pickles are warm.  Who serves warm pickles.  Pickles are supposed to be cold.

Son: They always serve them like that.

Mother in law picks up pickle and hands it to son

Mother in law:  That is NOT how a pickle is supposed to feel.

In what seems like 3 hours, but in reality is only 5 minutes, waiter returns with plate of stuffed derma

Mother in law:  Can you bring us a bowl of cold pickles.  Cold.  Like from the refrigerator.  Cold.

Waiter takes bowl of apparently ill tempered pickles.

Mother in Law:  Is the derma hot?  Derma has to be hot.

Son:  Ma, there’s steam coming off it.

Mother in Law:  Fine.  If you’re sure it’s hot enough.

After another eternity seeming 5 minutes, waiter returns with corned beef, pastrami and hopefully cold pickles.  He places food and sprints from table, clearly shattering the table to kitchen speed record

Mother in law touches all the pickles.  But doesn’t take any.

Mother in law: Cold pickles.  But is the pastrami warm?  You know how I like my pastrami warm.

Mother in law rises to use rest room.  Waiter chooses that moment to bus table, taking with him a touched but uneaten bowl of cold pickles.

The End