Annie and Me

We stopped at the Mashpee Library and borrowed a book and a couple of films for the long weekend, including “Annie Hall”, which Ron had never seen.  He loved it and identified with Alvy, while I’ve always related to Annie’s clumsiness and self-consciousness.

We also stopped by Han Dun to meet Emma and CVS for one of Ron’s prescriptions and picked up some supplies at Staples.

We confirmed that Ron can use Service Credit Union in Falmouth as a remote branch of his credit union in Berkeley.

I made a heavy soup from the bones left from the spiral ham for supper.

Feeling Good

Ron and I took James, Eric and Ethan sledding yesterday.  We had a great time, but I fell on some ice, and was pretty sore last night, but feeling much better this morning.

Ron and I met with our attorney about wills, deeds, health care proxies and powers of attorney.  It was an excellent meeting, and we got a lot of vexing questions answered and issues resolved.

We opened a joint checking account as well, stopped in to Art’s Bike Shop and had a set of keys made for me at the hardware store next door.  I picked up pizza for lunch for us and a snack for the boys after sledding.

We had a really good Cook’s spiral ham for supper along with spinach and candied carrots.  We’d picked up dessert and bread at the Senior Center, which was loaded with day-olds from Roche Brothers.


Ron figured out that sometimes, I get giddy when I’m upset about things.

He could be correct. After a trying late afternoon yesterday, I couldn’t stop laughing once we settled down for the night.

I imagined a scenario in which I was assembled of parts from his various girlfriends. As he’s been telling me more about his past life, I realized that I’m sleeping not only with one man but with the vestigial DNA of enough women to make up the starting lineup of a major league baseball team.

There was Suzanne, Melody, Benny, Judy, Jennifer, Annette, Susan, Linda, Jeanne.   I imagined having one person’s tiny body, another’s Asian eyes, the deep throat of a third and of course, the memorable vagina of the girl with whom he used to play “doctor”.

These were not one night stands but relationships lasting anywhere from several months to decades.  He still keeps in touch with some of these women and considers them valued friends.

Ron’s been telling me about his life over the last forty years, the hitchhiking trips, the Rainbow Gatherings, his careers as a lab tech, a bike messenger and finally as a stagehand, the bands he played with, the cross-country journeys to art shows, weddings and funerals.

It occurred to me that he could have done all of that, and possibly more, if he, Peter and I had been a family.   Well, maybe not the art shows, but certainly the rest of it.

The only thing that would have been missing were hallucinogenics and nukkie from any post-1969 members of the harem listed above.

Only Ron can tell me and Peter if it was worth it to give up a wife who was working steady and more importantly, helping his son grow up.

Myself, I can’t imagine that either the sex or the acid were that great.  But I could be wrong.

This past week has thrown me off balance.  Ron is thoughtful and easy to live with, but I need to adjust to another person in ways I hadn’t expected.  Like not driving myself and, thus, losing track of my keys because they are not in the ignition.  Like waking up with aches and pains because my legs and arms have been in awkward positions, making room for another person in bed.

These are things that no one tells you about, focusing instead on heavy issues like money, childrearing, religion.

All in all, though, I’m glad that we caught up with one another.

I do deeply and profoundly regret, though, that it took so long.  And it deeply hurts my heart that I have so little to offer compared to all the girls he’s loved before:  no artfully decorated house in a prestigious neighborhood, no 50-acre farm with a glorious barn, no tiny body, no exquisite face, no wealth, no worldly stories about international travel.

I feel like he cheated himself by marrying me.  I feel like he’s been ripped off yet one more time.  Poor fellow.

Blizzard of 2010

squirrels on the deckBoston was hit pretty hard yesterday, with snow accumulations of up to 19 inches.

We had about 5 inches total: fortunate because it was the wet, heavy stuff.  Peter is lucky to have a snow blower.  I am lucky to have Ron’s help.

We got through a few errands, including the transfer station run, and in the process, I managed to lose my house keys.  Still have some places to check.  We’d just had a duplicate set made for Ron, so it could have been worse.  I’ve lost a pile of loyalty cards, though, and the only working key to the shed.

Busy day anticipated today: meeting with attorney Russell to discuss will, deed, etc., hoping to stop off at the DUA office next door, and have some calls to make.

If it’s not too cold, we promised to take James and the Robbinses sledding.  We dropped off James’ tube and the air pump yesterday afternoon.

Where We Used to Live

269 Broadway in Central Square, Cambridge, MA.  We used to live here, or at least reasonably close by; we think the actual building may have been torn down.  It was a tenement very much like this one which would have been right next door, in the same complex.

Second Best

I made a declaration and a promise last night.

My body, so ugly, so deformed, so ghastly and hideous and out of proportion, is second best to all of Ron’s other lovers.

And, for the sake of our marriage and our family, I will get over it.

Ron’s former lovers are from privileged, well-to-do, or high social status backgrounds.  They are artists, lawyers, daughters of executives.  One is Asian, the perfect woman by American standards.  They had opportunities that could never have been available to me, even if Hell itself froze over.

Ron loves me and I love him.  That’s the big difference between us and his prior relationships.  I’ve loved him for over forty years, searched for him in other men, raised his son, watched his grandchildren grow.

He tells me that in his heart, that’s what matters, the advertisers and marketers be damned.  I suppose time will tell.  I told him that I’m afraid he’ll leave me because “I (count) myself so plain, so poorly made, no honest love could come to me.” I have to be prepared for that by holding back a part of me, protecting it from the kind of suffering that’s dogged me with every other romantic relationship.

Last night, I wrote down all the names of my husband’s exes that I could remember, and all the ways I could survive his rejection – staying busy, moving to a cheaper place, meds from my sympathetic doctor.  Through the years, I’ve learned a lot about how an ugly woman can avoid the malevolence of the beauty police as she flies.

Simple Question

After weeks of listening to my husband talk about his old girlfriends – even though I’ve begged him not to, but the names still come up – I asked him, begged him on my hands and knees to answer what I thought would be a simple question:

How is my body better than theirs?

He can’t answer it because the reality is that they were beautiful – long hair, petite, brunette, etc. – and this good man sleeps with a disaster, a tragedy, a mistake of nature.

It is certainly not right that everything I am, everything I’ve done and accomplished, learned and mastered, is rendered useless by the fact that I’m not petite and dark.

It is even more unjust that Ron – so decent, so generous, so loving – should have to put up with it.

What a sick, perverse world we live in.

Hating Zorba

My husband told me his Zorba story, or at least one of them, a while back, and it stuck with me.

I never liked “Zorba the Greek”.  I grew up with men like Zorba – crude, dirty, full of themselves, pretentiously primitive.  They were the kind of people who were mean to their wives, hunted out of cruelty and liked to tease little girls.

I thought Zorba to be a man without honor: taking advantage of women because of a rationale that to do otherwise would be the one sin that God could not forgive, squandering his friend’s minimal inheritance by trying to make himself out to be an expert in construction.  The filmmaker’s absurd conclusion, that idiotic dance on the beach, is insulting: it would have been much more life-affirming if Alan Bates’ character had knocked Anthony Quinn’s block off.

Thus, it surprised me that Ron, a bright, educated man with a strong sense of ethics, would have found the film so compelling.

I thought that it might be the music, but I’ve heard real Greek dance music, and it’s dark, musky, sensual.  In contrast, Mikis Theodorakis’ watered-down score is timid, tepid, commercial.

There’s a big Greek church a couple of towns over, and I’m planning to invite Ron to attend their annual festival next year.  We’ll see if we can generate some heat for ourselves there.