Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

Friday March 12, 2010

There’s an old fashion saying, “Home Is Where the Heart Is”. Perhaps I really didn’t appreciate the meaning of that until today.

After a two-week absence, spending all but two nights in hotels, I arrived at my own digs today. But the house was empty. As in, my wife was out-of-town. She is staying one more day with our children and grandchildren. As I reported yesterday, I was able to spend some family time with her and the kids Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. But I must regroup today and Saturday for a return trip to my project in Illinois on Sunday afternoon.

So now you may know what I’m talking about. I’m at my house but I’m not yet home. Home will arrive tomorrow in a red Prius with my wife. It’s funny because my wife believed home arrived today with me in a white Tundra. Home is a very complex concept that is sometimes hard to identify and keep track of. Although we were not in our house, we probably were more at home Thursday night at the middle school in Leavenworth attending Em’s band concert.

But we have been married many years and we have learned that we can adapt easily. I think you call it “rolling with the blows”. We have been very lucky to have raised our two children and now we get to watch our children as they raise their five and create homes for themselves.

Hopefully tomorrow after Marcia’s visit ends, their houses will be just a little bit less home without us. Just as ours through the years has become just a little bit less without them.

Such is the life of John


Out of the corner of my eye I think I see the flash of my wife’s middle finger, the bird. My back isn’t turned, we are in the car setting side by side. I am concentrating on the road ahead but I ask her if she just gave me the finger.

Without hesitation she says, “yes”.

“Do you give me the finger behind my back often?”

“NO!, it wasn’t behind your back! If I want to throw you the bird, I’ll do it face to face! I would not do that behind your back!”.

I’m not one to argue. I can tell when a conversation will be going nowhere. But we did come to terms. It was decided that on the occasion that  a finger is going to be thrown then the questions “Are you looking at me!? Are you looking at me!?” must be asked first.

Nothing can be said, thrown or gestured until full attention is drawn from the receiver. That way it will be honorable and up front. Not sneaky and behind each other’s backs. You call that an open relationship. We’ve been married a long time and deals like this have been made often to make things work.

Don’t get me wrong. We have very seldom used the F you or flipped bird in a detrimental way. We nearly always say or do it with tongue in cheek. A finger flipped my way during a card game confirms that I have the better hand. Or if given after a request for a cup of coffee or to bring a sandwich pretty much conveys that I will probably be getting it myself. The flipped bird has never, as I remember, initiated anything more than a silly frown or an ornery smile. Not so with the F— You.

The F— You from your mate can mean one of two things. And you must learn to react correctly to each.

The first kind of F— You can mean, conversation is over. I hold you and what you say in total disregard. There will be no facial expression. You must learn to recognize this one. It is best to be very quiet, do not make a smart-ass remark and very slowly back away.

With the second kind of F— You, you will notice a bright gleam in the eye and a slight grin. This confirmed, it is safe to say “F— you, too!” right back at her. But really smile when you say it, I mean really smile! She’ll probably return a laugh. Oh God, you better hope she returns a laugh!