Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Crones Guide to Marriage Part 3 - I Won't Ask, You Can't Make Me!

We've been having problems with one of our cars.  We have a 20 year old pick-up truck which is losing paint, has rust and moss on it (a byproduct of living on "The Peninsula"!).  Our truck is the workhorse of the family.  It just keeps on going...the only problem we ever had with it was when a mini-minion (a crippled Scottish Terrier named Angus who crossed the rainbow bridge years ago) chewed the wiring apart from the undercarriage.

We also have a twelve year old min-van that is our good vehicle.  For some reason the battery has been discharging on the van and on occasion when we go to use it we have a dead battery.  This happened the other day.

My loving spouse Himself spent quite a bit of time pondering the cause of this problem.  I made, what I thought was a reasonable suggestion, that he call the local repair garage and ask if one of the mechanics could come over to hear the odd sounds emanating from the bowels of the dead engine...because once we jump started the battery this sound always went away.  Granted I know next to nothing about car repair.  Himself knows a little bit but just general type stuff.

As he sat in the front seat of our dead vehicle (in the "thinker" pose) I could hear his thoughts...."Oh my GOD, she wants me to call someone.  What am I going to do?  I can't call anyone and ask a question?  Perhaps if I just sit here thinking she'll go away and I can just jump start the engine and I won't have to ask anyone anything..."  On and on...I could see the pain that my suggestion was causing him.  It had nothing to do with the actual mechanical problem...and ALL to do with asking a question.  I finally had pity on my poor suffering spouse and suggested that he just go head and do what he thought best since I "knew nothing about cars and really he was much more knowledgeable than I was".  I was willing to give way on my suggestion in order to save him further suffering.  I'm a good wife!

Women always joke about the fact that their husbands won't ask directions if they are lost.  They won't ask questions in the store on where to find an item.  If I send Himself off to purchase groceries by himself, I have to be VERY specific on my list otherwise it's very stressful for him.  As a general rule men won't ask questions of any male that they don't know.  This drives women crazy!

Women tend to look at men as being very strong.  What most women do not realize is that men actually have very fragile egos, especially in front of women and strange men.  Asking a question is in their subconscious a sign of weakness.  If you go back to the dawn of time any sign of weakness would have probably lead to a life of ridicule, banishment from the clan, no status, no mates and perhaps even death.  We as a species haven't evolved since that time....we are more educated, have more technology but we still have caveman (and woman) brains. 

On a side dear spouse says that he has no problem asking a woman a question.  While he doesn't want to sound sexist his opinion is that a woman will think "Oh wow, what a sensitive and valuable male - he's asking a question!".  So in his mind asking a question of a woman only bolsters his image/ego!  My opinion is that the woman will think, "Wow, his wife has trained him well!".

I guess my point is that once you understand that the inability to appear weak in front of a possible rival (for status or even for YOU) is a trait that goes back thousands of years.  He just can't help himself.

Le Petite Crone says:  Give the poor guy a break!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Crone's Guide to Marriage Part 2 or You Mean the Tub Isn't Suppose To Be Orange?

When Himself and I first got married we lived in different towns.  Usually Himself would drive in to visit me on the weekends.  The drive was 172 miles one way.  I eventually made the commute myself out to the middle of nowhere to spend a few days with Himself in what was to be our first home together. 

The next morning I got up and went in to take a shower.  The tub was orange.  It was a beautiful creamy orange...really quite lovely.  I did take note that the bathroom sink was in fact white so using my pre-crone reasoning power I deduced that the tub was not suppose to be orange.  Some cleanser, a little effort and the tub was once again it's natural gleaming white.

When Himself came to take a shower he commented that the tub "looked different".  Really?

I patiently explained that the tub had in fact been really, really dirty...well actually just stained from the highly mineralized well water that was our only source of water.

Our first home was located in a small "almost" ghost town that was at a minimum 150+ miles in any direction from any other town.  We were very isolated.  We had no television, only one radio station, a physician's assistant came to town every Wednesday (you didn't want to get seriously ill on any other day!).  I think living where we did gave Himself and I a great foundation for our marriage.  We worked together, lived together and had no entertainment other than ourselves.  We were together 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  We learned how to talk to one another and our understanding of male/female differences were critical to our survival as a couple.

Back to the orange tub.  The lesson I learned from the infamous orange tub is that men as a general rule are really NOT lazy when it comes to keeping things clean.  A woman can usually spot a dust spot from across the room a man can't.  A woman will enter a man's apartment and think "what a mess" - the man just doesn't get it because (tadaaa!) he doesn't even see it.  I've done experiments and not cleaned house to see how long it takes before Himself comments on anything.  It took a looooooong time.  I was miserable after a week, it was over a month before Himself commented that the rug needed vacuuming (and this with two shedding dogs!).

So ladies, if you think your guy is a slob...he really isn't.  He honestly doesn't see the mess.  Really, he doesn't.  I've also found that if I just "ask", Himself will help clean anything.  Since he doesn't see it, he's not going to just do it...but if you ask, he will.  Don't expect him to read your mind.

La Petite Crone says:  It all comes down to communication! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just one more time.....

My father has been gone from this existence since July of 2000 my mother since 1988.  I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of both of them. 

I love my mother dearly and miss her, but I had a much closer relationship with my dad.  When I was little my mother wanted me to be girly.  She complained to me several times that she had wanted a little girl like Shirley Temple but got me instead.  I wasn't into girl stuff at all....didn't play with dolls even though my mom spent months making an entire wardrobe for a large doll I received for Christmas one year.  The clothing was beautiful (undergarments, satin dresses, bridal gown etc.), but I seldom played with the doll.  I know she was disappointed and I wish I could have been more of what she wanted.

I loved to listen to my dad's war stories and he'd sit and talk to me for hours telling me things he had done.  I loved seeing the knives that he had in his collection (more on my love of sharp weapons in a later post).  I'd be happier tagging along with my dad watching him work than playing with dolls and having tea parties.  If I could get a smile from my dad I was happy beyond words.

Whenever my dad left to return home from a visit he'd always say "see you later" the last time he left he said "good bye".  It struck me as odd as he'd never said that before.  It was the last time I saw him...he knew he was leaving this world. 

So on this father's day - take a moment to remember your father (and your mother).  If they are still with you cherish them and tell them you love them.  Some day you will wish that you did.

La Petite Crone says:  Just one more time I'd love to tell you both how much I love you and that I'm missing you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Music In The Night

I love my home here on "The Peninsula".  Our little cottage is situated in the woods, tall firs, pines, hemlocks, and alders surround us.  The peninsula is about a mile and half wide where we live.  The ocean is on one side, a bay on the other plus there are swamps between us and the water on both sides.  There is so much vegetation we can't see our neighbors.  It's almost as if we were the only people here.

We have a variety of wildlife that we see wander through our yard or through the woods on the other side of our fence.  Raccoons, black bears, coyotes, deer, possums, moles, shrews, porcupines, snakes, small birds of many kinds, large birds (owls, crows, hawks, eagles, herons, egrets, geese, ducks!) and of course frogs, frogs and more frogs!

We don't get much sunshine, it's usually cloudy or foggy or misty or rainy!  This of course is why it's so green and we find ourselves pulling up ferns from the lawn as if they were weeds!
"The Peninsula" is classified as a temperate rain forest.  Living here can drive some people a little batty due to the lack of light and the constant wet.  I love it but then I've always been a tad batty.

Once in a while we have what the weathermen like to call "a sun break" - a brief moment when the sun in all its glory will shine through the clouds and mist.  The sky will turn the most amazing shade of blue and all the residents of "the peninsula" look up and wonder if our gills and webbed feet will dry out!  On even more rare occasions we'll have several days in a row with sun and no rain (it even got up to 80 degrees once!).  We all go out and water our plants as they have no tolerance of sun and dry.  These rare days of summer never last long, it's just enough to tease us into thinking we can take the flannel sheets off the bed.

Then of course we have the wind.  The wind blows a lot here.  We've had winds as high as 170 miles per hour.  In actuality a cyclone but it's never really called that because they don't have those here - we call them a bad day in November!  We've had trees come down on the house, through the kitchen window, and generally make a mess of the yard.  Our normal winds are gusty ocean breezes that seem to arrive without fail every afternoon or evening.

During the night, awake in bed I listen to the wind in the trees, the frogs in the woods and to the constant sound of waves on the beach.  I find that sometimes I almost hear a melody in these sounds.  I like to think of it as natures night music.  It's soothing to the soul.

As I've gotten older I've found that I take the time to be aware of my surroundings.  I take the time to listen and see and appreciate   I've been allowed to enjoy the wonderful symphonies that are constantly taking place around us....and they are magical.

La Petite Crone says:  Enjoy a little night music!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How Do You Apologize To An Old Shirt?

The other day I got rid of a pair of pants that didn't fit quite right.  My dear husband "Himself' was aghast.  How could I get rid of a perfectly good pair of pants, just like that!?!?!  This brought into focus the fact that Himself and I have very different relationships with our clothing.

Women like change.  In fact I think we are genetically programmed to be more adaptable to change than males.  This is just my opinion based on observation...nothing scientific at all.  If you think about it, women go through their entire lives changing.  Our bodies change, we marry and change our names (In more tribal cultures it is the woman who usually leaves her tribe and goes to live with her husbands tribe, leaving behind all that she knows!).  Then we give birth and have to change and adapt during pregnancy and then as we raise our offspring. Then comes menopause, old age, change, change, change.  The only constant in my life has been change.

The fashion industry taps into this genetically programmed "change" tendency and many women cycle their wardrobe constantly in order to have and wear the latest fashion "must have".  Not all women are fashion followers.  I for one have a style that I like and stay with but even that has very slowly morphed over the years.  I certainly do NOT dress like I did in the 60's or early 70's!!!  I have found though that if a garment doesn't fit, isn't comfortable, or I haven't worn it for a year or so I've no problem at all donating it to a local thrift store.

My dear husband "Himself" is completely different.  He still has a hideous orange Hawaiian shirt he bought in January 1974 for a quarter at a thrift store while on a geology field trip.  We really have no idea how old this shirt is. The shirt doesn't fit.  He has "retired" the shirt to a position of honor in his closet.  This shirt, nay venerable old friend, is supreme amongst his other shirts.  Woe be the evil vagrant who even touches this magnificent specimen.  If he has a hole in a stocking he'll wait until he has another (they don't have to match) and the holey socks are now designated sleeping socks (throw them away?  NOoooooooo!).  He had an old (bright orange) shirt that looked as if a flock of mutant moths attacked it.  It literally had too many holes in it to count.  He slept in this shirt until I couldn't stand it any more and it went into the trash.  It had areas on it that were being held together by a just few threads.

Himself laments each and every garment that is disposed of.  He feels sorry for them.  It's as if he feels the need to apologize to the garments for letting them down.  The strange thing about all of this is that Himself isn't the only man who is like this.  I've had conversations with friends who indicate that their husbands or boyfriends are the same way.

What is it in the nature of "male" that makes them so reluctant to dispose of things?  Is it mother natures way of ensuring our survival?  Are males reluctant to change, to give up, to adapt?  Are we genetically the way we are, male and female, change and no change, give up and not give up, yin and yang in order to compliment each others strengths and weaknesses?  Perhaps so.

I find that I take a great deal of comfort in my dear husband's nature.  I don't try to change him, I wouldn't even if I could.  I find myself constantly amused and intrigued by our differences.  It's one of the things that makes our life together so interesting and worthwhile, and perhaps our differences are the key to our survival as a species.

La Petite Crone says: Celebrate your differences!