Happy Anniversary, Posh

To my late wife, the fertility goddess

Yesterday, we were showering things in Champagne: roses, my silly career, you guys….

My buddy Jay confessed to really taking to gin & tonics, not bathing in them or anything, but making them a huge part of his daily diet, as many of us do. Vitamin C is so important. And, as we know, alcohol is an important sanitizer.

Trust me: My liver is so sanitized right now.

I went to a spiritualist once, and she told me that in an earlier life, I was a swizzle stick.

“In many ways, I still am,” I told her.

Anyway, everything in moderation. You can squeeze a lot of lime into the glass, a quick splash of gin, and lots of tonic.

“I’m damn near perfect, though not that bright. I had three kids before I realized what caused them: beer and early bedtimes.”

Or you can skip the gin entirely and still be holding a beautiful seasonal drink, avoiding the judgment of a bunch of drunks like me. As if you care.

All good, as they say. No problem.

My friend Dogpark Gary was talking about his marriage the other day at the park, telling me how it’s been 50 years for he and his wife, Geri, and how when they were first married they didn’t really have a dime, really nothing more than love and pizza.

“Then the pizza ran out,” he said.

Dogpark Gary is a bit of a spiritualist himself. Kind of an angry spiritualist, but a spiritualist just the same.

He gets wound up over things, I talk him down. I get wound up over things, he talks me down. We are both angry spiritualist, but we have a lot of laughs.

One of the things that really frosts Dogpark Gary is when servers in restaurants respond “no problem” instead of “You’r welcome,” or “My pleasure.” Honestly, you may as well throw darts at Gary, than respond with “no problem.”

“You have a point,” I tell him.

“Thank you,” he says.

“No problem,” I tell him.

With good friends, it’s OK to push a few buttons, to tease them about their behavior and idiosyncracies.

Me, I have no ideosyncracies.

In fact, I’m damn near perfect, though not that bright. I had three kids before I realized what caused them: beer and early bedtimes.

Chris Erskine: With good friends, it’s OK to push a few buttons, to tease them about their behavior and idiosyncrasies. @chriserskinela

In my defense, Posh was some sort of fertility goddess, gorgeous with a halo of chestnut hair, a size zero, yet a 10 in all the usual ways. When she walked into a restaurant, men would stand and clap.

That explains the early bedtimes, I guess.

“Guess what,” she used to say.


“I’m pregnant again.”

“No problem,” I’d say.

Yet, it was a problem. Like Dogpark Gary we had nothing more than love and pizza. Then the pizza ran out.

There was, as I’ve said before, some sort of Cone of Fertility that hung over the house. Posh and I hadn’t touched it three years when she got pregnant with the fourth, the child we called Baby Oops.

Stop me if I already told you this. But the other kids were older at that point, 11, 17, 19. They  were so repulsed by the news of a new baby, and the hint that their parents were still physically intimate, that they got physically ill. They spit up and stuff.

“I’m sorry,” I told Posh.

“About what?”

“The pregnancy,” I said.

“You weren’t even there,” she teased.

Friday would’ve been our 38th anniversary. We were married in a hot little Lutheran church on the east coast of Florida, in mid-May, when the heat index topped 1,000. It was like those old movies where all the men in suits were sweating and wiping their faces with white hankerchiefs, as if in surrender.

She walked into the church like a bowl of cherries. At the reception later, I remember how when we passed through the lobby, an older woman elbowed her husband.

“Huh what?” the old man said

“Wouldya look at that beautiful bride,” she said.

Happy anniversary, baby.

8 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary, Posh

  1. I’ve read your columns for decades, Chris, and have loved all of them, especially the ones about your family. I remember reading about Posh’s illness and subsequent death and it made me sad, even though I’ve never met either one of you. This column also brought tears to my eyes, just by the way you describe her and your relationship. Happy belated 38th anniversary. Best of luck with your older daughter’s upcoming wedding that will hopefully be full of joy.

  2. Thank you, Chris! I’ve loved you for almost 30 years. I’m sad to lose you as are ALL of my friends and family!
    We both lost our loved ones recently, so reading your column was a great help to me. I thank you for that.
    Enjoy yourself in your next adventure. I’m working on it, too.
    I’m having back surgery on June 16th. It will be a struggle to go this alone. Bill was the best! Maybe you saw some of his work. He was a PBS film producer. He did a documentary on Sam Maloof. Rene Russo was the narrator. There! TMI!
    May God bless you, you are a national treasure!
    My best, Charlotte Neill

  3. My Saturday’s will lack something going forward. Thank you for the way you made lemonade from lemons – always a wonderful lesson to me. Wishing you a wonderful rich retirement.

  4. Over the years your writing has always been heartfelt… and usually made me smile! Thanks!

  5. Wishing you all the very best in your, I will not say retirement, but would rather say your new freedom. I’m certain you will enjoy this next episode in your life, as you have lined up as so many fun things to do in any given day, you will be saying to yourself “how the hell did I have time to go to work ” .I know this from my own experience, I found my new freedom 18 years ago and have enjoyed every second of it. I live in Auckland New Zealand,but have a few friends in L.A. Through my fb group HYDROGENHEADS International. Kind regards MIKE H. “………Mike Halpin.

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