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.
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. @chriserskinelaTweet
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.
“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.