Same Small Community Feel, Kind Of

Tom and I both bank at credit unions.  We like the no-to-low fees.  They often offer higher interest rates on savings accounts.  And there is that feeling that you are part of a small community.  Tellers learn your name, know in what denominations you want your withdrawal, and know to not push every loan/credit offer down your throat.

There was also some convenience to our credit unions.  His he choose in Lakeland, near where he originally worked when he moved to Florida.  Mine had a military connection and had its own small branch inside the building where I was a defense contractor.

That convenience is no longer there for either of us.  But we I sucked up the commute for all the other reasons listed.  (Did I ever tell you Tom’s expense checks come in real check form?  He traveled 100% for two years.  I was at the bank at least twice a month or I couldn’t pay the bills.)

Now that we are planning to move out of Florida entirely, we decided it was time to bite the bullet and choose a national bank.  One that I worked with on my Gma’s estate stood out to us as having some good benefits and easy online access.  And the offer an app where you can take a picture of a check for deposit, something we’ve longed for these many random treks down Ulmerton.

I do like that the branch closest to us is rather small.  It kind of gives you that small community feel of a credit union.  And it’s evident that they want to impress upon that message as well.  Maybe a bit too much.

We went in today and had to wait a minute to see someone.  The branch manager came over to say hi, make sure we knew they’d get to us soon.  She took my name and entered it in a computer.  A few minutes later she came back and said she’d help us herself.

On the walk to her office she turned to me all chummy and said, “So you were able to bring your husband, W, today?”

“Uhh…no.  That’s my old husband.  This one is Tom.”

The lesson?  Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

Where My Boys At?

Me:  Tom!

Tom:  Yes!

Me:  When did we invite college frat boys over?

Tom:  Um, never?

Me:  Come look at this toilet.

Tom:  Ok…Damn.

Me:  Yeah.

Tom:  Baby, you’re a slob.

Me:  When I stand up to pee and miss?

Tom:  Yup.  Or else you’ve been having frat boys over.

Me:  I wish.


Last time we visited Tom’s parents on poker night, he had to borrow from his dad to play. He won 50 bucks.

This time, I had cash from my job. Tom came back with a buck fifty.

Insert Freud here.

Married To The Master

I was rooting around in our animal paraphernalia and found an old, smelly harness of Lady’s.  Like mature, reasonable adults Tom and I agreed it could be thrown out.  So like a mature, reasonable wife, I put it under his pillows on the bed.

Some point later in the day, I double checked and it was under MY pillows.  So I buried it deeper in his.

This sort of prank is not my forte.  I was pretty proud of myself for carrying it so far.  So proud in fact, that when we went to sleep that night I had to chortle and ask him to look for the harness.

Tom: It’s not here.

Me: Yes it is!

Tom:  Nope.

Me: (warily lifting my own pillows)  It’s not here.  It’s GOT to be with you.

Tom:  It’s not dear.

Me:  (digging around under his head and back) It was here!  It was RIGHT HERE.

Tom:  OK.

That went on for a few more minutes, alternating my search between my side and his side of the bed.  In the morning I found it wedged on the edge of his side.  We had the following text conversation:

Me:  FYI you slept on stinky dog harness.  Found it this AM.  Hope that cheers you up.

Tom:  I knew about it.  I hid it to see how long u would search.  :)

Me:  Ew.

Tom:  Worth it.  Totally worth it.


Evidently All I Write About Now Is Food

You guys?  I.  Am.  Exhausted.  And feeling a wee bit old.  Not only for wanting to go to sleep at 8:07 on a Saturday night (PAAARTAYYY), but because too many felines crept into the bed last night and I vaguely remember having to contort my body in order to get blankets.  When did I vaguely remember this?  On minute 11 of the elliptical this morning when I realized I could not continue due to hip pain.

Hip.  Pain.  Hi, my name is Gladys and I’ll be your 75 year-old for the evening.

Thank goodness I married Tom because he passed out a half hour ago so he makes me look like the younger, hipper (ha!) one.

He’s also in pain.  About a week ago he got a new bridge put in his mouth and he’s had bite issues/tooth pain ever since.  His bite has been adjusted twice and they say if he’s still in pain on Monday they’ll take a closer look at whether something in wrong with the tooth itself.

Have I mentioned we’ll get to take an itemized medical deduction this year?  I love him dearly, but if anything should ever happen Good Dental Genetics is going on The List.

Due to his tooth pain, I’ve made 3,678 batches of mashed potatoes this week.  This is part of why I’m exhausted.  My healthy twist on mashed potatoes?  No butter, lots of cottage cheese.  Great if you like tangy mashed potatoes.  I also made red-skinned mashed potatoes today so we got whatever nutrients are in the skins.  But I didn’t do that to be healthy.  I did that because I am so very over peeling potatoes.

(That potato stuff was in parentheses but I’ve been staring at the screen trying to move on from it and I’m stuck.  So, off with the parentheses and hello ending statement!  Except for this statement.  Which I added with parentheses.)

Did I mention tired?  And I’m heading out with Animal Warriors to do some cage building tomorrow so no rest for the wicked!

Five Year Freak Out

Tom and I have been married for five years.

We celebrated by my going to girls night of margarita and movie and him falling asleep the moment he got home.

I bet a lot of people would read into that something negative and wrong in our marriage.  But there isn’t.  We’re just different.

My hiking the AT this spring was absolutely the best and the worst thing to happen to our marriage.

For two years, my world got very small.  Grandma.  Volunteering.  Keeping house.  Yoga and a few monthly girls nights made sure I had to leave the house a few evenings here or there.

In those two years, Tom and I also dreamed of hiking together.  It gave me focus and purpose to lots of the smallness.

When he decided to take the new job, I hiked without him because I knew I needed to hike.  I didn’t necessarily want to go solo.  But I knew I needed to go.

I came home with the revelation of this small world and how much it hurt me.  How much I needed change, with or without him.

Most of the time, I don’t feel bad that Tom married me.  Yeah, I don’t “believe” in marriage.  But he knew that going in.  And 95% of the time, I am happy to play wife.

That other 5%?  Well, I feel bad that Tom married me.

My coming back home the way I did – an unfulfilled hike, a crisis with Gma, and him still working some 20-hour days to start a warehouse – put a strain on us.  It wasn’t fun to consider how much fun I had without him.  It wasn’t fair to compare the solo time I had to the hell I was going through with him.

We had some long, serious conversations.  At one point I said, “I don’t want to leave you” and he replied, “I’m not sure that’s true right now.”

But, as usual, I was right.  I didn’t want to leave him.  I just needed to be a little more selfish about the path our life was taking.

Nothing big has changed (yet).  I am still tied to Florida by an ailing relative.  My world is still pretty small.  I still get depressed and frustrated over that.  Except I now know when the time is right, I can fix all of that with him by my side.

Some things will never change.  I still prefer a less-rigorous definition of marriage than he does.  I will always freak out before our anniversary.  We will always have a different sort of relationship.  I will always love him.

Not the Nice One

(In the middle of relaying a frustrating conversation with one of Gma’s doctors…)

Me:…and I will fucking punch him in the fucking mouth.

Tom (all echoey): Uh huh.

Me: Do you have me on speakerphone so all the warehouse guys can hear my potty mouth?

Tom: I considered putting you on the intercom.

Me: So they can realize you’re the nice one?

Tom:  Yeah.  All I’ll do is fire ’em.

Share Something

The biggest stumbling block for me making this place a little more public was to tell the certain boy.  I was fighting down to the wire to get things edited and give him time to read before my April 1st announcement.

Some say it wasn’t necessary to give him a heads up.  But for all my sarcasm and lack of grace (both here and in real life), it’s never my intent to hurt someone.  And as a relationship I attempted as I also negotiated a divorce, he got the brunt of the writing.  I don’t need Freud to see I used obsessing over one relationship to cover up my confusion over another.

When I did tell him, his response was amazing.  It made me very glad I went through the trouble and solidified the reason he’s named CB, albeit without quite the same romantic connotations these days.

That same night, I got my first comment from Skip.  On the post where I call him Harrison Ford.

CB and Skip are friends so that’s probably how he found out.  They were roommates for a while and live kinda in the same area now.  (I could try and explain how I did not exactly date-hop friends/roommates.  But whatever.  I am a shameless hussy who has a thing for nerds and knows where to find them.)

I didn’t think to tell Skip about the blog because I frankly didn’t think I’d written about him much.  I did remember the Harrison Ford piece, and thought it was flattering enough that he wouldn’t need a heads up.  And from his cute comment, it seemed I was correct.

But I had written a little more about him than I remembered.  And as he perused and commented, this conversation arose:

Skip:  I actually don’t recall what sparked it, but I just did a short trawl through a selection of your JiP archives, and left a few comments here and there. I don’t know if you get notified of those, but I thought I would draw your attention.

Me:  I do get notifications when comments are made. But thanks for the heads up.

I’m sorry to have trivialized your recovery over our breakup for the sake of a story.   Artistic license is like love and war. In fact, isn’t most artistic license applied to love and war?  Since you commented, I assume you don’t mind the story remaining public. But let me know if you’d like it pulled.

Skip:  Nah, I’m good. Just as long as you realize, it wasn’t quite the reversal. Believe me, I understand the needs of story, but it’s more important to me to be clear by you, behind the surface. As that’s so, then if you feel the need to delete the comment to preserve narrative unity, I’m cool with that.

Me:  I certainly don’t need to delete the comment!  Might just edit this conversation to be a post someday though.

Skip and I remained friends – a touch more distant than some exes due in part to the fact he settled down and had a daughter pretty darn quick.  But mostly because he ended up residing in Chicago of all places and for a good 5-7 years I relied on my family coming to visit sunny FL in winter instead of visiting up north because my schedule was so demanding.

Thinking about it now, perhaps that’s why I want to hike so bad – I’m trying to spend all my built-up summer vacations retroactively.

But still.  For me – once a friend, always a friend.  And once an ex, always a friendly ex.  He’s been incredibly supportive these past weeks with kind words.  In general everyone and anyone I’ve reached out to has been supportive and kind.  And it’s one of the reasons I blog (and facebook) – in order to reach out – both to get and give and to remind us all that life is for sharing.  In a good way.

We emailed each other yesterday…

Me:  I found a few letters Gma sent Gpa while they lived apart at some point. Maybe he was in Washington and she wasn’t yet? At any rate, she talks of the children and calls my father “Skip.”  It was just an odd/happy/sad coincidence I thought I’d share. Threw me for a loop, but kinda in a good way.

Skip:  I’m glad it was kinda in a good way. And I’m happy you shared that with me!

OK, maybe I’m not friendly with all my exes.  And maybe I don’t share with all of them.  But it’s sure sweet to have those that I am and I do.

He HAD to know I’d blog this

For the 34,591 time people: stay friends with your exes.

Unless the relationship was too brief to really know each other, or ended in infidelity/abuse/death*, an ex is the perfect friend in times of crisis.  Someone whose already seen you most vulnerable (“What do you mean you don’t love me?  You know that blanket over your head doesn’t make you invisible, right?”), but doesn’t have his shit all wrapped up in your shit like your current significant other.

So when I saw TG online, I had to reach out for a little support.

Me: Home now.  Gma in hospital.  Broke her hip.  Going to Gainesville tomorrow.  Tell me a dirty joke, quick.  Need a laugh.

TG:  I have no dirty jokes. You’ve seen me naked. Isn’t that funny enough, frankly?


TG:  Well. Yes.

* (Although come to think of it, one of my relationships DID end in infidelity and while it took longer to get over, we’re still very good friends.)

Put a Ring on It

Despite my hatred of most of the conventional aspects of marriage, I really like my wedding ring set.

I won’t change my name or raise a family, but I will accessorize in the name of love.

My rings are exactly what I wanted. Recycled (estate sale). White gold. And a low enough setting that I can wear them even on my dirtiest, clumsiest of days without fear of damage.

I haven’t been wearing them a lot lately though. I haven’t had them re-sized since I lost weight and they tend to spin around my finger in the most annoying fashion. On my bested, non-retaining days, I’m worried they might fall off.

But even if they did fit, I wouldn’t wear them on the hike. I would feel awful if they were stolen.

However, I do want something to signal I’m not available if people ever realize K and I are not a lesbian couple.

I salvaged this from a pile of junk jewelry my mother was going to give away. She doesn’t know who it belonged to, and already two diamond chips have fallen out. But when I want to tell a jerk to get lost, it gives me a different finger than the middle one to show.