June 5, 2003

Today is my mother and father's wedding anniversary.  The were married in 1960, so this would have been #43.  Dad died just before #26 and Mom died this January 31st.  That's the thing about death is that it renders important dates insignificant and memories are so much more tenuous when they are based solely on the subjectivity of your own fickle, treacherous memory without the validation of the others who shared the experience.  I didn't share my parents' wedding day, but I remember that it meant a lot to both of them.  When I look at their wedding pictures, I can't help but think of the turns and twists their lives took.  Their faces are so full of hope and joy as compared to the stress and fear and hopelessness that would so often be there over the next decades.  My mom told me many times in the last year of her life how happy she was and how she was intent on living every day to its fullest, as though there might not be another one.  That gives me some degree of peace.  My father died an unhappy, broken man whose mind was slightly twisted out of shape by years of doing automobile body work (by profession) without wearing a painting mask because of his horrible claustrophobia.  It makes me wonder how my children would think I felt about my life if it ended today.

I've always put way too much stock in dates and holidays and such.  Each Mothers Day that was forgotten broke my heart.  When Eric totally forgot my birthday last year, I was devastated.  I kept thinking all day that he was playing a game with me and was planning something big for that night, but I gave up around 11:45pm.  When I told him he was truly puzzled.  "Hmm. I thought it was the 6th.  Do we have any chips and salsa left?"  I stopped expecting anyone would remember any of this stuff years ago and began making broad announcements.  "My birthday is NEXT THURSDAY so as you folks don't EMBARRASS yourself by FORGETTING" and this year I fell back into the "will he remember" trap.  He didn't.  When April 28 rolled around this year, I thought about how it would have been my silver anniversary to Paul.  I wonder if he thought of me that day, then realized he seldom remembered when we were married, why should he when we are married to other people?  I've gotten much better at it in the past few years.  Sometimes, I get a twinge, but overall, it doesn't phase me any more.  For some reason, I'm nostalgic and stuck in the past the last couple of days.  This husband, I married on his birthday so there was no chance he'd forget, well, plus we were getting married in Reno and I had to wait for him to get old enough to gamble.

I love Reno. Having been both there and to Vegas, I have to say that Reno is my favorite. It's so much cleaner and friendlier than Vegas and the slots are a lot looser.  Eric and I got married the week he came back from Saudi Arabia, on the surface with both of us wanting to keep from being separated as best friends if he got orders (he was Air Force, I was civilian), but underneath, both of us in love with the other one and terrified to show it.  The full story is here.  We were married at the Candlelight Wedding Chapel by a little man with permed hair and a Tom Bosley smile.  We laughed all the way through the ceremony, still surprised and awkward that it was the two of us there, actually doing this.  I expected at any moment, right up to the filing of the papers (a crippled old limousine ferried us from the chapel to the county clerk's office in the courthouse), for him to back out and say he couldn't do it.  If that happened, I'd dressed down enough that we could just fly into the casinos, have fun and go home still friends.  I carried a big purse with me and in it, I had my special lucky wand to help us divine the best machines and tables.  The wand is quite large and was just something we were trying for fun (we came away with the trip and wedding paid for and twice as much money as we started!), but the guards at the courthouse considered it a weapon and had to take it from me until we left.  I think they thought it was a sex toy or something.  I felt really weird about leaving it with strangers, but it was still kind of a funny part of the story.  That whole day in Reno is still one of our favorite memories.  We've had several other trips there, all good, but it was the best. 

Today, I'm determined to clean my house. I've been not just un-motivated, but anti-motivated lately.  Not sure what I'm rebelling against, but I just want to crawl into bed and sleep a few days away.  Eric is tense and bitchy about their financing for the company being delayed (have I mentioned that men tend to suck?) and that makes him really hard to live with.  Nathan has been on a serious tear lately.  Yesterday, he peed in the dishwasher, squirted carpet cleaner (which I'd been trying to find for a week) into the computer monitor and killed it for several hours, threw toys into the ceiling fan light and broke the globe, dumped all of the clothes out of his dresser (this was during time out), dumped citronella torches that I didn't know he could reach into their little wading pool, threw all of the clean washcloths into the toilet (fortunately, I caught him before he could flush), spit at the dog until she bit him in the face and dumped half of a two liter bottle of Mountain Dew down the sink (which was fine, lord knows I want sugar out of the house).  It's been nutty.  Basically, if I'm not handcuffed to him, he's into something.  I'm old.  Not a good and cooperative combination.  Mama needs a vacation.

Time for me to pull a Nike and "just do it."  I can't imagine getting out of this chair right now, much less going full scale cleaning mode.  I told Eric the other day that I wish I there was a drug that would make me feel good during the day and let me sleep well at night.  He said, "There is.  It's called 'exercise.'"  Smart ass.

Time to pour the acetone onto the super glue that holds my ass to the computer chair and put forth and effort.  Pfft.  Look at me go.



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