Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Autoreply: Lefty Is Free!

I'm currently vacationing. I'll pop in now and again to update you on all the juicy details.

For now, let's just say that beer is involved.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

The Obligatory Search Engine Post

Here’s how some people have found me lately.
  • mistakes and boobs--sounds like the story of my life
  • you seem tough behind that keyboard--especially when I’m not wearing pants
  • a big collage picture of guy shoes
  • drink myself--I’m not sure I want to know
  • how can you tell if she is hiding--I’d say the feet sticking out from the bottom of the window drapes is a good clue
  • sears womens cotton underpants--can you tell I’m drooling?
  • redneck everything--I think you were looking for SWF42
  • exploding sinuses--that would be a great name for a rock band
  • cat is pooping in laundry hamper--don’t say I didn’t warn you
  • camper sandals he loves me--I’m not even going to pretend I understand that one
  • really bad mullets--how about ALL OF THEM?!

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Good Stuff

A few things that make life worth living:
  • real whipped cream
  • Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin books
  • baseball (And I don’t mean money-grubbing, steroid-stoked Major League baseball, but baseball. You know, playing catch with a ball that fits the human hand perfectly. The smack of the ball into leather. The crack of ball against wooden bat. The crunch of dirt beneath spikes. What W. P. Kinsella calls “the thrill of the grass.” Winning the World Series in the back yard with your best friend as your catcher. Chasing down a fly ball in the gap. Playing catch with your son beneath a deep blue sky in the early days of Spring. That baseball.)
  • Mrs. Lefty’s meatloaf.
  • sheer silence
  • beer (duh)
  • the cool side of the pillow
  • the shade of my olive tree
  • that thing that Mrs. Lefty does (for me to know and you never to find out)
  • buttermilk pancakes

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Harry Potter and the Revenge in the Hallway

Here’s a mixed bag of stuff from the life of Lefty:

I read the first Harry Potty book. Are you happy? It wasn’t that bad, wasn’t as dull as I remembered. Some parts were even mildly amusing. I may read the second one.

And, for the record, there was absolutely no dampness in my eyes the entire time, not even the kind caused by flying popcorn.


I haven’t dropped my toast--or my bread--lately, and I’ve been pretty proud of myself. But this morning, I filled my coffee filter in the office kitchen. I started back to my office and closed the kitchen door behind me. Except, as you must know already, I let the filter slip out of my hand, and every last grain of coffee spilled on the floor.


My poor toe. In our bedroom, the bathroom is down a short hallway. Of course, we use the hallway for storing all sorts of things, most of which are hazardous in the middle of the night when you have just gotten up to go to the bathroom.

I headed back to bed a couple of nights ago, and my foot slammed right into something hard. It was, of course, the new Harry Potty book.

I thought I heard a voice. “Ha! Got you, you damn Muggle.”

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Setting the Record Straight

My middle daughter said, somewhat tauntingly, “Your crying movie is on.”

I knew immediately what she meant. You see, several years ago, I took my kids to see the movie Brother Bear. It is a nice story, but somewhere near the end, a flying piece of extra salty popcorn lodged in my eye. Before I got it out, there may have been the slightest dampness in my eye, caused, of course, by the salt.

Somehow, my daughter figured I had become overwhelmed with emotion and actually shed a tear. She’s never let me forget it.

Now, I will freely admit that in Field of Dreams, when Doc forever gives up his dream of playing baseball by stepping off the magical field to help the girl choking on a hot dog, I sobbed like a baby. When, in The Natural, Robert Redford slammed the big home run and chose his first love over the glitzy city girl, I wept for days. And in Bang the Drum Slowly, when the beloved catcher died of cancer (?), I was inconsolable.

But Brother Bear? Nah. It was popcorn, I tell you.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Part Two: Pass the Antacid, Please

All right, then, where was I?

Oh yes, I was venting about Mrs. Lefty feeling as if I don’t support her enough, particularly when it comes to other people mistreating her.

The reason I am going on about this now is that the past week at the Lefty place has been one of extreme stress. About this time last week, Mrs. Lefty and I had our biggest fight to date about the issue. On back-to-back days, there were two related incidents, in which Mrs. Lefty wanted me to back her up. If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll recall that by “back her up” she meant for me to yell and scream and generally get in somebody’s face. That type of behavior is never productive and will never get a person what they want. But it may be the only way Mrs. Lefty will feel supported by me.

So, at the conclusion of the most recent episode, she modeled the type of behavior she wants from me by swearing at me and getting in my face. Then, she stormed out of the room. A little later she called me and said, “I’ve had enough of this. I’m seriously thinking of a separation.” I didn’t believe she would take that route, and still don’t. She has said similar things before in the heat of her anger.

I told her, “I don’t want that, and I don’t think it would be helpful for either of us.”

This time, though, her anger lasted much longer than usual. She slept on the couch for four days. She completely ignored me except for things about which she absolutely needed to talk to me. Even then, her words were bitter and brusque. She was one cold woman.

And even though I did not fear for the end of our marriage, there was so much tension in the house that my stomach felt like a punching bag. It was a hellish 4 or 5 days. Then, we had our first counseling session since the incident, and, as expected, that took some of the edge off her anger and my tension.

Mrs. Lefty is unable to see that it is unusual that, in her mind, just about every significant person in her life has seriously betrayed and abused her. Now, in fairness, she has been through an enormous amount of trauma--physical and emotional--at the hands of people in her life. She has received serious wounds, inside and outside, because people have done some terrible things to her. And precisely because of that, the world to her is a dangerous place, and she expects every single person on this planet to betray her.

For a person like myself, who has lived a relatively normal--even sheltered--life, I do not expect betrayal. I cannot say that even one single person in my life has abused or betrayed me in a significant way. For Mrs. Lefty, everybody does. That is why I believe it may not be possible for me ever to support her enough. She may always be expecting me to fail her, because, in her mind, everyone else always has.

I am sure hoping, though, that we don’t have to live this way for the next 50 years. It can be quite hellish. I am hoping that somehow the counseling and other things we’re doing to build our marriage will gradually help Mrs. Lefty to get to a more healthy place.

And I know that I have my own issues. As I’ve written before, I tend to avoid conflict. I can be a perfectionist and nitpick at others when they fail to do something perfectly. I procrastinate. I don’t drink nearly enough beer. I have my own issues, and I am working on those.

I have to believe we’ll get there. To Mrs. Lefty’s credit, she is willing to work on things, even though she’s scared to death of confronting some of the things in her past. She’s willing to make the effort, and so am I. As long as that is true, then I have to believe our work will pay off.

Besides, I love her, and she loves me. That makes all the difference in the world.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm Not a Bra, You Know

I have a serious post today. That goes against my better judgment, but I want to vent, and you, loyal readers, are the ventees.

In many ways, Mrs. Lefty and I have great marriage. We do, however, have problems. I’ve mentioned money. That has been a source of great stress in the past. Lately, though, we haven’t argued much about finances. She now has her completely separate accounts, and I have mine.

Instead, another issue has risen to the fore. Since the early days of our marriage, Mrs. Lefty has believed I do not support her emotionally as I should. In my defense, I should point out that I am a man, and men never support their wives as the women think is necessary. Men are simply distant, unfeeling brutes who drink beer.

For Mrs. Lefty, though, it runs deeper than that. It began with my parents. She believes they do not like her, they do not think her a worthy mate for their son. It is clearly true that my parents were surprised to learn I was getting married again and they thought our whirlwind courtship was unwise. In fact, they had not really even gotten over the fact that I was divorced. Then, in one single phone call less than a year after my divorce they learned that 1) I had met somebody new, 2) I was dating somebody new, 3) I had flown thousands of miles to spend a week with that new somebody, and 4) I was getting married to that new somebody in, oh, about two months.

I can understand my parents’ shell shock. Mrs. Lefty’s mother was also dismayed. The morning of our wedding, I saw her mother for about the third time ever, and she said to me, “I woke up this morning hoping it was all a bad dream, and this day would never come.” Welcome son-in-law!

But I don’t blame her mother for feeling that way. She would be, with very little warning, watching her daughter and grandchildren move across the country with a man my new mother-in-law barely knew. And, as it turns out, I have great in-laws. I love them to death, and they have been very kind to my son and me. So despite the early awkwardness, the relationship with my in-laws has been good.

Mrs. Lefty, however, feels frequently snubbed and otherwise mistreated by my parents. I have spoken to them about her discomfort. At another time, all four of us sat down together to discuss it. Unfortunately, Mrs. Lefty still feels mistreated and wants me to stand up for her.

There are a couple of problems with this. First, neither my parents nor I understand what they are doing to upset her. Second, Mrs. Lefty cannot quite describe what they are doing, either. She feels disrespected, but can’t describe the behavior. Third, by “stand up for her” she means “go verbally medieval on their asses.”

Hmmm...I see that I have run out of room for today, but haven’t yet begun to describe things. I guess I’ll continue with part two tomorrow.

P.S. As I was finishing up this post, Mrs. Lefty called to tell me she agreed to work for someone on my birthday, which is normally her day off. Oh yes, we also had an apointment with the counselor for that day.

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