Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Still Love Him

Early in our marriage, Chuck & I loved nothing more than taking in a good movie, both at the theater & on the couch. Remember those days? Those days before one of those movie nights led to a romp & a child and then another and another & pretty soon, you can't remember the last movie you saw that wasn't released by Pixar & featured the voice of Tom Hanks? Well, Chuck still likes a good movie now & then, but you know me, I'm up mopping the floor or doing laundry or making sure our bedsheets have perfect hospital corners. Or stressing over the budget. Or Facebooking. Or needlepointing while watching The Kardashians.

So the other night he rents The Book of Eli with Denzel Washington. As usual, he asks if I want to watch. And nothing against my dear husband, but after the illness that ran rampant through our house, I don't particularly want to be within 5 feet of any of these people, unless, of course, I'm doing what's on MY agenda. I try to convince him to watch tomorrow and come to bed but NOOOO. Apparently Denzel has something I don't. So I retreat to our room. Alone. To read magazines and listen to Gary Allan on my iPod. I even make a couple last minute attempts to text him --- "R u surrre you don't want to come to bed?" I even paraphrased a Gary Allan song & said, "I'm wearing nothin' but an iPod and a smile...." But DAMN, that boy loves a good Denzel flick. Suffice it to say, I should have just watched the movie. And this, in a roundabout way, is why.

When I was very young, my grandma worked as a nurse for the town doctor. He was a doctor from the days of old, where it cost $10 for a shot and if he had samples of medicine on hand, he just gave them to you. He LOVED the show M*A*S*H & loved to talk about it the morning after it aired. My grandma gave me a piece of good advice that, had I remembered the other night, I would have taken. She said, "Oh, Lord, honey, when he asks if you've seen M*A*S*H, say yes if you don't want to hear all about it!" I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED. Or at least applied the advice later in life.

Have you heard my husband tell a story? I love him more than life but his voice inflection NEVER changes. This is surprising actually, because in high school, he was in both the junior & senior plays & even won the Drama Award for his brilliant portrayal of hillbilly, Patoukah Lindsey. He can be "get-down-on-the-floor-hold-your-stomach-and-roll" funny. Except when he's telling you about a show he's seen. And then Ben Stein's got nothin' on him. "Bueller?? Bueller??"

He started by telling me I should have stayed up & watched it & right there I missed my chance to say, "You know what? I have seen that! I was confused." So he starts at the beginning. He doesn't describe the opening credits & soundtrack but only because it must have slipped his mind. Apparently this movie is about a man, a Bible & a journey, in a nutshell. An endless journey.... At one point, I wanted to raise my finger in the air & say, "Excuse me, but how old is Denzel at the end of this journey? Does he still have his hearing? Is he suffering from ED yet?" It goes on & on and I suddenly feel like I'm stuck at the 1988 Democratic Convention having to endure Bill Clinton's nominating speech for Michael Dukakis. Normally, my friends will tell you I have an uncanny ability to wait --- for a table, in line for flu shots for two freaking hours, for a delayed flight, for a child I'm photographing to co-operate (unless it's mine).....really anything. My college roommate even once said, "You're so patient at stoplights." Waiting usually does not get to me. Unless I'm having to endure hearing someone talk & act like I'm interested. Then the self-centeredness in me takes over and I start to seize. Ok, not quite but uuugggh! He's still going.........Denzel kills a gang of bikers and then they fall through a trap door and run out of fuel and somehow wind up in San Francisco at Alcatraz & no matter how many times I say, "How did it END?" he just keeps going. I realize that if had made a game of it & taken a drink of beer each time he uttered the word "Denzel" I would be passed out & no longer care. But it was over breakfast & I was having MILK.

I DID SURVIVE. And I think Denzel did too but I honestly can't remember. I just know that last night I came in from taking 4 boys (age 8-11) to see Jeff Kinney, of Diary of a Wimpy Kid fame & I walked in and plopped down on the loveseat with Chuck & a preview came on tv for a NEW movie starring Denzel Washington & I almost bolted out the door, drove back downtown & got back in line to see Jeff Kinney with 500 other kids.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween HELL

Halloween was for us, the start of a week of HELL. Now don't go preaching to me or trying to get me to put things in perspective with tales of death & terminal diagnosis & mass foreclosures. YOU WEREN'T HERE. It was bad.

The ball got rolling the night before Halloween when Chuck and I went to our neighborhood block party. I was in a good mood, fresh off of 2 hours of gazing at Gary Allan in concert the previous night & we threw caution to the wind & decided to do something the boys have begged us to do for years --- dress up. I was a chick from the late 60's/early 70's (no one could agree) & after ditching the hippie wig I bought him, Chuck went as Francisco, the Chilean Miner. The night was fun. Until we got home & Chuck decided he had been run over by a train and oh, God, the misery and the inability to EVEN TALK because his throat hurt so bad and an earache and please LORD, don't let this be the Apalachicola nightmare all over again....And for Christ's sake, honey, you do realize you WEREN'T actually in the mine for 69 days, right? So on Monday I forced him to the doctor and he was treated for strep. Although painful, that's what you want, right? Because even though, yes, there are deadly strains, generally a couple doses of Amoxicillin and you're back among the living. Quick. Easy. Get on with your life. NEVER at the Buttry home. And I say that because early Monday morning at oh, say 2:30, Chuck yells to me on the sofa, where I have taken refuge from his giant nasal cavity & says, "Wyatt threw up in the bathroom." Sure enough. Never IN the toilet. Ever. Lots of Lysol, 409, bleach and a roll or two of paper towels later, that's cleaned up & he's back in bed. (Not Chuck - he never LEFT the bed.) My hopes of the cause being too much Halloween candy are dashed when he gets up and is sick a few more times in the night. No school for him. 24 hours and he'll be fine, right? NEVER at the Buttry home. He spikes a fever, cries that his eyes are hurting and running and that his throat hurts too. Strep test - POSITIVE. But that's easy, cause all he needs is Amoxicillin, right? Apparently so. In a day we were able to pronounce him cured. AAAhhhhh, so glad things are back to normal. But that nighttime cough Brooks is exhibiting is making me a little scared to let my guard down.

With good reason, OF COURSE. Because by the next morning, he sounds like a stranded seal & his eyes are swollen to near slits. Back to the doctor - strep test POSITIVE. He stays home and luckily he and his sister are out of school Thursday and Friday for teacher meetings. We can all rest and GET WELL, RIGHT? Wyatt goes back on Thursday, as he goes to private school & they aren't out like public. About 3:00 p.m., as I'm leaving the carpool at Wyatt's school, I get a call from Ryder, our daughter, who is watching Brooks. "WHERE ARE YOU? DAD'S PUKING!!!!" Confused, I'm all like, "Honey, Dad's in Hot Springs at the AEF convention." She responds with, "UH, right now he's in the bathroom really sick and I'm taking Brooks and heading for Baker Park!" Now since his claim to fame in college was that he once threw up on the CEILING and could wake neighbors two houses down, all that is going through my mind is "Fuck my life. This is unreal. What in God's name have I done to deserve this???" Sorry, I apologize (not really) but that's what went through my mind. I tend to his needs, God help me and think, "Well, tonight the kids and I are going to a fundraiser at Panera Bread so we'll leave him to get this out of his system and I'll go have a nice chicken salad sandwich!" So eventually Ryder, her poor friend, Lizzie, who can now be added to the 'list of people traumatized by hearing Chuck puke' (which is growing mighty long, I might add), and Brooks return from the park and I head for the bank, my last necessary errand, 'cause we all know I have great luck when I go to the bank drive-thru, right? I start the car, shut the door and Brooks RUNS out to the car and says, "I think I'm gonna be sick." And all I could say was, "You have GOT to be shitting me. Head for the bathroom." And somewhere at that point I think I cried, I know I yelled & I'm pretty sure I prayed. And do not lecture me about the order of those three. YOU WEREN'T HERE.

We didn't go to Panera Bread. I never even ate dinner that night because when you all but have a target on your head that you're next in the execution line, why waste good bread, right? Ryder got the hell out of Dodge and left with her friend and honestly, we saw her less than 15 minutes total between Thursday and Sunday. And I didn't blame her in the least. I just said, "Have a good time, check in with a text now and then & call if you need money funneled to you", which she did. Basically the same thing her dad tells me when I go shopping in Dallas.

My house stunk, my kids were cranky, I was a total neurotic bitch and my husband was all of the above PLUS dramatic because if you think there ain't no dramatic person like a sick man, I give you a man who was the only son in his family & had a mom who doted on him. SHOOT ME NOW. Oh, and there was Ryder's suffering too - "I'm at the mall!" "We're at Fantastic China!" "I got the cutest earrings!" "Is Dad still pukin'?" "Did he get paid?" "We're at Buffalo Wild Wings and oh, I'm spending the night at Skylar's! See ya'!" Oh, to be a teen again. I adore her. She is me at 15. Except I was dating her dad by then.

So far, so good. The women in the family have proven their strength & I know I'm going to wish I hadn't said that, as far as karma goes. The men in the family are better but please tell me I've paid for whatever I did for a long, long time. Please.