A humor series on navigating this difficult time
Today, for my Wake-Up Call newsletter (subscribe here!), I’m sharing another installment of a humor series from my friend Pam Goldman, centering on a woman named Ramona, who tries to help… in her own way.
K. was such an interesting guy when we married 28 years ago. (He would instantly correct me by saying “I’ve been interesting for 34 years. We’ve been together 34 years). And he would be right. The fact is he’s been interesting throughout our time together no matter how you calculate it.
I can say, somewhat immodestly if I may, that I think people who have known us would universally describe us as “an interesting couple.” And so it gives me no joy to report that finally, in this pandemic we have hit a wall. Exhibit A: Last night’s dinner conversation:
K: Do you think we have more than half a bottle of ketchup?
R: Should I add it to the Instacart list?
K: Measure it first.
R: I am not measuring the ketchup.
K: Fine. I will.
R: You do that if it makes you happy.
K: It does.
R: Seriously?! Then while you’re at it why don’t you measure the mayo and the mustard.
K: I already did.
(CHEW, CHEW, CHEW)
R: Was the temperature okay upstairs?
K: Fine. Downstairs?
R: Fine. Did you see the cardinal out the window?
R: I took the recyclables out.
K: I love you.
R: Your turn on Thursday.
K: I brought the hamper down.
R: You did the laundry?
K: I brought the hamper down.
R: Sheets and towels?
K: No. Just what was in the hamper.
K: You didn’t say anything about sheets and towels.
We used to turn off JEOPARDY during dinner. Now we turn it on.
Just want to share a quick K. story. (I couldn’t make this up). He helped “cook” dinner one night this week by opening a can of Le Sueur peas. As he attempted to pour them into a small pot on the stovetop he said, “What’s wrong with this? Nothing’s coming out.” I asked if he had opened the can. “Of course I opened it,” he said. I asked “What did you do with the top?” He turned the can right side up. “Oh,” he said.
He took the top out and threw it in the trash. Do you see why I love this man?
Would you agree with me that men are limited? I know that sounds harsh but once they’ve procreated doesn’t their functionality diminish? We all know they work hard to feed their families just like most male mammals but do other female mammals have to put up with a lot of their stuff? I don’t think so.
I’m not saying we haven’t differentiated ourselves from other mammals since developing the two-income family, but even with that, women bear more than 50 percent of the load. In addition to working outside the home, a majority of women do the shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, buying of gifts, arranging of social engagements, planning of weddings, birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, graduations, as well as getting the oil changed and calling his mother.
We manage all of the above and are expected to effortlessly (good genes) or expensively (Botox) maintain our bodies (Spanx) and souls (Sauvignon Blanc) to the extent that strangers, if queried, would guess without flinching that we must certainly be under 50.
We are in fact, women married to men-children. Coddled by their mothers, worshipped by their sisters, lied to by their grandmothers who convinced them they could win any girl they desired, including Miss America or any job they coveted, including President of the United States.
I’m not suggesting I don’t love men. I do. Especially K. He loves me without makeup and he’s certainly had time to soak in my real face during this pandemic. In fact, he tells me daily I’m more beautiful than I was before corona… and makes me believe it!
I don’t know what I’d do without K., especially now. He coughed three times when he woke yesterday morning (changing my body chemistry instantly). What if? It’s everywhere. Why not us? I prayed for another ‘new normal’ day together, meaning having breakfast separately, working separately, grabbing lunch separately and at the end of the day sharing scintillating dinner conversation (see above), followed by binge watching Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago CVS, Chicago Shoe Repair, etc….. together.
How about this weather? Has it been a non-spring or what? Is it raining where you are? Non-stop grey, dreary days, not a ray of sunshine in sight where we are. Not exactly a mood booster. At least on sunny days K. and I can go outside and walk the yard, much like prisoners, which we are. I would garden and weed if the ground wasn’t so soaked. I would take a long hike if the trails weren’t so wet. I’d buy a first class ticket to Tahiti if pigs could fly! Grrrrrr. Garrrrumph.
It’s almost time for FaceTime with the grandkids. GaGa (moi) and Gramps (K.) do a daily puppet show after their naps (his and mine, that is). Gramps is Cookie Monster and I am Elmo and Abby Cadabby. (See, I’m still doing more!)
These days even The Muppets’ dialogue beats our dinner conversation.
Pam Goldman is a writer, therapist, wife, mother and (young) grandmother. Her work has been published in The New York Times and VIVA Magazine. She is completing her first book, titled LEFT.
This originally appeared on Medium.com