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69: Helping Harry

Helping Harry A habit is something you can do without thinking — which is why most of us have so many of them. ~Frank A. Clark I’ve spent the last twenty-two years searching for my husband’s keys. Seriously. Every day of my life, I get up, start the coffee and look for Harry’s keys. The problem is, I don’t know why Harry loses them so often. This is a man who can remember exactly how much money we spent on our very first vacation together. I’m not kidding. Frankly, if it weren’t for the fact that we have a photo album filled with pictures of the trip, I’d never remember going. But he cannot remember where he left his keys. I don’t think I need to tell you that it’s making me crazy. Look, how many places can you leave your keys? It’s not like we live in Buckingham Palace. Although, if we did live in Buckingham Palace chances are a butler would be in charge of Harry’s keys and life would definitely be easier. That aside, I have tried to help Harry. Look, I don’t want to get up every morning and fling pillows around the family room in a desperate search for his car keys. Or his house keys. Don’t get me started on that. I mean, the man cannot remember where he puts his keys — so he has two key... (more)
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70: No Doubt About it

No Doubt About It Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone. ~Anthony Burgess No doubt you’ve heard of Doubting Thomas. I live with him. Or at least I’m married to one of his descendants, Doubting Dale. Let me just say that our wedding vows should have read: “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, til snoring do us part.” Because it did… part us. One part of us is positively certain that one of us snores. The other part sincerely doubts it. For years, our morning conversation would go something like this: “Honey, I know I don’t snore, but did I snore last night?” “No doubt about it, unless I dreamt that I was sleeping with Darth Vader… again,” I’d reply. Soon my subtle hints took on a note of sarcasm. “Honey, I know I don’t snore, but did I snore last night?” “No doubt about it, unless you think I actually prefer sleeping in the garage with a pool noodle wrapped around my ears.” Then, since sarcasm seemed to be wasted on him, I tried telling him the truth: “Your snoring was so loud, it made the china rattle in the dining room buffet, next door at the neighbor’s!” But he just wouldn’t believe it, even... (more)
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71: Doing the Chicken Soup Dance

Doing the Chicken Soup Dance An expert is a person who tells you a simple thing in a confused way in such a fashion as to make you think the confusion is your own fault. ~William Castle We met on Match.com on December 8, 2008. Harvey was in New York; I was in Florida. The odds of our getting together were almost unimaginable. Yet here we were, two eighty-two-year-olds who stumbled onto each other on the Internet and were instantly smitten. I tried to follow the rules of the dating service… no telephone numbers, no addresses, pure anonymity… at least until I was sure that I wasn’t talking to an axe murderer, as my daughter suggested. But Harvey was almost too good to be true. Handsome, witty, a former executive at CBS, a widower looking for love. Our e-mails via Match.com burned up the airwaves. We were writing day and night, and after a week, he was begging for my phone number and address. “I need to hear your voice,” he pleaded. And after a brief resistance, I gave him my phone number. He called immediately, and his voice was warm and reassuring. We talked for more than an hour… about our backgrounds, our families, our careers… then I took time out. “I’ll call you this afternoon,” he said tenderly. “I won... (more)
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72: Homecomings

Homecomings A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short. ~Andre Maurois The dress was cranberry and rust plaid, somewhat bold for me. It had been a splurge. I’d yearned to feel sophisticated, and this dress somehow did it. There was a reason for the indulgence: I was a young bride about to meet my husband’s college buddies at the big Rutgers University homecoming game. It all felt momentous in our brand new marriage. We drove up the New Jersey Turnpike that day in our used Chevy convertible, but I wouldn’t let Victor put the top down for fear of ruining my carefully arranged hair. I’d slept the whole night before in hair rollers to achieve just the right look. I was nervous. At twenty-one, I barely knew myself, let alone how to behave in my new role as somebody’s wife. “Wife” had such a grown-up ring to it, but grown up was not what I was feeling that day. Like a hapless eighth grader, I was worried about whether these guys — and their wives — would like me. We climbed up to our seats, and there they were, six couples who all seemed perfectly nice. But I kept mixing up their names, and who went with whom. Besides, it turned out that the plaid dress itched. That year marked the beginning of a precious... (more)