Thursday, November 01, 2018
Today I am grateful for Himself. Yes, the actual, now almost-at least-locally-famous guy turns 83 today and I am so glad that I’ve been a part of half of that time. Look at the recent picture, taken at our late Anniversary dinner in Wisconsin Dells. I mean, really, does that look like an 83 year old guy? I say nope! I keep him young. Just ask me! Or him.
He’s been blessed/cursed with translucent, fish-belly-white Irish skin that needs constant attention by the dermatologist. His kids asked him if it doesn’t bother him that he has to keep having little things carved off? “No,” he says. “I figure if I gotta leave this world one square inch at a time it isn’t a bad way to go.”
The man cannot remember to push in his chair at the table, turn off the closet light, or close the medicine cabinet, but he literally remembers ever single joke, story, anecdote he’s ever heard. Don’t believe me? Ask him for one. Pick any topic, willy-nilly, clear out of the blue and that guy will pop up with a story or joke that is completely applicable. Accept the challenge, then stand back, because if you’re in our circle you’ve probably heard it before. A hundred times.
He also has total recall of landmarks and roads and bridges and tunnels and what is where and how it’s changed since the last time we passed that area. For the last few years, whenever we go anywhere together, including many trips to Wisconsin, I drive. But I couldn’t get there by myself without a GPS. I swear. So he’s it.
We’ll be driving along and he’ll say, “Soon you’re going to hit that part of the road where the highways divide and you have to stay left and then get on a hard right to be on the road to wherever. Really? I’ve done it dozens of times, yet don’t recall that at all. Not one bit. But he does. Even when we travel someplace where we have only been once or twice. . .maybe 10 years ago. . .he knows what road turns into what and what bridge we need to take. Amazing.
Since the onset of normal male aging and all that implies to the prostate, he also knows the location of every McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s in a two county area. Maybe the entire United States, but I could be exaggerating with that. “Can we stop at the next McDonald’s so I can pee?” he’ll ask. I remind him we are in the countryside and there is nary a McDonald’s in sight so he better hold his water or find a tree. Then, as if by magic, a McDonald’s pops up like Xanadu right in the middle of nowhere. “How did you know that was there?” I ask. He must have an internal GPS for fast-food-pee-places, too.
In the 36 years we are married I have never had to pick up one article of his clothing or complain about his shoes lying around. He always hangs things up and puts his shoes on the rack. Always. Every night! Even in the high-party days where he might have been over-served, everything was either folded or put back on a hanger. It was fun to watch him maneuver that hanger in a state of inebriation, as I was tossing my stuff on chairs all over the house and tripping over my shoes strewn everywhere.
Himself doesn’t have the energy level he once had. His fingers are gnarly and point every which-a-way. He jokes about being a series of extra parts and expensive additions, but his attitude and sense of humor are great. And that’s more important than all the rest, so I’ll take it. So will he. So has he. For 83 years!