Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When We Used to Be in Love


My husband is two terrible, horrible things. He is a lawyer AND a lobbyist. I rarely say this out loud. Usually, when people ask what he does, I tell them he works in the government affairs department at a law-firm. This is completely true and sounds pleasant.

When people ask what I do, I don’t ever say housewife. I say I am the manager of a fledgling but promising terrorist organization and I have four subordinates to whom I give orders. This does not sound pleasant, but it does sound a lot more interesting than housewife.

This evening, I accompanied my lawyer-lobbyist husband of nearly ten years to the ancient (as far as American cities are concerned) city of Buffalo, where we attended a fundraiser for a local senator aboard a harbor boat. I.e., we went on a booze cruise. Ella had a blast.

No, we didn’t take Ella or any other young child. We procured babysitting and so this event was sort of a date. Occasionally, John’s job comes with some perks, and this evening happened to be a rather lovely event. Sometimes, John has to go to affairs where he is required to “shmooze” clients or politicians. I do not do well at these affairs. I do not mingle. Shy people generally hate making inane small talk with people they don’t know. It makes us feel squeamish inside. When forced to do these things, I generally find excuses to go to the bathroom, where I linger, avoiding the loquacious crowd.

We had to WALK THROUGH the protestors to get to the boat. This is also something shy people don’t relish doing. Luckily, there are very few times in life one must walk through a crowd of angry protestors.

These particular protestors seemed to lack passion. They didn’t really pay attention to US, pers se, but directed their rather drone chants at the senator. Walking through the paltry crowd did make me feel three things I know I am not: elite, political, and unabashed. I felt strangely compelled to shout out, “You don’t know me! You don’t know me!”

I don’t even know what the protestors were protesting against. They formed a group outside of the marina and waved rather vague protest signs at us, something about the federal reserve? What is your local senator going to do about the federal reserve, people? They were white and middle-aged and basically a harmless lot. You know, the sort of people who show up at town hall meetings railing about Obama’s health care plan.

John didn’t really know many people at this particular fundraiser, so I didn’t have to play little wifey-poo who mingles. We sat at a table with a couple who had been married 45 years (makes our ten seem… paltry) and ate a plentiful meal of ziti and salad and cheesy potatoes and white wine. We rose our glasses, or plastic cups, rather, in the direction of the protestors, because we like to pretend that we are rabble-rousers.

The boat ride about the harbor was fun. Only two people got so drunk that they jumped off the boat and we were not invaded by Somali pirates, which is always a good thing. John and I argued over which was the superior city, Buffalo or Rochester, and I won, of course.

The best part of the whole evening was that I didn’t even get sick. I wore my anti-nausea wrist bands and chewed ginger gum, which tastes like puke, by the way. This bodes very well for our cruise. (Not the ginger gum tasting like puke, but me not getting seasick.)

On the drive home, we thought about visiting our old apartment in Amherst and decided against it. We reminisced about our early years of marriage, when John was in law school and I was trying to decide what to do with my life. (I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up! I KNOW! Let’s have a baby even though we’re practically destitute so that I can postpone that decision for a while!) We lived in the ugliest duplex that was, if nothing else, pretty darn spacious.
Ahhh, the good old days when we had to shoo our drug-dealing neighbors off our driveway (strangely, their preferred spot for dealing their hasheesh) and we slept in on the weekends and watched tons of movies on John’s school breaks and took weekend jaunts to visit friends and family… back in those days when we used to be in love.

This is our really stupid joke for when we reminisce about our days of yore.

“John, remember when you used to take me to the theater? You know, when we used to be in love?”

“Hey, Holly! Remember when we used to make out during movies? You know, when we used to be in love?”

“Hey John, remember when you used to make pancakes on Saturday mornings? You know, when we used to be in love?”

“Holly, remember when you used to shave your legs on a semi-regular basis? You know, when we used to be in love?”

Obviously, we still consider ourselves “in love” though it is probable that my not shaving my legs often has taken some of the passion from our marriage. (Also, the no more pancakes on Saturday mornings? That does not invoke passion either.)

However… it is, I believe, very likely that in another ten years I will say the following:

“Hey you. Remember that fun boat ride we took in the Buffalo harbor? Remember when you put your arms around me because I got chilly even though we were in front of work-people? The one where I waved while you made muscle-arms at the people who passed us in speed boats? And remember how on the way home I sang Disney princess songs and you didn’t even turn on the radio to drown me out? You know… when we used to be in love?”

4 comments:

Julie said...

Hi Holly, I know I don't know you too well, I am a friend of Mary's from Roberts...but I read your blog occasionally. I loved this post... so cute, so true. Thanks!
Julie

Anonymous said...

"The amount of women who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one’s clean linen in public." -- Oscar Wilde

btobey said...

Ginger PILLS, not ginger gum. :)

MGBR said...

I was just a few weeks pregnant with Lucy when I discovered Ginger Altoids. I tucked a tin under my robe at NES graduation. My fellow grads saw me popping one into my mouth and urged me to pass them down the row so everyone could enjoy some refreshment during our Commencement exercises. The tin snaked its way down one row and back another before returning to me, along with the message: “Hey, thanks for the gasoline-flavored mints.”