Posts Tagged ‘Manic Monday’

When I was married (at least two lifetimes ago) my husband and I shared everything, even the food off of our plate. We gladly gave each other a bite of whatever we happened to be eating. This was just the way it was with us. We didn’t know any different. It wasn’t a big deal.

My husband’s best friend from high school got married about a month before we did. The four of us became good friends. Molly had been a law student at Stanford while I was an undergrad there so I knew her better than I knew her husband who lived on the east coast and visited only rarely during that time. Once they married, they moved to San Diego and my husband and I lived in Santa Monica. When they came to town to visit her family, we would often get together with them. I would cook dinner for all of us. When we visited them in San Diego, we would often go out to eat as Molly didn’t cook much.

One night, we were at a restaurant in Old Town San Diego. The four of us had each ordered something different. Each of us was enjoying our food and commenting on how great the food was. The three of them were talking law as they were all lawyers. I listened and participated in the conversation. By then I was no stranger to “law topics” so I chimed in with comments and questions. In the middle of it all, Louie asked Molly for a bite of her food. She refused. She made a big deal about refusing loudly and, in my opinion, rudely. All he wanted was one taste. No said Molly. No way. The conversation went on and a few minutes later, my husband reached onto my plate with his fork and took a taste. I didn’t even notice. I just went about eating my food and listening to the conversation. Then he reached over for another bite and I nudged my plate toward him for easier access. We went on talking then Louie turned to Molly and said something along the lines of “Hey! Molly you should take lessons from Corina. Look! She lets her husband eat off of her plate. I’ve been watching and he takes food from her and she doesn’t get mad at him!”

I hadn’t even noticed that he was eating off of my plate because we did it all the time. Molly and Louie just watched in. She claimed that her food was her food and if he wanted it he should order his own. He replied that all he wanted was a taste. We just watched as they argued and I think we both became a little self-conscious. We wondered if we were the ones who were wrong. Maybe we were the strange ones. Maybe we were supposed to deny each other that one little taste that we were enjoying ourselves.

I am reminded of that night’s dinner, more than thirty years ago, and I still wonder if we were the odd ones.

(This was inspired by the prompt at Manic Monday.)

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Ripping through the wrapping paper on the large square box. Corina found tissue paper inside of the package. She pulled the tissue paper out, patiently, carefully. Her father was watching. She hadn’t expected anything from him but now that she was finding only tissue paper, she had to wonder if he was getting back at her for not having invited him until the last minute. It hadn’t been her fault, though. Her mother had said that if Corina invited her father, she wouldn’t go so she had not invited him. Then five days before graduation, Corina’s mother called her to tell her that her father was very hurt to not have gotten an invitation and that Corina should invite him. If only she had not listened to her mother, she would not have ripped her father’s heart with the hurt of exclusion. Luckily, she had been able to find someone with an extra ticket for graduation and her father had been included.

Finally, Corina got through the tissue paper to find a pile of two dollar bills. When she was done counting them, there were fifty of them. Her father had managed to give her one hundred dollars for graduation and he had gone through the trouble of going to the bank to get crisp, new bills. She was glad she had been able to include him and not just because of the gift he had brought, but because he was her father and although their family had been ripped apart for years, she still loved him.

[This is a Manic Monday post; today’s word was RIP.]

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Manic Mondays Kitty Logo

How had it happened? Everything had been wonderful.  Or so it had seemed.  They had been together for several years.  Barbara avoided confrontations with Chuck; avoided contradicting him because she had once caught just a tiny glimpse of his temper and had not wanted to incur his wrath.

Barbara was fine with it.  She liked having him in her life.  She liked being seen with Chuck.  Barbara knew that her friends envied her.  So she was fine walking on tiptoes around him.  Until that day when it all fell apart.

They were in the car with Kerry and Bob, Chuck’s friends. They often went out together.  Chuck was driving and talking.  He took the wrong turn and didn’t realize it right away.  They were going to be late for their reservation and Barbara knew all four of them were really hungry so she told Chuck he had taken the wrong turn and he argued with her.  Barbara explained to him where the turn had been and what he’d done wrong.  That’s when he showed his explosive temper.  He called her a fuckin’ bitch.  Chuck blamed her for not having told him and for their lateness.  He blamed her for it all.  Barbara couldn’t believe it.  She tried to apologize but the words caught in her throat.  From the back seat, Kerry said it was okay, she and Bob weren’t that hungry.  They could go some place else.  But Chuck roared on and drove erratically.  He yelled at Barbara for crying and called her a big cry baby.  Then he turned to Kerry and told her it was probably because Barbara was on a diet and that she didn’t care if anyone else ate.   Chuck said Barbara was a fat cow and that’s why she had to diet.

When the car came to the next stop light, Barbara’s tears exploded and she threw the car door open, running out of the car and away from it, behind it so he couldn’t come after her without hitting the car behind him.  Barbara ran as fast as she could then ducked into a coffee shop where she asked the waitress if she could sit in the darkened room in the back.  The room that sat empty and unused.  Seeing Barbara’s state, the waitress agreed and pointed the way.  So Barbara sat back there sipping her coffee and thinking.  Thinking and admitting finally, that she was better off without Chuck.  She sat in the dark for a long, long time.

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