Friday, October 28, 2011

What is Patience?

Is it resisting the instinct to blow your horn when you're running late and some idiot doesn't notice the light turned green because he's texting? Or is it sitting calmly without any desire to ram him? Do thoughts or actions determine patience?

Over the years I've learned not to say "hurry up," "get out of my way" or even "please shut up" out loud. I move over behind slow moving trucks to let the tailgater get by without lifting a finger. I wait quietly in line while employees discuss last night adventures. I resist the urge to run over people who conduct reunions in the grocery aisle.  I try to listen and make appropriate comments when I have absolutely no interest in the topic being discussed.  I bring a book to the doctors and when I travel so I don't have to make polite conversation with strangers, but I've learned not to growl when they talk to me anyway. I've even managed to moderate my facial muscles, substituting a smile and saying "no problem" when everything within me is screaming.

But if the movie and dialog running in my head represent my level of patience, then I've failed miserably. In my head, the tailgater is getting pulled over by a cop, I lean over the counter and grab the talkative employee by hair, the people in the aisle scatter like bowling pins when I ram them with my cart. In my head, I tell people exactly what I'm thinking complete with expletives.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today is our anniversary.

Forty-six years ago today, my boyfriend and I snuck away to Tijuana to get married. We told no one, no family members, no friends. We dished out $25, signed something written in Spanish, then the man shook out hands and told us we were married.  There was no ceremony. He handed us a receipt written in English stating we had paid for a marriage license and explained that it had to go to Mexico City to be registered and then it would be mailed to us.

Al bought me a ring. While trying to find our way back over the border, we got stopped by a cop for going the wrong way down a one-way street. Al bribed him with the money we had left and he let us go. Flat broke, our only choice was to spend out wedding night in my apartment.

 Five days later my husband left for San Antonio, Texas for basic training in the Air Force. Not long after, I moved back home to Las Vegas. We never received the license. Maybe it got lost in the mail when I moved. We'll never know. Without proof of marriage we couldn't get the extra money the Air Force provided to married men. So at the completion of basic training, my husband flew to Vegas and we got married again on Christmas Day.

Were we ever really married the first time? I have no idea.  Still, because this is the date we thought we got married, this is the day we celebrate. Besides Christmas already had enough going for it. After all this time, it doesn't really matter. The important thing is that we are still together.

Al stayed in the Air Force for 24 years.  We suffered the loneliness of separation many times. Waiting in the states while he fought in Vietnam is an experience I never want to repeat. We argued, loved and raised three children while moving on the average of every three years. We never lived anywhere close to our family.

Although I didn't walk down an aisle in an expensive dress, eat wedding cake or throw flowers, it remains the best day of my life.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I love fall. Around here, it's the time of the year when you can sit outside and enjoy the sun. After a summer of darting from the air conditioned house to an air conditioned car, it feels good to be able to actually remain outside for more than five minutes. And now that I have a regular gardener, I don't have to feel guilty about sitting on the porch rather than weeding the flower beds.

However, fall also means Halloween. It's not that I have any objection to the actual holiday. I like handing out treats to the kiddies and there was a time when I looked forward to putting on a costume. When I worked at Circus Circus in Reno, our HR office coordinated our costumes.  One year we were a suit of cards. I think I was the three of hearts. In the hotel costume parade we even managed a very cute shuffle. One year we all dressed like M&Ms and I was the bag. I still have those costumes.

What I hate is having nothing on TV but recycled horror films for the entire month. I don't mind being scared, but today's horror films are more about blood and violence than spine tingling. Why do people want to watch the gore of sawed off limbs and people hacking up other people? Maybe it's a macho thing, you know, a challenge to see if you can sit through the whole thing without throwing up.
Not my idea of fun.  Give me an old Hitchcock suspense or even the hilarity of Abbot and Costello facing the mummy or Dracula. Now that's entertainment.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm Alive!

At last I have conquered the cold! Well, not for everyone and not even permanently for me, just this last bout of it. After two weeks of sniffling, hacking, and swearing, (Yes, swearing. I'm not sick often, so I'm never able to accept the indignity of it happening to me) I was finally able to breathe all night without the aid of OTC drugs. Gone is the lack of energy and drugged out feeling that makes me want to curl up on the couch and whimper. I'm alive. The sun is shining. Life is great.

Now if only my husband felt the same way. Unfortunately I gave the dreaded germs to him. The good news is he is a much better patient than me. In fact, Al is the perfect patient for someone like me who has only minimal pampering or nursing instincts. He just wants to be left alone to sleep.  I can do that. My idea of nursing is making sure he takes pills and periodically checking to see if he's still living. Hand holding, sponging the brow with a cool cloth and soothing words are just not in my repertoire.