Friday, April 15, 2016

A Pie in the Face

I know without asking Mr. Wonderful that I am not a perfect wife.  Still, I can point to a few Herculean efforts over the years. Ten moves - all but one for his job - which is roughly three years of hanging curtains. I gave birth to three lovely daughters. No small effort, that. And wonder of wonders, I am finally a college basketball fan.

So, dear Lord, how can it be that one seemingly small shortcoming from more than forty Thanksgivings ago remains my all-time epic fail?

Yes, the PECAN PIE!

A bit of background: My childhood Thanksgivings consisted of Aunt June meticulously planning every detail, then sprinting between the kitchen and dining room to ensure hot gravy. Later there were pies.

When Mr. Wonderful and I made our first married home at Ft. Lost-in-the-Woods, family was far off, so "orphans" got together. But our celebrations were very different - as in less. Much less. The low point was arriving for dinner one Christmas to be told, “grab a paper plate and help yourself to what’s left on the stove. We got hungry – we ate.”

Still, there were bright spots.  The best was a Thanksgiving we spent with fellow Hoosiers and their family. True, the quarters were, like ours, long ready for bulldozing, but the food was delicious and our hosts treated us like family.

I had baked pies. As we said our good-byes, I insisted that our hosts keep the remaining pie - a bit of pecan - so their family could enjoy it with the other leftovers. Mr. Wonderful seemed supportive of my impulsive generosity - until we completed the thirty second walk to our quarters.


I remember his lament as if it were yesterday.  Why? Because I probably heard it again yesterday. And last week.  And every time we see pie on a menu.  And every time someone mentions pie. And when our three oldest grandchildren decided that pecan pie is their new favorite and there were no leftovers.

You get the picture.

Never mind that for more than forty years I have made pecan pie every Thanksgiving (except the year that my kitchen was torn down to the studs).  Never mind that I awake at dawn to bake the pies before putting the turkey into the oven so the pie crusts are just-baked flaky. Never mind that the pecan pies I bake after all these years of experience are surely superior to that first effort!

Nope. The memory of that first pecan pie haunts Mr. Wonderful, and as a result, me.

So, IN HINDSIGHT, here is my advice for young marrieds: you may be able to give away his too-short-1970’s-basketball-shorts.  You may even be able to hide his Mario Andretti poster.

But pray, dear newlyweds, that you NEVER GIVE AWAY HIS PECAN PIE!!!!!!!!!.





Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It Made Sense At The Time

For single parents and moms or dads with a spouse who travels on business, Section Y (why?) of Murphy's Law states: "All serious injuries to minor children shall occur during one-parent circumstances."

I won't say Mr. Wonderful was never home, but I once got a troubling phone call from D1's teacher. The class was discussing parents' jobs and D1 announced her dad "packs a suitcase and leaves."

And some kids are frequent fliers in the emergency room - like ours, for example.

But despite Mr. Murphy's crummy law, one day Mr. Wonderful and I were both home when IT happened. D1 and D2 were out riding their bikes, when D2 burst through the door in tears. "D1 had a BIKE WRECK and now she's been KIDNAPPED!!"

We had just enough time to almost panic when a pickup truck (a neighbor D2 did not know) pulled up to the curb and unloaded the battered D1 and her bike.

So much blood!  Carefully, we laid D1 on the the kitchen floor and looked for the wound.  It didn't take long.  Amid the scrapes and scratches, D1 had a big gash in her mouth - above her front teeth.  And like most head wounds, it was a gusher. She needed medical attention pronto.

I am not proud of this, but I looked at Mr. Wonderful and said, "Thank God you're home. You can take her to the ER!"  His reply? "I can't - I'm not dressed for it."

So I scooped up D1 and dashed to the car. And to the ER. And to the dentist. And did I mention it was a holiday? (That was why Mr. Wonderful was home!!)

That evening, I took a hard look at my spouse and asked if he had, um, changed his clothes. Nope, same T-shirt and shorts he had worn all day. I looked down to see what I was wearing that was so much more appropriate for the emergency runs. Yep, T-shirt and shorts.

I must admit that Mr. Wonderful stayed home with D1 for a few days until the swelling and bruising abated (I know what you're thinking - I am referring to the injuries on D1!) and she could return to school without evoking abuse accusations.

And as to hindsight, I got nothin.' Apparently your brain leaves your head when your kid is really hurt.

Fact is, it made sense at the time.