Monthly Archives: April 2013

PROMISE ME

It was 4:30 am and the phone rang.  Dear Daughter said “Mom, I’m chickening out.  I just don’t think I can do it.”  “Do it, I said, do it or you will be making the biggest mistake of your life, I guarantee it. Promise me you’re going to do it.  Promise me that you will leave this morning after he leaves for work.  PROMISE ME!  I am not hanging up this phone until you do.”

Parents are those, who in the course of their child’s life, cheer them on when they’re scared but jump into the deep end of the pool; sit white knuckled as they ride in the passenger seat next to their newly licensed driver, and miss the sound of their voice in the house when they leave home.  Parents are also the ones that go breathless when the phone rings and Dear Daughter says “Mom!  He’s really gone crazy this time, he’s got the gun and is screaming that he’s going to end it all, right here, right now!”

An exceptionally lovely young woman fell in love with a handsome young man whose past history of rage and violent behavior did not become known before the commitment had been made and a baby was on the way.  Violent incidents had become a way of life for her- episodes of rage of every sort- broken glass on the bed, insults, being hosed with cold water while holding her new camera, pouring beer on her head, and threats of every sort in their vehicle.  It was a very short honeymoon that quickly erupted into something else, something worse.  She hoped he would change.  He did not.

At one point, she called home in complete hysteria, calling from her closet.  It was 11:30 pm and a break in was in the process of happening.  She was alone, the house was secluded and she had already called 911 and they weren’t there yet.  She screamed that she could hear someone trying to kick the door in.  She screamed that they were trying to kick in the sliding glass door.  She screamed that they had thrown something through it and were in the house.  Then the phone went dead.

Odd that when her husband was called at work later by the deputies, that it had taken him over twenty minutes to get home- a five minute drive.  Odd that he wasn’t upset that his wife and baby daughter could have been killed if she hadn’t scared them off by screaming and barking like a wild dog.  We remain convinced he had arranged to have her killed.  The baby still talks about the “bad man” and she doesn’t like closets.

Five days on a Greyhound bus later she arrived in Seattle, with a tired two year old in her arms, a backpack, three worn out suitcases, a cardboard box wrapped with duct tape and a Hefty bag filled with blankets and toys.  Exhausted, dying for a shower and sick of gas station food.  She fell into my arms and we cried.  That beautiful blonde and her baby girl were easily the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.  God bless you, honey.  Welcome home.

Epilogue:  Dear Daughter returned to college, graduated and is a Registered Nurse.  Granddaughter is happy and healthy.  Don’t live in fear.  There is help available for those suffering from the pain and humiliation of domestic violence.  Men, women and children can all be victims.  Don’t be silent- tell someone-  anyone. Get help to live a better life- one without fear.  It’s not easy but I know you can do it.

Former violent husband committed suicide 12/30/12.  Gunshots to the head.

 

 

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JOANIE GETS DRESSED

Oh the joys of dressing each and every day for work!  Generally Joanie has no idea of what she will wear until five minutes before she must desperately find her purse, her briefcase, her car keys and her ferry pass, give Teddy a quick pat on the head and dash out the door.  As you can imagine, this little program is full of potential fashion disasters.

She has an enormous closet, and even another room (or two) where she stores her clothes, and occasionally she becomes, ahem, quite creative.  Years ago during her mild obsession with Chinese items  led her, unfortunately, to a brilliant red Chinese embroidered top and a pair of black silky pants.  She felt quite chic the day she debuted, until, at lunch, she was at the Ann Taylor store near her office and the clerk- apparently unaware of Joanie’s up- to- the minute fashion sense said to her “Would you like me to start a room for you?”  To which Joanie replied “Oh sure, that’s fine” and the clerk replied “So you are on your lunch break then!  Which Chinese restaurant do you work at?”  Quite a moment.

Then there was the time that Joanie, having felt a little rich apparently (this was in something like 1985), purchased a beautiful blouse at Nordstrom, cream with small polka dots, long sleeved and it had a bow which tied at the neck.  Joanie was so impressed with the blouse!  She thought to herself as she wore it, time after time, that the makers of the blouse were so clever to have had the buttons on the cuffs button on the  inside of the wrist instead of the outside!  “These expensive things are just different than regular things,” she would say to herself, admiring it and thinking she should shop there much more often!  Then, one day her friend Colleen stood looking at her at the office and said to her- “Joanie dear, I am pretty sure you have been wearing that blouse backwards, that’s why the buttons on the cuffs are on the inside, not the outside…”  Another beautiful moment…

Now Joanie would be totally remiss not to mention Dear Paul and his own fashion disasters, which are many.  One particular disaster stands out in her mind very clearly- the time he was waiting for her at the ferry dock in a pair of faded pumpkin shorts and an ugly bright orange silk shirt.  Not only did he look like an escapee from the Kitsap County Jail, he also looked vaguely Salvation Army/Miami Vice-ish, because he had the first five or so buttons unbuttoned so that his skinny little slightly hairy chest was in full view.  Which is interesting because he had purchased them earlier that day at St. Vincent de Paul, where apparently he has a Frequent Buyer card.

Another time he had tried to squish himself into a pair of my shorts- “Do these fit me?”- and unfortunately the zipper would not even begin to zip up so he had stuffed a washcloth in the front to fill the gap!  Joanie told him in no uncertain terms that said outfit would probably get him arrested for indecent exposure.  He slunk off in a huff to change before he climbed into the Cadillac to head to the store for more beer.

Finally Miss Joanie recently purchased a new dress and what you must know, Dear Readers, is that Joanie is mostly allergic to color.  Sad but true.  She loves black, beige, taupe, brown…you get the idea.  And the new dress was a brilliant reddish-orangish.  She knows that being an Upper Whiskey Gulch fashionista requires climbing out of the rut of black she wallows in and so she steeled herself as she put the dress on.  Even Dear Paul, as he zipped her up, one of his few uses besides watering the plants, looked at her quizzically as in “Hon, are you absolutely sure your nerves can take it?”

Since Joanie was out of time and had to run to the ferry, she threw on a red faux alligator belt and a jeans jacket, thinking “Be creative!  Mix and match!  Go for it!”  Good thing she didn’t look in the mirror before she left.   The dress was sleeveless with a boat neck and fitted at the waist with a poofy skirt.  50-ish style, which I guess works for someone who was, ahem, born in the 50′s, right?  Anyway as she attempted to tiptoe her way ever so elegantly down the gangplank of the foot ferry while keeping the dress from blowing up around her ears from the wind, the deckhand immediately shouted out “Whoo hoo!  Great dress!”  and Captain Ernie also exclaimed “Wow!  I love that on you- and Joanie it even matches our life preservers!

Here’s to all of Joanie’s girlfriends who support her enthusiastically, no matter WHAT she wears!

God bless you, my dearest of the dear.  Amen and goodnight

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A WALK DOWN THE HALL

     

 

My husband, Dear Paul, recently underwent 16 painful biopsies, all of which showed significant amounts of cancer in his prostate.  He, at nearly 70, immediately got on the phone- his lifeline, it would seem, as he regularly talks on the phone for hours on end, each and every day.  His calls ranged from contacting those he knew had had the same diagnosis, to his nearly deaf 98 year old kindergarten teacher, and he explained in detail his “Dick Doc”- his esteemed qualifications, education and his own upcoming surgery.

Funny part was that most of the people he called remembered him, and even the ones that didn’t were kind enough to listen to his laundry list of physical concerns such as erections, incontinence and adult diapers.  You can just imagine the fun!  He spread the news far and wide and then some.  The good folks at the local hardware store, the checkers at the grocery store, and the barmaid down the street.  He may as well have placed a front page story in the newspaper.

Dear Paul has an interesting way of dealing with stress.  Generally he ignores the issues at hand and instead reads newspapers for hours or old National Geographics, which was in fact the periodical of choice when his surgeon “Dick Doc” was met with.  As the surgeon painstakingly attempted to explain the actual surgical procedure options to him, at one point he exhaled deeply, turned to me and said “Mrs. Davis, if I am seeing this right, it is you I should be talking to and not Paul, correct?”  Just then, Paul, like a sneaky little child, looked up and smiled.  Then, finally, the doctor attempted to ask him if he had any questions- after a full half an hour of explaining the pros and cons, various treatments, the robotic surgery technique, recovery period etc., the best Dear Paul could come up with was “Well, you’re my dick doc- will I be dribbling afterward and when can I have sex?”

Oh Lord, shoot me now.  This is not going to be a fun trip.

We arrived at the hospital for the surgery and, upon being asked a multitude of times what his surgical procedure would be- “Amputation of my left toe”, and what his name was- “Joe Blow from Kokomo”, I finally had to put an end to that nonsense and I did.  He was in surgery for a long four and a half hours and the cancer was successfully removed, but the initial recovery period was a wee bit rocky as he was uncooperative with the nursing staff and tried to A: Pull out his catheter and B: Get out of bed.  They even made a sign and taped it to his bed that said “Paul, please stay in bed- you just had surgery!”

Upon being released a day later, only after threatening to spray his ever patient RN with the tube from his catheter bag, Paul was up to his old tricks.  He insisted upon walking 10 blocks, in his robe, to a local watering hole, the Owl and Thistle, because, after all “I earned a Guinness and I and going to drink one!” I tried not to return the astonished glances from the other patrons.  Sheesh!  What next??

The good news is that he is recovering nicely and happier once the catheter bag was removed.  “Time to Free Willy”  he kept saying…but getting to the Free Willy part was a little tricky, partly because the bag filled quickly based on the number of beers he ingested.  On the big day of removal he came to Seattle, and I was horrified to see that there he was, shuffling down Madison Avenue in his robe, with a mostly full bag swaying in the breeze.  Would it have been uncool to have hidden and not acknowledged him?  Know that this gal was sorely tempted.

Rest assured though that the situation quickly worsened to a new level of embarrassment and horror for me, because as we entered the completely full urology clinic, he confidently strode over to the only open chair right by an elegant elderly lady and her equally elderly husband, sat down, heaved the bag up onto the coffee table and began “milking” the urine from the tube into the bag.

“Paul!  Stop!”  I was shaking with anger and embarrassed to my toes as all of those poor people were staring at us, open mouthed.  I was actually thinking at one point I was going to pass out.  Just then, Dear Paul smiled at me and said “Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke!” …and I excused myself to go take a walk down the hall.

 

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