An article about weddings caught my eye this morning in the Denver Post. (I would link to it but it doesn’t seem to be online yet.) That a story about weddings would catch my eye is unusual and I’m not sure why this one did. Maybe because we received a “save the date” note by snail mail yesterday about our niece’s November wedding in California, or that a wedding this summer in New Jersey won’t be happening because of coronavirus, or that our own 41st wedding anniversary is a few days from now.
When I say “our,” I’m referring to me and Mrs. Smith, which brings me to the point. The article mentioned the disfavor “Mrs.” has taken on among many women.That’s not a new development, but it occurred to me some might not appreciate my referring to Mrs. Smith as Mrs. Smith.
I am not overly concerned about this because I readily acknowledge that her identity is uniquely her own and in no way dependent on me. She chose to change her last name to mine only after our son was born and the medical community in eastern Iowa proved to be too easily confused to deal with the situation.
Probably overthinking any risk to her privacy – and hoping to avoid causing her unnecessary embarrassment at being associated with yours truly – I later began referring to her as Mrs. Smith in blog posts as a way to avoid using her first name.
In any event, now that this has come to my attention, I will do my best to refer to my spousal unit not as Mrs. Smith but as either my spousal unit (SU), my Life Partner (LP), or the Love of My Life (LOMY).
My LP, by the way, has a perfectly lovely first name.
One of my favorite places is a pleasant bike ride* from home. It’s a place called Inkberry Books, a little shop in Niwot, Colorado, that supports local authors and other independent writers and artists.
You can’t go there right now, but you and other readers can support this indie book seller by ordering online. Some authors even read excerpts for you to help you choose!
The proprietors were kind enough to invite me to do that, so I decided to give it a try.
It used to be – back in the day, maybe last month – that Mrs. Smith always got home from work before I did. Now that I work in the basement of our Longmont dwelling rather than a basement office in Boulder, Red Dog and I wait for her return instead.
Red often waits just inside our front door, right by the little stool where Susan puts her bathrobe and a towel each morning on her way out. So far I haven’t curled up by the door with him.
When my wife gets home, she says a quick hello and sheds the clothes that will go straight to the washing machine. Then she steps into the shower in the bathroom just a few feet away from the front door. She is following the advice of her employer. The idea is to reduce the chances of sharing a virus that she may or may not have been exposed to while helping mostly elderly people rehab from hip replacement surgeries, strokes, and various other conditions.
So far she has not had to venture into the isolation area of the care center, where people who have been released from a hospital spend a week or so proving they are asymptomatic. I hope she can avoid that area, but if she is needed she will go there.
She is remarkably cheerful most of the time and brushes the fatigue away like a pesky gnat that comes around now and then. Somehow she has the energy to work out or do yoga upstairs, take Red Dog for long walks, and bicycle with me.
The words “win” and “winning” are losing their meaning through overuse and misuse.
So is the notion of war. The idea that nations are fighting a war against a virus and can actually win is preposterous.
A well-prepared nation can limit the death and social and economic havoc that result from a pandemic. That is not winning. A nation certainly does not win anything by being so unprepared that thousands of people die before civic leaders accept their responsibilities and act. That is called failure.
The issue is survival, not winning or losing.
This nation and other nations can survive or not. Individuals will survive or not.
We can do either with honor and dignity. Our choice.
I used to think that I wasn't gregarious but now that everything seems so precarious and sometimes even just downright nefarious, and everyday pleasures grow mostly vicarious, I see my old thinking as almost hilarious.