Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The New Guy

At a party last week, I met a charming fellow who told me he was in his late '80s.  He was interesting, intelligent and an excellent conversationalist, a real pleasure to talk to. 

We were chatting away, thoroughly enjoying ourselves in our own little world when he said, "I'm blind, you know."

Well, I didn't know but I figured since he brought it up, he must want to talk about it, so I said, "Macular degeneration?"

"Yes." He responded.

Did it come on suddenly or was it gradual?" I asked.


"Do you have any vision left?"

"About fifteen percent."

"Can you see me at all?" I asked.

"I can see your outline." he said.

I touched his arm as I leaned in a little.  "I have something important to tell you." I said and I paused for effect.  "I'm very, very attractive."

"I thought so." he replied.

We both laughed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Mantra

"My mantra for the month," I told Jerry, "is 'Don't put it down, put it away.'"

"Really?" he smiled. "Because..."

"A place for everything and everything in its place," I interrupted.

"...because I noticed that you just put your hat on the upstairs landing."  He grinned.

"That's because my hat belongs on the landing -- that's where I want it to be, on the landing," I said defensively. "I'm surprised you didn't know that.  And the bag of newspapers behind the hat?  It belongs there, too."

The books belong on the stairs.  Really.
Wouldn't it be nice if I actually lived the life that I already think I'm living?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Sharp Shooter

Three of our neighbors just finished a mandatory gun safety course.  Then if they pass a test they can "concealed carry" as they call it.  As grateful as I am that I am friends with all of these men, I feel better being on good terms with my own husband.   Here's why...

Christmas two years ago we were in Michigan and, on a whim (or high from the eggnog), I made one of those stupid pronouncements that later I come to regret.  This one was along the lines of, "It would be fun to learn to shoot a gun."  What was I thinking?  Yeah, that it was one of my more moronic statements, I admit.  My son-in-law who, as it turns out, has more guns than I have silverware, hopped on that idiotic idea like a flea onto a very hairy dog and he ran with it.  Before the words had even finished tumbling out of my mouth, he had called and scheduled us a time for the next morning.  Turns out he had a friend who owned a rifle range.  (Gun gallery?) My husband Jerry decided to come along just for the fun factor.

I'll admit I was kind of excited. When I was a kid I used to shoot tin cans with BB guns and as an adult I enjoyed playing "Duck Hunter" on Nintendo, too.  I smugly thought I was a pretty good aim and was ready to prove it.  I didn't even try to worm out of the deal.  I just got up the next morning and got in the car with the guys.

The owner of the operation was there and brought me out a pretty little gun like a woman might carry in her purse.  He was very professional and gave me detailed instructions on how to stand, how to hold my arms and was teaching me all about gun safety when the place opened up for business.  People were pouring in and suddenly I realized I was surrounded by muggers-in-training.  (Did I mention we were in Detroit?)

It was about now that the owner realized the delicate gun I'd been practicing with was malfunctioning.  He went to fetch me another weapon but became distressed with the selection.  He toyed with the idea of giving me a much bigger gun but said it had "a much larger kick and you're gonna need to be prepared for that."  The more he thought about it, the more concerned he got and the more concerned he got, the less enthusiast I got.  Ultimately we jointly decided that I should postpone my debut as Annie Oakley.

Instead, I went into the shooting arena (which was like a bowling alley with targets hanging above where the pins would be) to watch Jerry and Brent shoot.  As soon as we got in there, I realized I was standing next to a very short person - a very short person with a gun in his hand.  I'm a very short person myself but, unlike me, this short person didn't look like he had achieved double digits yet.  There was a child standing next to me. The child was holding a gun.

I left.

When the guys were finished they picked me up in the lobby.   Brent was saying what a "badass" Jerry was.  (His word, not mine.)  Brent showed me Jerry's paper target.  Jer had fired three times and the shots had hit dead center of the bullseye yet I only saw two holes.   Brent had to spell it out for me.  "Two bullets went through the same hole, Chris."  He said.

Turns out my husband is a sharp shooter.  He knows it. Our son-in-law knows it.  All those mugger wanna-be's in Detroit know it.  You know it - and I know it too.

Mild-mannered Grampy or sharp-shooter?
Yes, I'm gonna try to stay on the best possible terms with my husband.  Oh, and I think I might take up archery.