Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I Got Caught Cheating

I tried to be cautious.

I was casual, glancing around and smiling to cover up my indiscretion. I tried to be subtle, and to employ subterfuge to hide the truth.

But I got caught.

“Marti, you didn’t cover up B 12!” chided my mother-in-law.

It was true. I’ve been doing it for weeks now.

Cheating at BINGO.

I just couldn’t bring myself to claim one of the prizes...a box of Kleenex or cereal from the table where the numbers caller sits, rolling the basket of colored, numbered balls.

I was in a room full of munchkins (old people shrink, I was the only human being there who was over five feet tall) at the Senior Citizens Center, where I’ve driven my sweet mother-in-law to play bingo three times a week every since Pop passed. They had welcomed me with open arms.

“Oh, you’re driving Maxine now! That’s wonderful, just wonderful!”

Looking at their adorable little smiles, hugging them gently, (fearful of breaking them) I watched as they played their cards passionately. Seeing their anticipation as they came closer to winning. Seeing the resignation on their wrinkled little faces if someone at another table called out “BINGO”. (There is camaraderie amongst table-mates, and barely-under-their-breath grumbling that so-and-so at another table plays five cards or wears a wig. I’m not sure how wig-wearing came to be so sinful, but it is held in high disdain).

And I couldn’t bear the thought of taking one of their prized prizes.

So I cheated - to lose.

I would hear the number called but not cover it up on my card. I would casually sip my water. I would cough or blow my nose. I would do everything short of shouting, “Look, a truckload of Depends has crashed outside!”

All of the table-mates had been telling me I must be terribly unlucky. That I should get a different card, with “better numbers”. I would smile and say that was OK, I was having fun.

Then I got busted.

Mother-in-law started watching my card for me. She must have thought I was so simple-minded that the concept of covering up the number as it was called, completely escaped me. She started pointing out the numbers on my card, insisting I cover them.

So alas, I won. Sigh. I tried to give the prize to her, but she would have none of it.

Anybody need a box of Kleenex?

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Marti Sends Her Love

Boy: Mom asked us to write this message for her.
Girl: Because she has been real sick.
Boy: She wanted to wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Girl: And let you know she isn’t dead.
Boy: That’s not funny, what’d you say that for?
Girl: She told me to.
Boy: But Grandpa just died, I don’t think people will think that is funny.
Girl: Mommy said her friends are kind of twisted and they will laugh.
Boy: Mom has pneumonia. I don't think she knows what is funny right now.
Girl: HAD. She is getting better. Now it is more the dizzy and puking thing.
Boy: Vertigo. She has vertigo. Don’t say puking, that’s gross. She told us to say she was vomiting.
Girl: Hey, I am the one who has to dump the barf bucket, I know how gross it is.
Boy: I don’t know why she wouldn’t go to the hospital.
Girl: She said anybody who has ever worked at a hospital avoids them if they are conscious.
Spike, the Cat: I am glad she didn't go to the hospital. Grandpa was in the hospital, and all of you left me here alone for hours at a time.
Boy: We’re sorry, Spike. (Pets kitty)
Spike, the Cat: Don’t treat me so condescendingly, I’m not stupid. I sit on the Girl’s lap when they watch Gray’s Anatomy. I know what a hospital is. It is a torture factory.
Girl: Spike is right.
Spike, the Cat: (Purrs) I don’t like being here alone. The house makes creepy noises, and there is that shadowy thing that only I can see, that scares the crap outta me.
Boy: So are we done?
Girl: Mom said you would say that.
Boy: She said we had to write it on the blog. This is the blog, right?
Girl: She said we had to send the link to the e-mail people. And the Squid people.
Spike, the Cat: (Stops licking self, looks up) Tell me of these fish people.
Boy: No, Spike, they are the Squidoo people she works with. She wants them to know she will be back.
Girl: Once she is over the pneumonia and puking.
Boy: (Sighs) She said...oh never mind. You just did that to annoy me didn’t you?
Girl: What are little sisters for?
Boy: Happy Valentine’s Day, sis.
Girl: Happy Valentine’s Day, bro.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pop has passed

My father-in-law passed away this morning.

It's a strange place I'm in right now. I am so sad, it is crushing. Yet I know that we all die. And I feel like he knew that Mom-in-law, with her Parkinson’s, wouldn't be able to care for him at home, even though that was what a part of him longed for. He was in a lot of pain. He knew that his quality of life was never going to be the same. He'd seen us all...my oldest son had stopped by, we'd been there, Mom-in-law was there, my husband’s brother and his wife were there.

I am trying to be metaphysical about it, soul ascending to a higher plane, this lifetime is but a blink in eternity, all that sort of crap - lol

But the moment is still so raw, it's hard.

I can't begin to thank you all for your friendship.


PS - he'll be in some good company at the newcomers lounge, with Art Buchwald and Molly Ivins, huh?

PPS ~ I searched for words of wisdom form someone more clever than I, and ran across this. I found it quite comforting. Robert Anton Wilson, prolific futurist author and countercultural icon passed away January 11. He had been suffering from post-polio syndrome. So there is another lively thinker in the lounge.

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