High school went past in a blur,

Dances, games, breakups, reunions,

You with a mass of curly dark hair,

Shaved by the Marine Corps,

Returned to me trained and muscled,

The father of my children,

My main cheerleader, my support,

In a blink children grown, grandchildren,

Golden years more like silver,

As we began, one to one.

My Radical Idea

Is this what retirement is like?  I really hope not.  Hubby hasn’t had a job to go to for three weeks.    I thought it would be wonderful to have my husband around all the time, and maybe it will be, once we get a few things worked out.

I’m trying to work on my blog, and Hubby calls from the other room.  “April, you’ve got to see this,” campaign updates, news tidbits, organizational tips.   “April, you’re interested in this,” new hairstyles,  fashion and makeup tips.  Really?  Does he know me?  Has he seen what I wear.  I look more like a What Not to Wear before rather than after.  What I am wearing is perfect for working around the house and garden, or sitting and writing.

I finally tell him, “Writing requires uninterrupted time, focus, concentration.”  Apologies are extended.  I have a sign for the door that says, April’s Special Alone Time,  Do Not Disturb.  A lot of good that does me.

As boring and simple as my routine was, it gave me plenty of time to think, contemplate, research, and review whatever captured my interest.  It was great for producing posts.  It was great for reading the posts of others, not to mention the comment sections.  Plus, I still had time to take care of my wifely duties.  You know, housekeeping, letting the dogs in and out, and making sure everyone gets fed.  Now I have no idea how that stuff is going to get done.  Do I just vacuum around Hubby?

I longed for the day Hubby would retire and take over the cooking.  I imagined long walks, intimate conversations.   Its been three weeks, and I miss the TV.  The TV that kept the house from feeling so empty and quiet.  Cooking is negotiable, but I can’t get out of it, apparently.  Hubby sits with his book, and the house is quiet!  I fear my checking the weather on TV will disturb him.  So I sit down to give my blog some attention, and Hubby calls from the other room, “April, I have to read this to you.”

Hubby is a fungi fun guy.   His mind races from one thing to the next bouncing all over the place, from jokes to puns to random ideas.  He makes connections I can’t even follow, and it is exhausting.

An Example

“I should write something funny.  When have I written something funny,”  I ask as we were traveling to the shoe repair.  It is a radical idea, I know.

“You mean on purpose?”  Hubby said.  I am as weird as he is, and we have been married since the beginning of time, so I thought this was hilarious.

When I spend too much time on the computer he asks,  ” You aren’t getting paid for this, are you?”

“No, but it makes me happy.  Notice how I am not depressed!” I tell him.  But I have to wonder if I get paid would that make a difference?  Maybe I need to go to go play Mahjong with the girls.


A Total Eclipse

Before I get into the story, you need to know a few things.  Hubby and I have worked hard at being partners, but sometimes that included me taking a subordinate role as he was the primary breadwinner.  Other times Hubby took a subordinate position to my pursuit of my dreams.  In the world outside our home, I was little more than a supporting player.

In the world outside our home, salespeople, usually men, would talk exclusively to Hubby. This eclipse occurred when we purchased insurance, cars, homes, anything else of a major nature, but even though salespeople would not make eye contact with me, nor offer their hand in greeting, yet they were sure to get my signature on the second signature line of a contract so I would also be responsible for the bill when it came due.  

When I called workmen, I had trouble conveying the proper level of importance to the issue.  Even the teachers of our children, most of whom where women, seemed to brush off any feedback from me.  If Hubby was willing to take time out of the business day to deal with workmen and teachers, things were dealt with in an expedient manner.  The fact that I was the ventriloquist of the act made no difference.  For action to be taken, Hubby had to do the talking.  

Now that you understand the background, you are ready for the story.

The Dream

I went to sleep a woman, but I awoke in my dream as a man.  I marvel at my strong, well-developed, manly muscles, I’m 10 to 12 inches taller than my female self.  My hair, well, who cares, I’m a man and it doesn’t matter!  Yet I recognize I am a very handsome man by any standards.

I am also the leader of a space armada, and we receive an urgent SOS.  A planet near by is under attack.  I lead my armada into battle.  I am brave, respected, and my crew jumps to my every command.  I skillfully outflank the invaders, and while basking in my victory, I am invited down to the planet to meet with the planetary leaders.

I am greeted on the planet by a male/female delegation, each in equal number.  The highest ranking female of the delegation invites me to meet the Princess of this world. (My sleeping self thinks, this really is a male fantasy!)  The Princess is beautiful, petite as my sleeping self.  “You were very brave in battle, and I wish to offer you the highest reward in my power.  My hand in marriage, and you will sit beside me in rule of this world.”  Oh wow!  That would make me a prince of this world, a ruler?

She continues, “Before you answer you need to understand some things about our world. Couples are joined in such a way that they can’t be separated by more than 12 to 15 feet from each other.  This necessitates that couples always work together.  The members of the delegation that met you when you arrived are all couples working together.  We would have to be together in all we do.

“With your tactical abilities we could work well together, but you must know, my duties are here.  You would have to give up space, give up your rank and service to the armada.  Once the coupling is completed, it cannot be undone for any reason.  This is not just a social convention, but it is physically impossible to sever the connect without resulting in death of at least one member of the couple and possibly both.  Separation has been tried many times, always with tragic results.”

So as husband to this beautiful Princess, I would rule close by her side, over an entire planet.  A device is inserted into my spine and into her spine.  As we take our vows of marriage before the priest of this world I can feel the connection growing.  While we can’t read each others minds, we do know what the other is feeling.

We begin our duties, working side by side.  The commanders come with their reports, and I am consulted on planetary defense, but no action is taken without the approval of the Princess.  Reports are brought to the Princess, she consults with me, and others listen as I make my recommendations, but nothing is done without the Princess giving an order.

Irritated, I test the limits of our bond.  At 12 feet I start to feel uncomfortable in a vague way, nothing specific hurts, but I do not feel good either.  At 13 feet I start to feel a little queasy (like morning sickness my sleeping self thinks).  I notice concern in the bond from my wife.  At 14 feet, I feel not only queasy, but pain throughout my body.  At 15 feet the pain is intense, but I am still on my feet.  Through the bond, I sense my wife’s concern.   I look over at my wife, and see her pain is as great as mine.  I remember that if the bond is broken one, or both, of us could die.  I have to move closer to her.  She never says a word, no anger, no admonishment.  We go about our work.

I attempt a different approach.  Instead of speaking to my wife first, I give an order directly to the commander.  The commander goes directly to the Princess to hear her orders.  I look around.  Of the couples that go in and out, it is the women who give the reports, and consult with the Princess.  The men, working with their wives, are barely recognized, except in a superficially polite way.  Around our command center, I notice the same thing  with all the couples around me.  While working alongside their wives, all interactions, all business, is conducted by the women.

My wife senses my confusion, and asks me what is wrong.  “I led the fleet that saved this planet, and now it is like I am invisible.  No one hears a word I say, until you repeat it.”

“My dear, I am the leader here.  In fact, men are subordinate to their wives in all things.  Husband, I thought you understood this.”

My sleeping self awakes shouting, “NO!  Even as a man in a dream I can’t be in charge.”

Law vs. Conscience

Ashland, Kentucky takes the spotlight of the national news as Kim Davis, Rowen County Clerk, is now in jail for contempt, in lieu of a fine, so she could not interfere with Deputy Clerks ordered to comply with the court order to resume issuing marriage licenses to all according to the law.  Davis refused to issue marriage licenses after a Supreme Court ruling made it legal for Gay/Lesbian couples to marry with the full benefits marriage implies.  Davis has refused to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to anyone, to not be accused of discrimination against a minority.  Davis takes this action based upon her religious convictions, but the Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal based upon her religious conviction.

Decades of legal discrimination, social stigma, and predatory behavior against LGBT people have led to the ruling of the Supreme Court and this current impasse between this personal religious conviction and the law.  These religious convictions are not accepted by all Christians.  Some Christian Churches are churches of reconciliation.  I am proud member of a congregation that is going through the process of becoming a reconciling church.  Since 1970, the year I graduated from high school and took my place in the adult community, I have stood up for gays accused of every vile impulse known to humankind.

Not only were gays thought to choose gayness, but were accused of actively trying to subvert the youth of the community to their chosen lifestyle.  The nastiness that spewed forth from those who claimed to be Christian was something I could not allow to stand unchallenged.  I was often a lone voice, although sometimes, someone would quietly take me aside and tell me they agreed with me.  If I had gone to another church, and I in fact did, because I have moved several times in my life, I would only have to face the same attitudes.  Some ask why I feel the need to meet this or any other issue?  Why don’t I just believe what I believe, and keep quiet?

I am sure that one reason is that I am first generation American on my father’s side.  My father who grew up in Germany while Hitler was in power, and took the world to war.  Good people stayed quiet, as worse and worse became acceptable. There were small tokens of resistance by brave people, but that will be a blog for another day.

I am sure that another reason is that my Uncle Juergen was gay, and put lie to those comments.  People in church were saying those vile things about people like my uncle.  People like my uncle just wanted  to live their lives.  If their partner was sick, they wanted to offer comfort in a hospital setting.  They wanted the right to give financial security to their partners upon their death, for financial decisions they made jointly.  They wanted to walk down the street, along a beach, or anywhere else without being jeered, threatened, harassed, accosted, and harmed.

Uncles Lunch 1

Without legal marriage, families could choose to bar visitations in hospital, and other care facilities.  Without legal marriage, every penny earned, everything within their possession, and everything they owned, collected, or saved, became the property of their birth family when they died.  The birth family was then free to displace the loved partner, and remove all tokens that the rest of us would keep and cherish for the sake of our memories. Without legal protections LGBT people live with fear daily, and were denied the comfort and security given by marriage.

Some call Kim Davis champion of  religious protection and freedom.  I say Kim Davis represents the worst judgmental, unloving, unforgiving, and intolerant picture of a Christian.  If Kim Davis will not step down, then I hope Rowen County, Kentucky citizens will get a recall petition going immediately.

If a Man is in the Woods

If a man is in the wood, and he talks, and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

I think I made this up, but I really couldn’t swear to it. I am sure I am not the first woman to think such a thing. Hubby and I were fighting in the car and he was complaining that he is always wrong, so I made this little sarcastic comment. He laughed and the argument was forgotten. He has now repeated my bit of sarcasm to everyone at every opportunity. It is funny, and always gets a laugh, and neither of us can even remember what the original argument was about.

It is the kind of thing I’ve heard my whole life while in the kitchen with the women on the holidays. “My husband is head of the house. I always let him think so.” “Boys will be boys,” we say about our men engaged in the annual Turkey Mud Bowl. The men will laugh at these also. Men go along with the joke, giving their “little woman” a pat on the behind to send them off shopping. Okay, maybe it is only grocery shopping, but hey, its part of the game, or maybe better described as a dance.

Even if you don’t dance you know that the man is the lead, the one who directs the dance. You would only be partially correct. If the man tried to lead exclusively, there would be a lot of bumping into people on a crowded dance floor. Dancing is a cooperation. When the man is moving backwards he relies upon his partner, since he does not have eyes in the back of his head. Likewise, relationships should be cooperative.

In a relationship, one or the other may take the lead depending knowledge, skills, and talents each possesses. With discussion, sharing, and mutual consideration each person will have the insight to see who should lead. Two people working together can accomplish much more working cooperatively, than one person trying to do everything.

By working together, hubby and I raised children while putting ourselves through school. The two of us built garages and porches and gardens. Oh my! We have built an entire life. As long as we are working together, we can do anything.

So, if you see my hubby in the woods, tell him I’m waiting for him.

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