A fabulous artist that I like to think of as my friend, Mariela told me this story about a lady who said that you could say anything you wanted to about a person as long as you ended with "bless their heart". So in essence you could say "Joan, she is worst home-wrecker in three counties....Bless her heart". When she told that story we all laughed and now "Bless their heart" is the quite joke. Now with that seed planted for future cultivation I will proceed. God knew what he was doing when he made man the complete opposite of woman. I am not speaking in the anatomical sense. I am referring to the psychological sense. If you take a motor and reverse the battery connections (i.e. positive to negative) you know what happens? The motor runs in the opposite direction and that is what the good Lord seen fit to do. After he wired man he said to himself "ah yes, this model will be most energy efficient and put out the most horsepower but ....." and so he reversed the polarization and woman was born! A steady dependable (maybe not always the most quiet) model with all the fine luxury features for comfort.
I know one time my friend and I were on one of our girl trips. We were in one of those shops....you know the ones that women love and men hate. The shops with all the candles, linens all the great stuff that make womens hearts go pitty pat. Anyway we are scoping out all the great stuff in this store. Here is woman and man together shopping. This guy is pointing out all this cool stuff to this lady. And I do mean "cool" stuff. The things that we gals would grab each other and squeal over....and here is a mature male pointing out how neat this would look on the hall table with those other accessories! My friend and I look at each other and we immediately know what the other is thinking. Reincarnation is real! This man has been a woman in a previous life. A woman with very good and artistic taste as a matter of fact. We find a corner and share our dismay and we have come to the conclusion that this fella is either just the lady's date or a gay friend of hers. We can't even imagine our husbands even entering past the threshold of this shop! Hey, Leslie my husband thinks Feng Shui is a type of jungle rot contracted by soldiers in New Guinea in WWII. This guy is talking about the flow and contrast of colors in the room. I almost wanted to throw him down in the potpourri aisle and ravage him it was so alluring. And here comes the killer...after the couple left as we carried our bountiful purchases to the counter we remarked on our observation to the shopkeepers. They were as enthralled as we were. They even shared the information that this man of our dreams shall we call him "deco-man" (for man familiar with the principles of decorating) was actually this lucky lady's husband! We all sighed in envy to reference to the woman's accomplishments in finding "specimen/male/certified for reproduction". Oh well...scientists are still searching for the "missing link" and little do they know but my friend and I found him in a girlie shop in North Carolina.
I love my husband. He is sensitive, kind and void of the bad habits (i.e. drinking, carousing, etc.) that are grist for every good country song. He had been single for seventeen years when we married. I had never been married and dove out of the airplane without a parachute shall we say at the age of forty. So I had developed my sense of independence and he has always understood and respected that. As a matter of fact it was his idea that I hyphenate my name since I already was somewhat known for my artwork etc. My girlfriends and I like to travel and take trips to places that interest us. We have gone to Texas to see the Bluebonnets, to Natchez to see the plantations and to Georgia to tour the gardens at Callaway. My husband is very understanding of that. He also allows me to travel and study with artists and attend china shows all over the country. We are not just talking about a trip of day or so. The last trip to a convention I was gone for 10 days! Since he was single for so long, he is very self reliant. Now a friend of mine her husband is not quite so. He is a very smart man but could not cook a hot dog. He would probably starve like a chained dog without meals prepared with specific instructions.
Since we girls have done quite a bit of traveling without our spouses my friend Ellen (same name as me) and I thought maybe we should plan a trip and take our husbands with us. We took a weekend jaunt to Southern Indiana to tour old homes along the Ohio River in Madison. Now my husband Leslie loves the river...any river. If he weren't a farmer I think he would love to be a barge pilot or a train conductor. Anyway we thought this would be a nice trip. Oh My God! Now Ellen's husband did pretty good. He was pretty amicable but Leslie....woah! When I drove he was constantly correcting me...when we got ready to go into the third house on the tour he proclaimed "I'm staying in the car...you see one old house you've seen them all". How I have longed to make that same statement as we have driven the countryside looking at field after field of corn and soy beans. After his proclamation I turned to my friend Ellen and she and I almost synchronized say to each other..."we will Never do this again!"
Leslie and I have sense traveled by ourselves with some pleasantries but usually not without some form of discord. One of the later trips we have taken was over this past Labor Day weekend. We were traveling over to visit the John Deere compound and museum in Molene, IL. I thought this would be of interest to him. Well I had made all the hotel reservations over the Internet and made all the plans and packing. All he had to do was get in the car. Our reservation the first night was in Peru, IL. Since we left home after I got off of work we arrived after 9:30 P.M. to the hotel. Even though I booked with a named hotel chain when we went in our room, I was aghast. The lamp shades were so old they were in shreds. The floor covering in the bathroom was worn so badly you couldn't even tell what the pattern was. The clerk said they were knocking off $5.00 from our bill because we could not call out on the room phone. We could receive calls but we couldn't call out...not even to the desk! I nearly shrieked but it was late and I didn't want to try and find another hotel that time of night on a holiday weekend. Besides Leslie really didn't see what I was so upset about. The next two nights our accommodations were elsewhere and much more to my liking. I remarked as soon as we reached the room what a difference there was between our stay from the previous evening. That was until........later that night. After we returned from supper and settled in for the night. I was all comfy in bed and Leslie tries to turn on the T.V. and havoc abounds. Heaven forbid the batteries are not working on the remote control! He rants and raves for nearly 10 minutes how none of these hotels ever check these things. He has forgotten that the towels we had at the "dive" the night before could have sanded 2 coats of paint off of a car with 2 swipes! But Oh.....a defective remote control is akin to the largest insult to one's mother!
The next evening after we have dinner as we were going back to the hotel Leslie says..."before we go back I am stopping and getting some batteries for that remote control". I could have suggested that he ring the desk and have them replaced. But that is how much importance I placed on this staple of life. So we stop and he buys batteries. Back in the room I retire to the nice bathroom with thick fluffy towels and enjoy a nice relaxing bath only to return into the room to find Leslie mumbling as if in some trance saying that the batteries were not working. He asks if I can look and see if he has placed them in correctly (because his glasses were left in the car). Now for a point of reference....said television that said remote is linked to is maybe 4 foot from the end of the bed. Now any woman would simply go and switch on the T.V. manually, select her channel and be done with it. But we are talking Alpha Male here. With testosterone comes the inability to watch any type of commercial or ad, watching a show from start to finish not changing the channel during that telecast, and try and watch no less than 3 programs at the same time.
I found that Leslie had placed the batteries in backwards....so like any dutiful wife I corrected the error and presented the squire of the castle with the finished work ready for his enjoyment. I make myself comfortable in bed to drift off to sleep but shortly... what is that noise....I open my eyes to see that in probably a span of 15 minutes Leslie has fallen asleep...snoring with remote control safely in hand. I get up and Manually switch off the T.V. The next morning as we prepare to leave our home away from home I pack while Leslie works feverishly taking the new batteries out of the remote and leaving the old batteries out on the night stand. He says.."I want to make sure they know these batteries are bad so the next person won't have to put up with what I did. I'm sure not going to leave the good ones here." I am certain the person he was looking out for was the next husband that a wife who had tried to include him by deciding to travel together.
That brings me to fact that I guess someone you can stand to live with might not be the best of traveling companions. I don't know. But just like most women I think the terms trip with husband and vacation do not equate to the same thing. My dear husband Leslie sometimes the most trying of traveling companions.....Bless His Heart!
Down on the farm where maybe I should stay...
(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt