Pretty Please

So it was a national holiday in the US of A last Monday: Memorial Day, the day when we Americans remember those who have died in our nation’s wars. It’s a solemn day.

So Ivanka Trump, who as you know has the same common touch and mind meld with “the people” as her piece of shit father, used this sad and mournful day to tweet:

Not to be outdone in our love for America, Top Cat and I purchased patriotic pastries:

This got me wondering, Do other people live this way? Like, in places where they don’t have a hair ball of puke for president?

Because thats a whole lot of red, white, and blue (see: above).

So, on this long Memorial [Three] Day holiday, Top Cat and I put in the annuals (ha! I know I got that right! ANNUALS!), which means the cats think they have a nifty new litter box (with floral accents) in the back yard:

Meanwhile, Bibs and Lickety were stalking something out back by the back property line:

Top Cat and I watched to make sure they didn’t bother the woodland creatures in the back yard. And we also kept an eye on the birds (the smart ones, that is) as they picked out the delicious peanuts from the bird chow we put out:

Ands then we watched the other birds (the dumb ones) look confused when there were no leftovers:

And then Top Cat and I got into a fight.

I should say,  Top Cat and I do not fight much.

We have the usual conflicts of any people who spend a great deal of time together: the little misunderstandings, minor differences of opinion, momentary mis-communications — all which are settled and explained and apologized for in a matter of minutes with calm tones of voice. No, really. We are reasonable people, and our domestic life would make for very boring reality TV.

Our last big fight was three years and five months ago. And it was HUGE. It was the biggest fight we’re ever had.

And now Top Cat wants to re-visit the same issues in that huge fight of yore by asking me for a favor which would require me to “be the bigger person” and let the things of the past be bygones.

Which is really funny, because he knows that I am never ” the bigger person”, not when there is too much to be gained by being the smaller person. For example, never having to stuff hard feelings and rage and bitterness into that place in your soul that eats you alive from the inside out: Small people never have to forgive (which everyone knows is very, very difficult, almost impossibly superhuman, right?) — they are the ones always being forgiven. I’m way into being teeny tiny like that.

Letting the things of the past be bygones only works if you have a terrible memory and, Dear Readers, not only do I have excellent recollection, but I also take notes. Hello? Remember me, the diarist? The one who writes memoir? Where do you think I get my material???

If you want to know exactly what was said by whom on which date, I’m your girl: I have it all in writing. It keeps things fresh so that what happened, say, three years and five months ago, are as if it were just yesterday.

At one point in the increasingly heated conversation Top Cat angrily announced: You never do anything you don’t want to do. Thing is, he said it like that was a bad thing.

Well, as far as I know, nobody gets extra days being 29, or a lifetime immunization from heartbreak, or a reincarnated pet by doing things they don’t want to do. So yes, of course, in my life and in my marriage, I have tried to do as few things that I don’t want to do as possible: I have stayed away from a few weddings and bar mitzvahs, family reunions and dinners out with bores. But there are times when I have indeed shown up, which would be unkind for me to list here, but anyway on this particular point you can’t make me feel guilty because sheesh: life is short and I’m getting old and Woody Robinson (the best cat in the world) is never coming back so you better believe that more and more, I will be spending less and less time doing things that I don’t want to do.

So as Top Cat and I still simmer over this fight, I can’t help but think how I, had I been in the position to ask of Top Cat a huge favor equal to the one he is asking of me, would have gone about it completely differently.

First, I would have taken me out for Mexican food. Because I do loves me a good enchilada.

I would also order me a huge margarita. Because, duh.

Next, I would have told me how much happiness I have brought to his life, how much I mean to him, and how very dearly he respects my feelings. I would be sure to use the word “precious” somewhere in there. “Angelic” wouldn’t be amiss, either.

I, naturally, would by now be filled with feelings not unlike giant fluffy pink clouds and warm rainbow-colored sunbeams.

THEN I would break the bad news about having this HUGE favor to ask, one that he knows is going to ask a lot of me, a very small person, one that he knows I am not likely to be the least inclined to give. I would ask the favor, and quickly tell me that he understands that I need time to think about it, and not expect me to jump at the chance to let bygones be bygones.

Then I would back off. Because I would be smart enough to know that there would be blow-back re: this favor of “letting bygones be bygones” because, duh, we’ve been married for 13 years and he knows that I am the least “letting bygones be bygones” kind of person in this relationship.

The next day is when I would bring up the topic again, asking for this huge favor again, only this time I would do it while we were at North Shore Animal Shelter picking out our new DoG.

And that, Dear Readers, is how you ask your wife (if your wive happens to be me) for a huge favor.


Have a great weekend, everybody. I hope that nobody asks you to do something that you don’t want to do, but if they do, I hope they ask the right way.


9 Comments, RSS

  1. Deborah Hatt

    Dearest Vivian … I’m sorry to hear of your recent, what I call,”marital ripple.” Ugh! They can be so emotionally exhausting and spiritually draining. Allen and I have been married 46 years (yes, I was a June bride). And my fun axiom, which I often quote at bridal showers, is: “The first 30 years are the hardest.” But in all sincerity, I can say this with certainty … as ornery, irritable (and irritating!), and unreasonable as my old curmudgeon of a husband can be at times, I am still very thankful for him, and enjoy his company for the most part. And even though we can get on each others’ last nerve every few days or so, we are both mighty glad to have each other to share life’s joys and sorrows with. I hope you two will soon reconcile your differences and get back on even-keel – so you can joyfully trek forward with awe and a bit of folly. You and Top Cat will be in my prayers, my dear friend. Try to remember all the reasons you fell in love with that crazy guy. And try to sort through the tangled hodgepodge of his manly thought-processes as much as possible. It helps when I try to see me through my husbands eyes … (ouch!). I personally have found, a soft answer and an (apparent – possible) surrender on my part, almost ALWAYS brings him around full-circle, and I end up gaining my desired result. I call it, The Power Of Sexual Surrender. He blurts out what he plans on doing; I look at him and say. “Really!?!? Why???” Then, he raises his voice and sputters his irritable retort. After a couple more volleys back and forth, I then shake my head, or shrug my shoulders, and look at him like I think he is deranged. Then, I say, “Well, if you really think that is the wise thing to do … if you really think that is going to make you happy … ” and then I walk away with my head down — preferably out the door for a walk, so it makes him a bit unsettled and unsure. (Yes, this is using female manipulation – and yes, it most often works). But, I will say — I have no idea what Top Cat’s proposal was. So who knows, I might have knocked his block off and stomped away to cry into my corn flakes. So, here’s to a better week, my friend! I hope the best for you. Likely – by now – all is well once again. The best part of a nasty fight is making up afterward, as you know. You are greatly loved! Happy Trails, my dear.

  2. Bunny

    Some people just dont get it! Just when you think you know someone and expect things to go as you have planned, and have the proper tack in mind, the wind suddenly shifts, and you’re heading further out to sea, with no life line to grab.
    Hope you can work this out, and move forward back into calmer seas. I agree with Deborah send off, You are greatly loved! (and of course, happy trails)

  3. Casey

    Oh no! Not you and Top Cat! I hope that you find a new way to talk about this issue and margaritas never hurt. And who would say No to a new DoG?

    Maybe you had a margarita in hand when you wrote this, because: Funny! I had a ball reading this. It always helps to keep your sense of humor , 13 years and 13 x 13 more.

    Good question. Do Australians put their lovely flag on their cup cakes? Do the Brits stick pictures of the Queen on their pastries? In France, can you get a red/white/blue croissant? if not, why not??

    I know you watched Macron give a speech in English from the Elysees Palace and he invited us Americans who have the brains to realize what a con man der Drumpf is to come to France. Meet me in Nice, baby!

  4. Wowza ! You say the things I’m not brave enough to admit and even make them hysterical. Another laugh-out–loud passage, “I am never ” the bigger person”, not when there is too much to be gained by being the smaller person.” I try, as I’m sure you do, to at least some of the time, to be the bigger person, and have tried to instill it in my kids – so much so that my some reminds me that being the bigger person isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

    I am at a dig-in-my heels with some in-laws. I could , and have in the past, been TBP, but I’m all over it. Being the smaller, more obnoxious person is my new go-to with them. I’m currently using a notepad that says , “today I will think evil thought and try not to say them”.. Notice that you get a pass on the thoughts ! But I’m ready for the saying part as well.

    All kidding aside, big blow-ups on the home front are not fun, despite having the moral high ground! Your tips on how to ask for ridiculously high-priced concessions are right on. Good luck.

  5. Megan

    Hopefully you are back on track to a happy marriage. Love Deborah’s comment about the first thirty years I am relieved, bliss must be close by. How will the cats cope with a dog… or how will the dog cope with the cats, they can be very complicated and difficult people to share a home with. To answer Casey, we Australians are not hugely out there with patriotism, on Australia Day there are lots of temporary flag tattoos. I’m not sure a lamington or a pavlova would cope with red, white and blue icing… Would love to hear about Woody Robinson sometime.

  6. Kirra

    I agree with Megan, here we eat ‘Australian’ foods on our national day but there are lots of people who dress up in the flag colours, or our sports colours of green & gold.

    Vivian – I totally am on your side with this. In my twenties I had a massive falling out with an immediate family member, they caused me so much pain and stress and unhappiness that I haven’t talked to them for around the last ten years. Luckily my family is awesome and I get on with every other member of my family, immediate and extended. Anyway I totally am not interested in people telling me “just hang out with them, have a chat” etc as I don’t see why I should put up with someone treating me so badly just because they’re my family member. Luckily my partner is on the same side as me and doesn’t ever bother me about it, I would find it very hard if he did.

    We don’t get to choose some of the crazy people we have to work with, but we do get to choose who we spend our free time around. Good luck, I think it’s really hard when people don’t accept that you have made a decision about your relationship (or lack of) with certain people.

    Remember – you have those super cute cats and birds to hang out with. And maybe soon a dog! 🙂

  7. HI Vivian, I hope by now this quarrel has been made up and that Top Cat has read your blog, apologized and taken you for Mexican food and margaritas (why stop at one?). Since I saw no photos of a DoG, I’m not entirely convinced. Maybe parameters are in order — I’ll do this IF we can limit the time or whatever. Who knows? I’m so conflict averse I’ll just shut down. I think the reason Rick and I have lasted for 21 years is that we live in separate houses two blocks apart and have for all that time. Otherwise, one of us would probably be dead by now, or at least mental and there would be no Marmelade Gypsy.

    Meanwhile, I love watching the planting and the stalking and the hungry birds. I’m glad you got that out of Memorial Day (and you’re right — popping the champagne? No, Ivanka. But then, what do you expect from a woman whose dad starts beating up on London’s Muslim mayor after a terror attack. I have to say, the mayor’s response (or his spokesperson’s) was brilliant.)

  8. Kathryn

    When I turned 60 I told everyone around me that I was never again going to do anything I didn’t want to do. They all looked at me and said “Kathryn, you’ve never done anything you didn’t want to do”. Personally, I don’t want others to do things they don’t want to. Why would you?
    Also, another term of endearment I love. “you are freaking adorable”. That’s how my daughter described her new boyfriend.

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