With seemingly a zillion things on my mind today (full disclosure: groceries simply needed to be removed from the car), I did what perhaps a few of you out there have also done at some point: I used my car’s remote key fob to try and unlock our condo’s front door. Gorgeous stood there watching and smiling at me as I made the attempt. The two possibilities in guessing her thoughts at that moment are: (1) “Isn’t he adorable?” or (2) “God, I married a dork.” Of course, there’s also a possibility that she thought both things.
I am grateful for a recent doctor’s exam that shows I am in excellent health. Blood tests all came back in the normal range, and I remain with only a single blood pressure med to be taken daily. In spite of the fact that not all posts to this blog are necessarily coherent, I am not aware of any alarming patterns that point to memory loss or symptoms of early dementia. In the end, as my closest sister in age remarked repeatedly during my prepubescent years, once a dork, simply always a dork.
Probably the most glaring of the daily deficiencies I face is my absolute abomination in using a TV remote. Although I do have the typical male, testosterone-driven gene for the need to control TV functions, my inept ability to master the cable remote is so terrible that I recognize the need for me to hand it over to someone else. Gorgeous, however, wants no part of it. Not only is she proud of the fact that she’s never turned on our cable box or TV set, but she also displays a noble bearing in being able to say that the only button on the remote she is familiar with is the volume control. So we make for a fun oddity with our nightly couch routine: I consistently fail to grasp the forward and rewind functions, always somehow going way past the point at which the commercial is over and the show has resumed, and Gorgeous is either raising or lowering the volume because of her problem with hearing loss. We’re a sitcom waiting to be developed.
Although I do consider myself to be more than adept and comfortable in the kitchen, I have always had a problem in being able to locate literally anything in a cupboard or drawer. In spite of the fact that the silverware sits in the same drawer since we moved in, the coffee cups are consistently located in the exact same place, and all canned goods, cooking oils, and condiments are in the cabinet above and to the right of the sink, I am nonetheless conditioned to open each and every kitchen cranny before I come upon the correct one. I do this repeatedly and am emblematic of all those tasteless Helen Keller jokes from when we were kids. Preparing myself a bowl of cereal in the morning can be a 15 minute process in the best of days.
Similarly, the bathroom is also be a place where a degree of unintended hijinks exist for me. I use two shampoos — a medicated one that is brown-colored, and then whichever one is designated as “regular” for all other days. But sadly, life is not so simple as it would appear. I don’t know about the shower in your bathroom, but ours is so loaded with product that Estee Lauder has issued numerous “cease and desist” letters to us for tortious interference. I am utterly confused each and every time I enter the shower stall, especially on the days of the week in which I only need to use the “regular” shampoo. The “regular” one changes with such frequency that more often than not I end up using conditioner thinking it’s shampoo and never really knowing for sure (I am blind without my glasses). My most calamitous offense, however, was the time I mistakenly used the Chanel N°5 designer fragrance soap which costs $90 rather than the more provincial Dove set aside for me. God help me and my retirement annuity, but I have absolutely no understanding of actually why, or more important, how it is that we have a $90 bar of soap. The only explanation I’ve ever been given is the very concise and final, “it’s for me.” I’m sometimes not quite sure if I’m married to Isabella Rossellini or Kim Jong Un.
Sometimes a mistake can turn out to be a blessing, though. I have always been our bartender because of my more advanced knowledge of liquor and the different kinds of cocktails. Recently, however, some of my concoctions have come out either too strong, too weak, or with maybe a little more of the vermouth than Grandpa’s tired old saw about just waving the bottle over the glass. Whatever the case, Gorgeous has started to take control of bartender duties. The results have been an absolute joy. Not only has she nailed the delicate production of an absolutely perfect martini, but she also recently conquered the very intricate nature of the whiskey sour, which includes the all-important egg white finish on top. I couldn’t be more surprised and pleased, mostly because it’s yet another task for which I am now relieved of duty. Tom Sawyer would be proud.
George Carlin used to reflect in his standup act that how no matter how different we all are — be it conservative or liberal, fascist or communist, generous or stingy– we all have a set of certain and basic things in common. Sometimes it’s heading downstairs and realizing that we have no idea what we intended to do down there. Or perhaps it’s the horrible moment when our otherwise kind and considerate selves break character and cut someone off at an intersection or a parking lot. We do dumb things and we either laugh or die of embarrassment later. Or, some of us will blog about it.
Carlin was right, of course. After you peel away the many layers (some more than others), we all are basically the same: imperfect. Our ability to admit to those imperfections and mistakes gets us a lot further on that road to self-discovery.
For me, it’s all about the dorkiness.