Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Last Date

A banker needed a copy of my driver's license today, so I faxed it over. He emailed to ask that I send it again, because he couldn't read it, so, I made the copy a little bigger, a little lighter, and faxed it over. 

He still couldn't read it. 

So...I made the copy a little bigger, and a little lighter, and faxed it over again.

Aaaand he still couldn't read it.

So...I made the copy a little bigger, and a little lighter, and faxed it over.


By this time, of course, we're reaching a level of Comically Huge Driver's License, and trust me...nobody wants an 8X10 blow-up of my driver's license photo. Nobody.

Even if they ask for it, they don't really want it. 

I had that DL picture taken on a delightful summer day several years ago--my birthday, as a matter of fact!  (Isn't that so sweet that I would renew my license on my actual birthday?  How delightfully civic-minded of me!)

Strangely, and, I don't know how this could have happened, but....I look like absolute HELL in my driver's license photo! If memory serves (oh yes, I believe it is all coming back to me now...), the reason I looked like absolute hell that day because I was doing yard work and didn't even take a shower before I went to the DMV.

Yard Work.

On my birthday.

Yard work, instead of, say, leisurely relaxing and having people fetch things for me.

On my birthday.

Strange, isn't it?

How did that happen?

I remember that it was kind of hot that day, and I was digging a trench.

Yes, digging a trench...because digging trenches was what you did on your birthday when you lived with my husband. There was always some hellish project that needed to be done around the house, one that required your full attention, and every one of them non-negotiable.  We needed that trench dug.  We needed it, damn it!

Luckily for my husband, he had a heart condition and could only supervise, not participate in, the trench digging, and he usually did his supervising from a comfortable chair in the shade where he would drink cold sodas and smoke cigarettes.

Anyway...really, really bad driver's license photo...I think what happened was that at some point, after digging a ditch half the day, I flopped in a lawn chair, exhausted, then suddenly realized that OHSHIT I had to go renew my license and probably only had one hour in which to accomplish this, so I got up and left, as is.

I just want to say that I'm not blaming my soon-to-be ex-husband for the bad driver's license photo...after all, I was the one who failed to say, "I ain't doin' shit!  It's my birthday!"  ShouldaWouldaCoulda.  However, the ditch-digging story does remind me of yet another amazing, delightful story that I never told here.  Trust me, all of my friends have heard this, and, this particular tale is a hit at parties, right along with story of the Inexplicable David Crosby Incident.

I call this, If This Was Our First Date, We'd Have Never Had Another.

In our back yard in Mobile, Alabama, there was a pond...a small, cute pond, right outside our bedroom window.  And, who wouldn't want a pond right outside their bedroom window?

The neighborhood frogs loved our pond as much as I did.  Maybe more.

Well, definitely more.

The neighborhood frogs were some noisy little buggers. They are just like humans--one gender sends out a call to the other and the other gender comes along with a million pick-up lines, obsessed with scoring. Whoooo-Hooooo!  Party in the pond! Throw in a case of Heineken, and you have one noisy-ass frog orgy right outside your window.

The sound didn't bother me--its a nature noise, so I barely noticed.

My husband? Not so much. He freaked about the frog singing. Freaked. One night, I woke up dripping with sweat to find the bedroom windows shut up tight and the TV blasting an info-mercial, at 3 in the morning. He couldn't stand the frog noise, so he shut the windows and cranked up the television.

Never mind the fact that I was sleeping and would have probably continued to sleep right through the frog noise! Oh, no....if Jim's not sleeping, NOBODY IS SLEEPING.

Oh, the frogs of Alabama.  Any time my husband saw one, he'd make it a new family project.  We had to get rid of the frogs.  WE had to.  They bothered him! 

Didn't bother me, just him.

On our 8th wedding anniversary, we went out to dinner at a great place.  I was wearing a fabulous dress and heels, and I must say, I looked pretty damn good for a 106-year-old woman.  We had a bottle of wine, incredible food covered in impossibly rich sauces, and lots of Toasts To Us that night.  It was our anniversary! Yay Us!

Several hours of dinner and drinks go by and we're as relaxed as we could possibly be.  Gee, going out to dinner sure is great...

We left the restaurant and drove home in our oh-so-relaxed-and-happy state, and I'm thinking, "Hey!  Cool!  I have a half a bottle of wine in me and I could be wrong but I think I look totally fuck-able in this dress, so, who knows?  It is our anniversary, after could happen!"

But as we were driving up the driveway...we saw it...A lone frog hopping from the pavement into the grass.

And the relaxed and happy came to an immediate and unquestionable end while my husband slammed the car into it's parking space, jumped out, and went looking for the frog in the the dark of night.

Of course, he couldn't find was dark.  But he figured that the offending, sex obsessed amphibian was headed for the pond, so he shook a fist in that direction, vowed to "get that little fucker," and took off for the shed to find a shop light.

Having retrieved the shop light, he then instructed me to hold it for him while he searched for the frog.

Let's recap, shall we?  Wedding Anniversary, Date Night, wine, Half-drunk horny hot chick...


A shop light was not the thing that I had hoped to be holding that evening.

And, much like my birthday...I ended up doing something really dumb when I should have been celebrating.  I stood there in my back yard, in my dress and high heels, holding a shop light for the Mighty Frog Hunter, while I noted with some sadness that my delightful buzz had completely disappeared.

That particular anniversary, just this past June, was part of the beginning of the end of my marriage. That may be part of the reason I have never told that story here before.  Oh, sure, its funny now...But I knew when I woke up the morning after my anniversary that if it had been our first date, not only would there have never been another date, but I probably would have changed my number, my locks and possibly my name to avoid further contact with that man.

Luckily, its a funny story.

I have nine years worth of stories just like that.  Most of them, I can tell and get a laugh--he's a funny guy (when it's not you in the story...).  Some of the stories make me mad so I don't tell them much. I try not to remember the ones that made me cry. It didn't seem so crazy while I was in the middle of it all, but truly, the last years were insane. I was on edge, pretty much the entire time. It was when somebody asked me how I felt when I heard him walk in the door every evening that I knew it was over: I dreaded it. I dreaded it, because it always meant that everyone was going to have to drop whatever they were doing and spend our entire time with him doing whatever it was that he wanted or needed. Many days, I wished he wouldn't come home at all.  I'm not proud of that, but it is true.

I don't feel like the time was wasted. After all....there are all these great stories....all these stories that I never told because I thought they might embarrass him. I think I'm far enough removed from the situation to allow me the perspective that I need to laugh--at him, and at myself. I'll talk about it, before the memories fade, and I get a new driver's license photo taken.


  1. Have you thought of installing a countdown ticker on the sidebar "# Days until I get a New Drivers License"?


  2. what movie (or something??) is it that says something about crazy being more than skin deep? I think some of the last years will be with you forever......hopefully mostly in a funny story to tell ppl way.....hopefully.

    (horny abuse oughta be punishable by more than moving across the country, dontcha think? wasting a good buzz and a 'touch me there baby'?? Horrible!)

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  4. The frog story was well-told and awful. You know you are making progress when the awful becomes funny.

  5. This is my favorite post by you ever.


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