Thursday, December 29, 2011

I’m often staggered by our capacity for self-delusion.  It’s a gift, I believe and I’d bet good money our brains are hard wired for it.  Without this deception, we’d all be walking around in an unbearable world where not just the emperor, but all of us, are butt naked every day of our lives.

That little paragraph was yesterday’s journal entry.  My blog entry was a short celebration of my husband and my twentieth wedding anniversary.

Well, here’s a funny thing.

Yesterday was not our anniversary. 

Oh, we did go out to dinner and a movie.  Jack asked what he asks each and every year, “So, do you want to renew the contract for another year or are you done putting up with me?”

We talked about what we hoped to do in the coming year and toyed with the idea of one more adventure trek.  Both of us pretending not to know that the real goal of such a trip would be both of us making it home without having broken a hip or lost what’s left of our minds. (A great example of that handy tool, self-delusion) We reminisced about past explorations and mishaps and joys.

This morning, we stood in front of the extra-large-print-for-old-eyes calendar, stared at the page, looked at each other and said, “Huh. Yesterday wasn’t our anniversary, Friday is.”

I do have an explanation for how this confusion happened.

But, as usual, you’re going to have to bear with me. (Yes, that’s the correct use of ‘bear’. Bare with me would be me asking you to get naked with me)

As a kid the expression I heard the most was, “What the hell is the matter with you?”

Kid’s are adaptive.  I learned quickly to reside in my own little world. Don’t feel badly for me.  Keep reading, you’ll see this has worked well for me and, in my usual round-about-way, I’ll reveal the explanation for the confusion about the anniversary date.

Yesterday morning I was deep in Bigfoot Blues, happily rounding some of the edges off my main male character, polishing his speech just a tad, dropping the reader another hint or two into the mind of this irresistible man. My husband, known for his inability to keep dates straight, came into the office and said, “Hey, Happy Anniversary.”

Now.  If I had been in this world, I might have given that a second of thought.  But I was in the Pacific Northwest, swapping Bigfoot stories in a bar known as VD’s.  Truly, Jack’s booming voice was like a boom of thunder or a backfire on a rain-black street.  I heard the words. But they were of no importance to where I was at the moment. (Sorry, baby, it’s why you always get a mention on that thank you page of each book)

So, here’s my premise.  The point of this blog. 
The correct answer to the question on that loop in my head, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

 is

“Not a goddamn thing.  I’m a writer. Live with it.”

7 comments:

  1. Love this, Pam. And after reading it, I have to agree again. We DO need to get our mothers together. :) I wouldn't worry about the anniversary "mishap." Shouldn't we treat every day of our marriage as a celebration?

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  2. Great post, Pamela. Is it possible that this disease, self delusion, gets worse with age?

    I'm looking forward to reading Bigfoot Blues since finishing Redneck Goddess. You have a gift with words.

    Happy Anniversary to you and Jack.

    Until about eight years ago, I had an impatient uncle who always said "What the hell's the matter" anytime something took time. I like your writerly response!

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  3. Ah, Jan, such a romantic.
    By the by, I was also wearing a sweater that was a mom hand-me-down last night.

    Mike? I'm all ears.

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  4. Dates? We're supposed to keep track of dates? Not just what day of the week it is, but what number on the calendar? And, remember if anything important happened on that date? Not me. In our house I was the dateless wonder. My husband used to joke he was the only man in the world who didn't get in trouble for not remembering his wife's birthday, because she didn't know when it was. Not true. I know when my birthday is, my husband's birthday, the anniversary of him leaving, our kids' birthdays, our grandkids' birthdays, our anniversary. I KNOW when they are, I'm just not usually aware that the date has arrived, because I don't keep track of what the date is. One exception, I always remember the day he left to go live with the angels, it's etched into my heart. Plus, now you get to celebrate your anniversary twice. :) ~Nita

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  5. Ha! Great post, Pam and I agree 100% with your conclusion. I never knew what exactly it is that's wrong with me until I met all my wonderful writer friends ;)

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  6. Ah, Pam, you are so funny!
    I agree with you: there's nothing the matter with me. I'm a writer, a creater, a blythe spirit that wants more out of life than 9-5, bills, and ho-hum days. It's everyone else that nuts, not me!

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