Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | December 12, 2005

Professional Slacker

Slapping my thigh Sunday evening he turned to me and said,

“Sorry Babe there are no Chinese places open this late. I’ve tried everyone. “
“Wee git no Chinese at all?”
“Not tonight unless you want to go to China.”
“We have to wait till the baby’s ready.”
Gfaw “Like they are checking the gauge on her thermometer”
“And once she blows we’re hot footing it to China.”

Saturday evening I ditched a date claiming an upset stomach after strolling the streets for Lights in The Heights with Kristina, Gary, and Mr. Anesthesia vowing never to listen to Kristina’s idea of a good fit for me.

Just tell him. You don’t want to be here with him. Be honest.

“My stomach is acting up. I think its best I go to my brother’s party alone in case I want to spend the night and not make the long treacherous drive back.”
“Can I get you anything? Ginger ale? Coffee? Chocolate covered gummy bears? Anything”
“No I’ll be fine. But thanks. I’ll talk to you later.”

Moments later I returned a missed call to my favorite ex-boyfriend.

“Did you go to”
”Lights in the Heights? Yeah I did and just got home. I haven’t decided if I am going back out or not.”
“I don’t want to drive alone. Want to come to a party with me at my brothers?”
“Why not”
“Cool I’ll be there in five minutes. Pick you up outside.

He’s always there at the drop of a dime if I need anything. Last winter I was in the back of a cop car after forgetting to pay a traffic ticket and he flew over in a New York minute. Knowing him, he did it just to see me in handcuffs once again. He’s my go to man. Get your mind out of the gutter it’s purely platonic.

Walking into the party we were hit in the face with an abrupt conversation that took years off a friendship. Breakups, separations, and divorces are difficult. As women, we make them harder on our friends than need be. Friends are pulled in opposite directions as husband and husband talk about sports, financial plans, and swim suite issues. The women share pasts, childhood remedies, careers, sports, and vacation time. Generally speaking (something I hate to do) when breakups occur friendships are pulled and strained. The draw string catches on the stronger bond. Sadly, it’s true. Friends are there to catch a tear and pick up the phone when it rings in the middle of the night. With out saying a word they know you’ve woke realizing the bedroom is empty.

“Hi honey. I’m right here.”

Friends know that’s all you need. What they don’t know is how little you know of a lie that was never spoken. Spouses share a lot, as they should. Not everything is common knowledge. A husband knows his wife would have to tell the other wife of cheating moments if she knew of such. He hid his secret safely away, tied it with a string, and buried it in the recesses of his mind

“You’re lying.”
“I would never. If that’s what you think of our friendship then…”

Thou shalt not lie or penalties will fly. The slam of a door and the friendship hit the floor.

Sunday morning I woke laughing draped in a fuzzy Barbie comforter and surrounded by stuffed animals.
. “You look good in pink”
“It’s not really my shade. I like a darker more violet color”

To Sister-in-law: “What we need while we clean up is a Bloody Mary. Dontcha’ think.”


And so the day began. He drove my car back to busy streets, bright lights, and a blazing sun. Lazily we lounged watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith, March of the Penguins, Serendipity and took naps in the middle of the day. He allows me to rest my head in the nook of his neck ignoring the soreness he’s bound to experience hours later

“I could die right now and be perfectly content that we did nothing today. Nothing.”
“If we keep this lifestyle up we very well may.”
“Aww Babe. Stop talking dirty to me.”

After making the jump from my place to his thoughts of Christmas lights and nightmares raced through my mind. .

For all the rice in China I’d do anything to not have some memories. But I’m keeping this weekend. I learned a lot about myself on Saturday knocking on Soleil’s door unannounced. My left hand held a yellow rose and a Hallmark card. My right cradled a pineapple.

“How do I tell you Sorry Isn’t Enough?”

She turned and flicked the TV to mute, bundled herself a little tighter releasing, “You scare me like Kim did. Sometimes it’s like loving you through a tea strainer. You’re holding back the best part of you. I’m going to say this in order of importance.” She listed all the qualities a friend tells another of love, yellow roses, and pineapples.

Perhaps the only way the universe can get through to someone who is as stubborn as Tony Blair speaking to the United Nations is a lightening bolt. The message got through. I told myself, ‘okay, here I am, the old is old and over with and here’s the new. All I have to do now is reinvent myself. Not like I haven’t done it before, many times. It’s true I wasn’t expecting to have to get this machinery out of the attic again, the self-reinvention machinery, and dust it off and oil its joints — aggressively low tech, that’s me — but it’s all still there. It’ll still work.’ This time around there won’t be any typos, wrong key strokes, or deleting people from my life. It’s my life peppered in yellow roses, pineapples, and set to a Harry Connick song.

After it was way too late to think again I dozed off realizing for all the rice and tea in China I wouldn’t be getting any Chinese Food. But I sure did have fun thinking about it.


  1. You sure know how to spin a tale, girl.

  2. I second that.

  3. again, thanks.

  4. He allows me to rest my head in the nook of his neck ignoring the soreness he’s bound to experience hours later

    That’s the good stuff, there. That’s what I miss, giving aid and comfort.
    But, you know, I’d trade almost anything to have known myself well enough to really reinvent myself. I’ve been the same guy since kindergarten. Same hair, same eyes, same off-kilter sense of humor and out of place comments that people mistake for profundity. Only the voice has changed.
    So, good luck with that. Keep the hair and eyes and smile, though. They work well for you. Pick a cool new bad habit. You can build an entire weekend off one cool bad habit.
    Honest. Your Uncle Jim wouldn’t lie to you about that.

  5. Very well written. :0)

    Crap…now I”m craving Sweet n’ Sour Chicken.

  6. What are you doing wasting talent on a blog?

  7. How funny. I just had Kung Pow Shrimp and read this.

  8. The latest I know a Chinese place is open on a Sunday night here is 10 pm around here, and then there is that Chinese place east of downtown that is open really late … can’t remember the name … It is near Jenny’s Noodles …

    You should date your ex …

  9. Whow!

  10. Sass, what you need is a guy who can *make* Chinese food for you at all hours. Or Indian, or Italian, or … Well, I think you get where I’m going with that.

    Which reminds me, if y’all like Thai, the best, little, hole-in-the-wall Thai joint in Houston is shutting down at the end of the month, Paddy Thai. Got one last chance. I’m not sure how I’ll arrange getting there myself this season, but… Somehow, I’ll make it happen.

  11. I’m so tired or remaking myself. You seem to do it so gracefully. I’m jealous.
    (I think this was the best post of yours I’ve read)

  12. Can I take you out for chinese food, champagne, and a ride on the ferris wheel?

  13. Reinventation machinary… can I borrow that? Maybe yours works better than mine.

  14. Wow. I definitely hear you.

  15. sometimes you break my heart in all the right ways, darlin.

  16. Handcuffs again??? So that was your picture I saw hanging at the post office.


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