Hey! what’s that noise?
[NB: This was originally posted some six years ago on the sister site of Salon.com, a blogging venue no longer in the ether called Open Salon. This was when we lived at our previous abode.]
A knock on the door interrupted some busywork at my desk. I was paying bills, clearing my desk of once necessary detritus after all the Memorial Day family reunion duties. I found a couple of Netflix envelopes, but only one DVD. I burned the one available, but dared not enter the beautiful daughter’s room, the archaeological strata too daunting. I left a sticky note on her door.
We have a doorbell, an illuminated one, it’s not easy to miss. A knock usually means that someone wants to make a personal connection, offering something I can’t live without. I keep the blinds raised a bit so Popper can yell kitty expletives and throw gang signs to passing dogs. I bent over and saw black tennis shoes and bare ankles—the lower end of a typical uniform from a delivery person.
We have a lot of commerce coming and going out the door. I send images in sturdy envelopes to clients, I get supplies and occasional grownup toys so it’s not surprising to get an interruption. Nor is it unusual that I haven’t a clue what is arriving—every package is a surprise!
The FedEx guy needed a signature. Normally I hear a thud and rebound as the boxes are tossed onto the concrete porch. “I wonder what could be in there that could be so light and from overseas.” His comment caught me off-guard. He was snooping a bit, but not too successfully. The small box had a label that said Made in Thailand, but the shipping address was from Kansas City, albeit from Belgium Avenue. Should I open it so he could have his curiosity sated? No, it was “Thanks, have a nice day—stay cool.”
It was one of those boxes that I had no clue about. With some help from Popper, I got it opened and was pleasantly surprised. I’ve recreated the sequence, sort of, below.
It’s not food, not interested.
Hmm…actually, that does look interesting.
Nice package…we’re both wondering what’s inside.
Oh! Oh, that will look so good on me!
What. Do. You. Mean It’s. Not. For. Me?
Hmmmpff! I’ll take care of her later.
Don’t even look at me.
Like a tribal chieftain, I’ve taken on an additional partner late in my life. It hasn’t seemed to upset the household dynamic too much. You may be aware that calicos are almost always female, and that they’re stubborn and usually monogamous. They pick a partner and remain a one-person cat. They don’t mind other people, especially with regard to food, but they let their preferences for companionship known. With the arrival of the heat in Hades/Dallas and the AC running most of the time, she makes sure that the heat transfer from my body to hers occurs all night long as she plasters herself to my side. It’s one of the services she expects from me in return for gracing us with her presence I suppose.
Oh, the gift.
It’s really, as you’ve guessed, for the true love of my life, young Popper notwithstanding. The bride is really fussy about presents, not that she’s not appreciative, but she doesn’t like the fuss. She’d prefer to go out and get what she wants herownself. It’s not that she doesn’t always like my stuff—which actually happens often enough—she’d rather skip the middleman.
But this is one of those times that I can’t let that laissez faire attitude trump what ought to be done.
We just celebrated our 30th anniversary this past May 23. It’s more than half my time on the planet, and certainly the best part of my life. My bride of 30 years is the best person I know and that by itself shows you how lucky I am, but it’s much more than that of course. More even than her loving me all these years—the vows in sickness and in health, the honor and support, all those things we said in 1981 that were not term- or time-limited—she has been the best person I could have ever wished for in sharing our lives together. We hope for many more.
The thirtieth anniversary is usually commemorated by pearls. I was happy to find something I liked from a vendor of Worldstock Fair Trade, made by artisans in third world countries. I hope she likes it too.
[And she did! No hand me downs for dear Popper.]
Wake me when you bring the catnip. You owe me.
Thank you dear for the love, for the years past and for those to come. I love you. You’ve always been the best thing in my life. xoxo
(I love you too Popper.)