Fireside Chats

We may need a refresher course in conversation around here.

We also need for it to stop raining so that one of us can get outside.   Two days of being inside with a wet-smelling, snoring, farting dog is wearing thin.  All three of us need some exercise–especially Miss Piggy.

Dearly Beloved is reading Beach Music, having just finished Conroy’s new book and enjoying both, despite the fact that neither was another Prince of  Tides. He had been boycotting Conroy’s books because, he reasoned, there could never be another Prince of Tides. Besides, just hearing the name Pat Conroy reminds him of the movie The Prince of Tides and he hated that.  He feels that Barbra Streisand butchered it.

“Maybe not the same,” I’d told him. “But Beach Music is very good.”

I read the book when it first came out and can’t remember enough now to discuss it with him.  I think he’s suspicious that perhaps I did not read deeply enough.  Reading fiction is one of his retirement enjoyments, but he takes his reading seriously.

Maybe he’s right.  I read for enjoyment; he’s the one that looks for symbolism, parallels, allegories, metaphors, and anything to get inside the writer’s head.

Last night I was watching something on TV and he asked me would I mind turning it down a little so that he could concentrate on his book.  He was over in the sunroom in The Reading Chair.  That is the only thing one should be doing in The Reading Chair, unless one dozes accidentally.  That is the way his mind works.  I knit, do Sudokus, even write e-mails in The Reading Chair.  Furthermore, I often read on the sofa.  All sacrilege on my part.

What can I say. . . ?  I’m a wild and crazy woman.

So I turned down the television and he began explaining something about how one had to absorb the words with Conroy because it’s obvious that he selected each one after careful consideration.  I can picture Pat plucking just the right adjective from his bonbon box of literary delights.

That was fine. . . blah, blah. . . I was trying to reknit a sweater vest because the neckline was too tight to go over my grandson’s head.  I had visions of making five by Christmas. HA!   So I’m concentrating on the knitting and he informs me, “His sentences are so long.  I’ll bet this next one has fifty words.  I’ll count them.”

I wait while he counts the words.  If I don’t, I’ll screw up what I’m doing.

“32 words,” he calls out. “I’ll count the next one.”

“NO!” I shrieked.  “It doesn’t MATTER!”

I’m not making fun of him, implying that he’s dense.  I’m making fun of him because that’s so MAN-ish of him!  What would he say if I told him that this vest has 53 stitches I am about to bind off in a super stretchy bind-off for the first time?   I learned it from watching a video.  Would he give this accomplishment the proper respect?

Of course not.  In the first place, I learned from watching the video and reading instructions.  That nullifies my accomplishment right there.   Men never read instructions.

He offered to fix lunch for us earlier since I was in the middle of another project.  I had a package of three-cheese tortellini in the fridge.  He doesn’t have much of a cooking repertoire, but this required three minutes or so of cooking, grabbing some basil leaves from the plant on the screened porch, and tossing it all in olive oil.   He does it well and we like it.

Today, he added some sundried tomato bits and they were a little crunchy.

“You could soak those in boiling water for a bit,” I said innocently.

He looked a little surprised that I would offer advice to the Chef de Cuisine.   I backtracked.  “I mean,  just read the instructions on the container.”

I swear to you that he put up his arms in a cross sign, warding off the hex I was casting.

“READ the instructions?  NEVER!”

THAT is the man thing in fulll bloom.  Well. . . not exactly, but you know what I mean.

A few minutes ago he asked me was I writing e-mails.

“No.  I’m doing a blog.”

“What’s it about?”

I flicked my index finger toward him and he came to read the first few paragraphs over my shoulder.  Here is what he said:

“South of Broad.    That’s the name of the book I just finished.  You should mention the name of his book.   I also read My Losing Season.  You should add that, too.”

He started to say something else, then stopped in mid-sentence.

“I’m proving your point, aren’t I?”

I love it when we have these chats.



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7 thoughts on “Fireside Chats

  1. submom

    Thanks, m’lady. I was really hoping, keeping my fingers crossed hoping, biting my time hoping, that men would improve through time…

  2. Did you know that Pat Conroy has a cook book? Might solve a couple of problems with the chef. Surely he would actually follow directions from Conroy. Well, perhaps not, but it’s worth a try.

    The rain has left us and hopefully will leave you soon as well. Meanwhile, just keep up those chats.

  3. Around here my daughter and I call these “hot dog moments.” Once, when her husband was explaining something that involved a lot of math (which isn’t our strong suit), her eyes glazed over, her mind wandered and all she could think of was “I’d really like a hot dog right now.” So now, whenever our hubbys get technical or start talking about something only they find interesting, we say we’re experiencing a hot dog moment.

    Instructions? Men don’t need no stinkin’ instructions!

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