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Despite Happy Acres' best efforts (starting with a phonecall for Kent at 4am.  I suspect mine will come around 8-ish.  Nope, not coming in today!), the spousebeast and I have the day off together!  He was supposed to go in at 2 for a pointless meeting of the dietary/nutrition staff, but the staff (all 4 of them) told the ED that they'd already worked out the new schedule and new division of labor, so there really was no reason for two people to come in on their day off.  So pointless meeting was deemed pointless and cancelled.

(That's the difference between his department and mine,  We'd've still had the meeting, and it would have been twice as long.)

Yay!  Day off together!  Of course, the ensuing adreniline from a phone call at that hour has ensured that we're awake, sligtly rattled, and listening to Rush while eating some of the candy that one of the hospice nurses brought for the staff of MC (we never get the big stuff.  The big companies bearing gifts never make it past the front office.  So L taking her time--and her own money, I'll wager--to make cute little cellophane bags of goodies just for us means a lot).  Which is as good a way as any to spend a day that is largely focused playing Munchkin, listening to new-to-us cds, shopping for cheap chocolate, and cooking cabbage.

Yes, we got a Valentine's cabbage.

So here's the story:

Valentine's Day started with the dreaded 4:30 alarm.  Kent had to take a cab in (truck day starts waaaay early), so I went ahead and got up to go in with him.  It gets me to work an hour and change early, but I can sit in the break room and read/write in my paper journal AND I don't have to deal with the bus.  He surprised me with the champagne-flavored truffles I've been obsessing over (which, sadly, I found out late last night had apparently spent a lovely summer in a storage unit and had melted into a huge mess.  :(  Is it possible to return chocolate?), a new light up novelty glass to add to my collection, and an early anniversary card.

[He broke the three year streak of getting me the same card and was extremely pleased with himself.  I decided to not bring up the fact that Walgreens didn't have that card in stock this year.  It *is* a gorgeous card, and anything with wine, roses, and books on it is soo appropriate for me.  The one I got him has squirrels.  Also appropriate, given his backyard pets]

We got one of our favorite cabbies, who also happens to play one of the few tolerable stations around.  "Wild World" by Cat Stevens was playing, which played a pretty significant role in our relationship (and its many iterations) during my PA/NJ years.  So, if you HAVE to take a cab into work at yagottabekiddin'me-thirty, it's good to have a nice soundtrack.

Work was work.  With added sugar.  Of course, I was grilled about my plans and basically answered "Wine in my nifty new glass.  And sleep."

Then spousebeast came back with the snack cart and told me pointless meeting was cancelled, and did I want to do Valentimesaversary stuff in the afternoon?  I may have bounced up and down and clapped my hands a bit.

 The residents got a real kick out of that, especially when they found out we were going for chili dogs and then to play pinball.  One of the ladies opined "When I was young, only loose girls hung out at arcades."  Kent put his hand over his heart and said "Oh, Miz T....I certainly hope you're right."

Yeah.  Not living THAT one down any time soon.

Had amazing bus luck on the way home.  Got changed (I was determined to NOT wear scrubs on our anniversary outing this year.  I managed half.  Hey, my pants were clean-ish, black, and oh so comfy), had good bus luck again, and hit Trolley Stop for chili dogs and fries.

Discovered that all hot dogs are $1 for the month of February.  Score!  (Remembered later we ate there last year, too after our anniversary beer  at our late, lamented Bub O'Malley's.  And they had the same deal.  I think we've found our new tradition!)  Ate ourselves silly and headed out.

We've been slowly going through the cds and culling doubles, a couple of triples (!!!!  One his, one mine, and one "We don't have a copy of this, do we?" mistakes.  Hey, you have over 1,000 cds, and things fall through the mental cracks!), and "we hate this.  Why is it still in the Rock N Roll Dice Collection?"  We took the latest batch up to the used cd store for store credit and SCORED.  Rush, Queensryche, Cat Stevens, Ani Difranco, Cat Stevens, Dar Williams, the Partridge Family (Kent will never be over David Cassidy).  We ended up doing an even swap, and everyone walked away satisfied, so I call that a super double plus win.  Also, I had him put back another cd and a book for me for when I get my paycheck cashed, so it isn't like we're not supporting him with money, too.  :)

The final stop on our journey was Baxter's for pinball and beer.  They rotate their pinball machines fairly regularly and THEY HAVE A STAR WARS PINBALL MACHINE!!!! It's a bit tricky until you get the hang of it (read: I lost the first 3 games to Kent.  He got called a scruffy Nerf herder more than once), but lots of fun.  They also have the Simpsons arcade game, which is HELL on the wrists...but I managed 7th high score, so I got my name on the board and a free shot.

Which was on top of the VERY heavy shots we got when Kent ordered our drinks and mentioned it was our Valentinesversary night out...and gloated that he'd "leveled up" because he has officially outlasted my first marriage.

Honestly, I couldn't figure out why 8 years was such a huge thing in my mind.  It's not a round or significant number;  it's not one of those traditional milestones.  Then I was noodling in my paper journal about relationships and remembered how I felt like such a failure when my first marriage gave its first gasps and died about a month shy of our 8th anniversary.  It was a long, slow, painful death, and I felt like a complete failure as a wife.  In contrast, I've never pictured myself getting divorced from Kent (an image I had in my mind while I was still engaged to the ex.  It seemed inevitable, even before we were married.  Gods, I was stupid).  I've never thought "Well, with the way he takes care of himself, he'll probably pop off while I'm still young enough to start over" (also with the ex.  That sentiment in my private STOLEN journals was used in the divorce proceedings as proof I had intent to kill him.  Nope.  Between neglecting his health issues and being a gun nut with suicidal ideation, I kinda figured I'd be a widow by 40.  He didn't need my help.  Instead, he's just become a bitter middle aged man who apparently rarely sets foot out of his man cave.  He's stagnant, which is worse than death, IMHO).

But I had this weird superstition around the 8 year mark.  Am I just doomed for failure as a wife?

Kinda missed the fact that I'm not "just" a wife this time around.  I'm a wife...AND a partner, a best friend, a co-conspirator, a lover.  I'm not a "just" anything.  I think that makes the difference.

So I blurted this out to Kent over dinner and, before I could regret saying it (because, let's face it...that's a weird and awkward line of thought even when it's in your head, let alone when it comes out of your mouth), he got this shit eating grin and said "So...I won?  I WON!  I LEVELED UP!"  He did a little chair dance.  "I got the princess and you-u-u suck!"

Anyway, back to way too much top shelf alcohol (between the heavy pour and the high score shots, I think I had 3...maybe 3 and a half shots of Absolut Citron.  Enought that I finally kicked Kent's ass at pinball enough that I felt justified. (I was not about to let him beat me at Star Wars pinball.  There are certain machines where I will NOT accept defeat, and that is one of them.  Hell, that is THE ONE)

The beautiful thing about Baxters is that it is next door to Tarheel Taxi.  My giggly ass was gently guided over (the sidewalks in that part of town are broken and uneven where they exist at all).  We sat in the reception area while Willie (the owner) tried to find out if there were any rides nearby.  The People's Court was playing on the tv and there was a huge pile of cabbages on the table.

Willie finally decided it would just be faster to transfer incoming calls to his cell, close up the cab stand, and drive us home in his car.  I made a joke about it being a bit early to be prepping for St. Patty's day with all that cabbage.  Apparently, one of the drivers has an uncle who has a truck farm, and he brings in extras for the staff.  He asked me if we like cabbage (uh..I'm Irish and Polish.  Duh) and tossed me one.  "Happy anniversary, you crazy kids.  Let's go."

So that's the story of the anniversary cabbage.  Only in my life.

ETA: I wrote this in dribs and drabs yesterday.  In between, I was treated to breakfast at Ye Olde (still working off the after effects of my first cup of coffee in forever.  Caffeine is a helluva drug, kids!), returned my truffles to Walgreens (which involved the manager pulling the last TEN boxes off the shelves, opening each one, and finding me the only two in pristine condition.  And giving me a Whitman's sampler after I joked that I am now over Russel Stover forever, and granma was right.  They can't be trusted)  (They sold FIFTY BOXES of those truffles. There are some seriously disappointed chocoholics out there), and [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] like rabbits.  And binged watched Food Network.

And now it is officially our anniversary.  Fuck you, 8 year curse!

Here.  Have an anniversary cabbage.  With bonus cd haul.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
bourbonboweties
Feb. 16th, 2018 06:21 am (UTC)

You and the Spousebeast seem like such a fun couple to hang out with. I bet the residents think y'all are a hoot together too. Beer and pinball sounds like a great Vday date and probably unique enough that it wasn't too crowded?


I'm a wife...AND a partner, a best friend, a co-conspirator, a lover.  I'm not a "just" anything.  I think that makes the difference.
Yaaass! ♡

an_su
Feb. 16th, 2018 10:29 am (UTC)
Oh that is a tiny cabbage - hadn't seen such a small one - it's lovely.
seaivy
Feb. 16th, 2018 12:16 pm (UTC)
i loved reading this
i'm so glad you had a happy happy
spouse and i had 50 years of Valentine Special!
the day was hard for me this year
but i'm so glad that 2 people were were loving and laughing and making the day special
you were doing it for us
thank you
bubblesbrnaid
Feb. 16th, 2018 01:44 pm (UTC)
I aspire to a relationship like yours.
wantedonvoyage
Feb. 16th, 2018 01:50 pm (UTC)
Kinda missed the fact that I'm not "just" a wife this time around. I'm a wife...AND a partner, a best friend, a co-conspirator, a lover. I'm not a "just" anything. I think that makes the difference.

That is awesome.
kukla_red
Feb. 16th, 2018 04:14 pm (UTC)
Love this whole post! And you are not the only one with a totally stagnant bitter ex. Mine is still stuck hating me. His loss.
adoptedwriter
Feb. 16th, 2018 04:15 pm (UTC)
Happy Anniversary!
promiseoftin
Feb. 16th, 2018 06:16 pm (UTC)
Awwww, that sounds like a really fun day, especially the video games.
1_rhiannon_1
Feb. 16th, 2018 08:41 pm (UTC)
Anniversary cabbage - I love it!
weebleswobble
Feb. 17th, 2018 05:56 am (UTC)
giggles at the anniversary cabbage
imagine_peace
Feb. 17th, 2018 08:14 am (UTC)
Ani Difranco and Rush, nice!
communitybee
Feb. 17th, 2018 10:44 am (UTC)
Happy Belated Anniversary!!!
dimity_blue
Feb. 17th, 2018 02:57 pm (UTC)
Happy anniversary. I'm glad you're so much happier now. *hugs*
starjourneying
Feb. 17th, 2018 04:47 pm (UTC)
wow! What a post and a fun day out that you two got out of that meeting.

Glad you had a good time. Hubby was fun and congrats on an early anniversary. Making it past that 8 year mark!!!! And glad the ex is gone.

Have a great weekend if you are off and a lot of fun.

Enjoy the truffles and LOL--the cabbage.
millysdaughter
Feb. 19th, 2018 05:13 am (UTC)
Happy anniversary!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )