anniversaries


George W. Bush official photo.

Image via Wikipedia

Ten years ago today, the United States Supreme Court gave the 2000 Presidential election to George W. Bush.

Hindsight, which is as useless a gift as it appears, tells us that had Florida been allowed to recount all votes cast, Gore would have won. No matter how they conducted the count. He would have been President and today would probably be a very different reality.

At the time, Justice Souter, who wrote the dissenting opinion, chose to couch his dissent in language that brings to mind the horrific 1852 Dred Scott decision. It’s the one that set the country on an irrevocable path to civil war and the capstone on the Founding Fathers pandering in the nation’s formative years.

Some people, even today, felt that Dred Scott was too important a case in the history of civil rights in the U.S. to be compared to the Gore v. Bush decision. But I don’t.

No, they are not equal in terms of moral gravitas, but they are equal in turns of historical tipping points. Dred Scott was the top of the hill the country rolled down into near self-destruction. Gore v. Bush set the stage for the end of the American Dream.

Not democracy. We have never been all that great an example of representative democracy. And not even the material and consumption dream, we were heading there anyway – though it might have taken longer than it’s going to now.

No, it’s the end of the illusion that we are all equal. That no matter where we humbly begin, the ladder is ours to climb.

It freed those who rig the game from having to hide that fact, and it has set in motion a slide that we are unlikely to rise above.

Happy Anniversary Gore v. Bush, the gift that is yet to finish giving the American people what they probably deserve anyway.


The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Ken...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m not sure which is more startling. The fact that John Lennon would be just eight years younger than my mother today, or that the world is uniting to celebrate the birth of someone who’s been dead – and so basically ageless – for the last thirty years.

I remember when he died. I cried. He was my favorite Beatle for reasons that had nothing to do with anything rationale. I was sixteen. I liked the badder boys though they had to be brainy because I just couldn’t suspend my own intelligence to pretend that “badness” was enough. He wasn’t pretty. McCartney was pretty and the better looking the boy, the less likely he was to even notice me, so I disregarded them as a matter of expediency.

I would go on to prefer the George Harrison‘s of the world but only after several emotionally brutal lessons with the John Lennon’s of the world.

John Lennon was an asshole despite the whole “love, peace and Strawberry Fields” image he has today. He suffered no fools. He was a prick to his friends, a douchebag to his women and a questionable father.

But happy birthday.

Happy Birthday?

You don’t have birthdays after you die. It’s metaphysically impossible. We do the cake for dead people thing, but only for the kids. Dee goes back and forth. Some years she is totally down with a cake for her father and others, she prefers not because “it’s too sad”, and I am in total agreement with the latter. What could be more sad than deliberately stalking sadness and inviting it in for cake and ice cream?

But in the spirit of a rather morbid practice, here is my favorite Lennon tune:

 


The 3rd wedding anniversary is often when a couple is aware of the durability of their relationship. That is why leather is the traditional gift for this celebration. Here are some third wedding anniversary ideas and symbols to help you choose gifts associated with your 3rd marriage anniversary.
Leather is difficult to do over the internet … without violating some sort of law or deeply offending.
Pretend it’s leather.


I found this months ago on Archie’s site and thought it appropriate for the celebration of Rob and my second wedding anniversary which is today. Archie found it originally over at Litlove’s delightful blog and then saw it again on Lily’s entertaining blog.

What are your middle names?

Mine is “Marie” the same as my mother’s. Rob’s middle name is “Shaun”. I don’t know the significance of it.

How long have you been together?

We met on the YWBB, specifically on a post he put up on the general section of the board. That was in December of 2006. Rob saved that post. Our first long conversation was in a chat room. We ended up being the last two people there despite the fact that there was another woman stalking Rob at the time and pulling him out to side chats. Eventually he ditched her to talk with me although on the surface neither of us were looking at our getting to know each other as anything more than virtual friends. 

How long did you know each other before you began dating?

We were e-mail pals for about  five or six weeks before we were more than that. We were in contact just about every day. Support at first but that changed rather quickly and became more of the getting to know you stuff that happens when people first meet. 

Who asked whom out?

He sent me an e-mail the day after the first anniversary of Will’s death. It was long, rambling, very sweet. I was stunned. I liked him, but he’d been so adamant about internet romances being bad things (there was a lot of that going around on the widda board at the time) that I put the idea way on the back burner. My BFF was always pushing me to try and sound him out about the possibility of he and I, but I rebuffed her. I respected Rob too much and wasn’t going to endanger our friendship by being forward. Our first “date” was via the phone. I was reluctant to go to the phone. I don’t do “good phone”, but he was as easy to talk to as he was to correspond with.

How old are you?

I was born in Iowa in 1963. He was born in Ontario in 1961. I have never been younger than a man I was with. It’s kinda fun. He grumps a bit because he was younger (a few months) than Shelley and he hates having lost the age “advantage”.

Whose siblings do you see the most?

Mine, I guess, but we live pretty far away from family. Rob’s siblings are younger (some a lot younger) and they aren’t a close-knit group. I have met only his sisters and not his younger brother. Funnily, I have met all of Shelley’s siblings, nieces and nephews and many of her cousins, aunts and uncles.

My sister, DNOS, and her husband and son are the ones we see the most, aside from Shelley’s family.  My younger siblings are not really part of our lives, but Rob has met them both. He’s also met much of my extended family and I have met a few of his mom’s extended family.

Which situation is hardest on you as a couple?

I had to think about this a long time because I don’t think we have any issues that are “hard”. There have been issues that have come up concerning the children and other family members, but nothing that we couldn’t deal with. Recently we have been tossing around the “where will we be buried” thing again. I have a plot back in Des Moines where Will is but haven’t much desire to be buried there myself. Rob’s late wife is still, mostly, in a container in our basement. I think it would be easier if we all just faded into nothingness like Yoda did, but that’s just me.

Did you go to the same school?

No.

Are you from the same home town?

No. Not even the same country.

Who is smarter?

That depends on who you are asking and what the topic is, but generally, I would say he is a tad bit smarter than I am in most areas and a whole lot smarter in his fields of expertise.

Who is the most sensitive?

To others? He is. I am about as tactful as a face plant on the pavement. In terms of personal slight? That would be me. My feelings get hurt very easily because I read things into people’s actions and words that perhaps they don’t realize they are telegraphing along with the surface content. It has made life hard for me and sometimes still, I feel the need to back away from humanity to ease the scraped raw feeling I get from being too close.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?

My food allergies make eating out … challenging. There is a place I love in Edmonton called The High Level Diner, but mainly, it’s Humpty’s, Boston Pizza and Subway.

Where is the furthest you have traveled together as a couple?

By road? To Iowa and then southern Illinois for our honeymoon. But long trips are a fact of life here in the Great White North. No place we have been has been less than a five hour drive. We’ve been to Jasper to get married, Regina and Penticton to visit Rob’s mom, Fairmont Hot Springs and Revelstoke for vacations. We’ve gone farther north (yes, there is a farther north) to Grande Prairie for funerals. Rob and I also went to Arkansas on our first road trip, and we met in person for the first time in Idaho Falls.

Who has the craziest exes?

We don’t have those. My husband is buried in Iowa and his wife’s remains are in a container in our basement.  So what we have is … unusual … by the standards of many.

Who has the worst temper?

We have the same temper and that is the problem. We are both the stewing sort that give off radioactive heat, but we really don’t disagree that often and we are both working on the whole “talking” as opposed to “clamming up” thing and I must say we have made remarkable progress on that front. 

Who does the most cooking?

He did in the beginning because I had never really cooked an entire meal family style before in my life. I do the lion’s share now but he is good with breakfast on vacations and weekends.

Who is the most stubborn?

Again, kind of a “two peas” situation. I am the more flexible though, imo.

Who hogs the bed most?

Me. I am a snuggler. He moves away (because I apparently give off quite a bit of heat) and I follow until he is clinging to the side of the bed. He takes all the covers though.

Who does the laundry?

Me mostly but he will often take it upon himself to do the wash. He folds too – much better than I do. I can’t complain at all when it comes to the housewifey things. Rob has the attitude that he is as responsible as I am for cleaning and whatnot.

Who’s better with the computer?

Not even a contest, he is.

Who drives when you are together?

Rob always drives even on long trips (because I drive too slow – the speed limit). I prefer to be driven really. It would be nice to live in a place where one is able to walk most everywhere but that’s not the reality right now.


So there you have it. If anyone is inclined, please join in the “Marriage Meme”. 



Two years ago today I received the famous “Evil Twin” message from Rob via the widow board where we were once active members. It was in response to something I had posted in reply to a post he’d left in the general message forum.

I’ve been immersed in the timeline due to the memoir. The constant combing through old emails. blog entries and such drew my attention to the fact we were approaching a milestone, and so I mentioned to Rob that we had now officially known each other for two years.

Because Rob saved much of what he’d written there*, he was able to look up the message to find the exact date – Dec.16 at about 1 in the morning. He even had the replies – mine plus the three or four others. An interesting bit of time traveling and one which makes a person more thoughtful about the whole “digital footprint” thing.

Two years seems like such a long time and yet it’s gone by at a such a swift pace.

I was going to write once again about our meeting but decided to simply post this link to something I wrote last December on the subject of Rob and I and the circumstances that took a beautiful friendship to another level.

I know some people consider the acknowledging of all the little anniversaries to be overkill girly style, but I like to look at these dates as turning points in my life. The days where my life converged or merged or simply had a light bulb moment that changed everything.

*When I had myself deleted from the board I had in excess of 1600 posts. Curiously, they were mostly replies to other people’s posts. I shared my experiences, offered what encouragement or sympathy I could and occasionally lost my temper with the thick-headed. But I originated fewer than 25 posts myself. I didn’t realize this until Rob pointed it out to me and encouraged me to at least save those posts. I elected not to. Most of them were simply expressions of sadness or despair that were largely ignored and just made me feel sorrier for myself. That is not worth saving. Rob’s post were always reflective (when he wasn’t annoying people sticking up for his wife) and more importantly told his and Shelley’s story. I didn’t share much of mine. There wasn’t anyone there who could relate to me or what I went through.