Dating My Wife
A SHORT STORY — Once upon a time my wife took yesterday off from work. It was her birthday. I like it when my wife is home from work. We hang out. I’ve tried to convince her to quit working the last couple of years, so we could hang out more. But she is too devoted to the people her job and position is meant to serve. (Family Services Director for United Cerebral Palsy in Oregon and SW Washington.) Plus, she decided a while back to work until at least 65 so as to receive higher monthly payments from Social Security. And she has self-discipline and fortitude. (I, myself, have neither so quit work and my field of human services just after turning 62. My wife and I hung out at a coffee shop one night, armed with a calculator and pad of paper, and did math which determined I could hold up my end of the bargain – financially – just barely, and she gave me her blessing. This kindness and generosity on her part meant two things: (1) I am perpetually significantly limited in my ability to spend/have money to do stuff every month; and (2) in those last seven years I met a guy on-line and we wrote, played, sang, and produced a CD of original doo wop music (search The Gray Jays ‘Some Other Time’ on CD Baby), fell into the life of an artist and have my art hanging in homes around the country and periodically in Portland businesses (see www.buddycushmanfineart.com), and have written and published five books, including three of poetry (view www.wbcushman.com).
Anyway, my wife and I got to hang out yesterday. In the morning we went for a walk in the woods at Tryon State Park. In the afternoon we drank cups of organic coffee. And after a mostly vegetable dinner while watching her favorite show of “Elementary” we drove across town to a Whole Foods in search of a sugarless coconut-milk ice cream my friend Gavin in Oakland had clued me into the day before, and when we couldn’t find it there had an employee call an even larger Whole Foods even farther away and, assured it was there, my wife and I drove to that Whole Foods, bought the goodie, drove back across Portland to home where she had some of the ice cream in celebration of her birthday and from which (the ice cream) I refrained, finding my joy instead in a Red Sox wicked thrashing of the New York Yankees.
Eventually, after Marie had returned from dinner with a friend and Spenser had returned from a semi-pro baseball game, my wife and I went to bed and cuddled. Yeah, I like to hang out with my wife.