Friday, December 03, 2004

I'm Glad I Wasn't There

***Warning: Offensive language, use of the “N” word***

My husband came home last night, his face in its usual repose (his facial muscles are capable of only two expressions -- placidity and nonchalance), popped open a cold one, sat down at the kitchen table and said this:

“There was this old lady at the store tonight.”

The kids were screaming, as usual, and I was trying to fry still-frozen ground round. Well, stabbing it violently is what I was really doing, chipping it into a bust of Hillary Clinton in the hopes that it would make the meat thaw faster. Anyway, I didn’t bother to look up from my masterpiece when I asked him “Yeah, and...?”

Lar’s not one to willingly elaborate; stories must be dragged from his mouth by two dozen wild horses, and on occasion, a punch to the head.

He took a long swing, wiped his mouth and said, “Well, I was waiting in line, you know, and there was this old lady behind me with a cartful of toilet paper and oranges, and she...she...”

“She what?” Damn you, Lar, and your clam-like mouth. I left Hillary to melt (her chin had shrunk down nicely, and her eye sockets collapsed inward so that she resembled Renee Zellweger -- good going) and sat down at the table, stole Lar’s beer, drank it down. “She what, Lar?”

He fidgeted nervously. “She said some pretty bad things to the cashier. You know, while the cashier was ringing up my stuff.”


“Yeah. All of a sudden she just yelled at the cashier, and it sucked big time.”

“What did she yell, Lar? The suspense is killing me.”

He put his head down and muttered, “She yelled ‘stop talking about me, you fucking nigger! I know what you‘re doing! Stop it, you whore!’” He got up to get another beer. “It sucked really bad.”

Now, as horrible as this is, I started laughing. Why? Because if you knew my husband... Lar is one of the shyest, most laid back individuals I have ever known. He is a man who avoids confrontation at all costs (he did save a man’s life once, but that’s for another time) -- we’ve fought maybe five or six times in our entire fifteen years of marriage due to his hatred of confrontation or drama in any way shape or form. He is easily embarrassed, and his cheeks turn bright cherry-red whenever he is faced with adversity or sticky situations of any kind. His left eye twitches unmercifully.

I couldn’t help but imagine his twitching eye, his cherry-red cheeks -- I selfishly enjoyed the terribly uncomfortable situation my Lar was forced to endure, and I laughed like the insensitive ass I am.

“It isn’t funny, Lori. It sucked.”

His face burned bright at the memory, his eye began to flutter, so I laughed even harder.

“So what did the cashier do? What did you do?”

“Nothing. I just kind of gave the old bitch a nasty look, and the girl finished ringing me up, like she hadn’t heard a thing, then I got the hell away from there. Crazy old bitch.”

Then the sickness of the whole situation hit me, the serious humiliation of all involved, and I stopped laughing. I felt so badly for the cashier, badly for the obviously insane old woman, badly for Lar. My soul ached. Lar was right, of course -- it wasn't funny. Not in the least.

I gave my husband a quick hug, and went back to chipping at Renee Zellweger’s now completely flattened face.

The goulash turned out pretty good.


At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel so bad for them. All of them. Even the old lady.

Lar is right. That sucks.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Jexebel said...

I should try that Hillary Clinton thing, my Ronald Regan cookies were a disaster. I popped them in the oven and just forgot about them.

Yes, I know I suck.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Ivy Dillinger said...

Hi Lori-

Just stumbled upon your blog - it's terrific. I really love your writing style. (Just wanted to say hi and give you some props.)


At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your site through, and had to sit and read for a while. I feel bad for your husband, but the visuals you gave me were pretty amusing ;)


At 11:56 AM, Blogger Patty Ann Smith said...

Lori - Your poetic writing of ordinary life is...extraordinary!

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Tiger said...

What a most delightfully composed anecdote. By the way, I really love goulash!

At 2:26 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Aw, thanks, guys. I wasn't sure about this one after I posted it. It made me a bit uncomfortable due to the N word -- the N word is nothing to joke about.

But my husband's big red face *is*, so I had to do it.

And yes, goulash is the food of the gods. Nectar, sweet nectar.


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