Patsy Porco

Posts Tagged ‘Husband’

A Mouse in the House and My Hub in the Tub

In Humor on September 24, 2018 at 2:52 am

My husband was recently in the hospital with pneumonia. He was in the ICU for five days and in a regular room for another three. During his time there, he wasn’t able to bathe, so when he got home he really wanted to take a shower.

The problem with taking a shower was that he couldn’t stand for too long because he was still weak and a little short of breath. I immediately ran out and bought him a shower chair. I presented it to him with the fanfare deserved of a 65-inch television. My excitement died with him. He told me that he wasn’t go to use it. In truth, I was relieved; those things seem unsanitary.

Since he couldn’t take a shower, I told him I’d draw him a bath. So, I drew him a bath. When I handed him the picture of a bath, he indulged me with a laugh. This is an old, tired joke in our family, so it was nice of him to humor me. I took back the picture and said I’d fill the tub.

He said to hold off on that for a minute.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because while you were out buying me a shower chair, I saw a mouse come up the steps from the basement.”

“A mouse!” I said. “It’s not even cold out. They never come inside before fall!” It was the end of summer, but the outside temperature was still very warm and I wasn’t ready for this fight yet. This was a fall battle, not a summer one. How dare that mouse not follow the seasonal rules.

In truth, we had just experienced two rodent-less falls because our son had taken an insulation gun and had filled in every crack and crevice in the basement. But this summer, we had a new Bilco door installed and I suspect the installer left some gaps between the cement and the door.

“Did you see where it went?” I asked.

“I think it’s under the fridge,” my husband said.

I responded with a word that I promised myself I wouldn’t write in my blog posts, so use your imagination. Then I pulled the refrigerator out from the wall. A tiny little black mouse ran out, around the corner of the kitchen, and into my son’s bedroom. Great. Just great.

After pushing the fridge back against the wall, I ventured into my son’s bedroom. The mouse wasn’t in the room, so it had to be in the closet. Of course the closet floor contained a mountain of clothes and shoes, so I pulled them all out and, thinking ahead, put them into a laundry basket so that the mouse wouldn’t run out and get lost in the pile. Finally, as I took out the last shoe, the little thing came running out.

I was kneeling on the floor and, in its panic, it ran over, under, through my legs before racing back into the closet. I think I was as freaked out as the mouse was, but I had to persevere. I leaned into the closet and tried to trap it under a Yankees cap, but it kept slithering out. Finally, it ran out of the closet and out of the room, probably back downstairs. I put the basket of shoes and clothes back into the closet and vowed to buy mousetraps. I had given the mouse a chance at life and it had thrown it away.

In the meantime, my husband still needed to bathe. I went into the bathroom, which is across the hall from my son’s bedroom and next to the family room where my husband was, and filled the tub with water. My husband came into the bathroom and got into the tub. I told him to let me know when he was finished.

After his bath, I went back to help him out of the tub. He was sitting cross-legged and told me he was stuck. He tried to push himself out, to no avail. I tugged on his arms, with the same result. We tried everything we could think of but nothing worked.

“Should I call Mike?” I asked. Mike is a family friend who is unfailingly loyal and especially helpful during crises. While this wasn’t a crisis, it wasn’t something I could manage by myself, and our son was at work.

“No!” he said. ” I do not want him seeing me naked!”

So, we tried again to get him out of the tub. As the water receded, my husband was able to gain more traction with his hands, but he couldn’t unfold his legs. Finally he said, “Okay, call Mike.”

I called Mike’s house and his wife answered. I explained why we needed him. There was silence for a second and then she said, “You have got to be kidding me.” I assured her that I was not. She said that Mike was at work but she would call him. She hung up and called back a few minutes later.

“Mike was just about to leave work so he’s going to come home and get his mover’s belt. He’ll be right over.” I didn’t ask her why an accountant had a mover’s belt. That was a question for another time.

I told my husband that Mike was on his way. Then I went into the kitchen. A few minutes later, my husband announced, “I’m out!”

“How did you get out?” I asked.

“Once the water was gone, it was easier to push myself out,” he said.

While that probably helped, I also think the idea of his friend seeing him undressed provided additional impetus.

“I’ll call Mike,” I said. When Mike answered, I told him that Frank had managed to get out of the bathtub. Mike laughed. “Okay, I’ll turn around. But at least I’ll have a good story for our next poker game.” He laughed again.

I relayed Mike’s message to my husband. “Oh, great,” he said. “I guess I won’t be playing poker for awhile.”

Once he was dressed and settled on the couch, I told him I was going to the store to buy mousetraps.

“Don’t forget to return the shower chair,” he said.

“Oh, sure,” I answered.

Then I left and bought the mousetraps. I did not return the shower chair. They might be unsanitary, but I’ll take unsanitary any day over a husband wedged into a bathtub.


bathtub pic






Rhapsody in Email

In Humor on January 13, 2018 at 3:35 pm

Yahoo Mail is down and I need to open an email from my bank. I got locked out of my bank’s online site for entering the wrong password three times, and I was told that I would have to reset my password, using the authorization code that was sent to my Yahoo Mail address. However, I can’t open my Yahoo Mail.

I should get rid of Yahoo Mail because, apparently, if you have Yahoo or AOL for your email, everyone knows that you are OLD. Having a Gmail account tells the world that you are normal — not cool, just normal, as opposed to being a stuck-in-your-ways old person.

I have a Gmail account. In fact, I think I have several. I even saved the logins and passwords, so I can access them. I just don’t use a Gmail account because everyone emails me at my Yahoo address. It’s such a hassle to change email addresses, because you have to check your new and old email accounts for a long time because, even if you let everyone in your address book know that you’ve changed your email address, not all of them will stop using the old one. Some of them will and some of them won’t. That’s because it’s a nuisance to change someone’s email address in your address book. The only people who will use your new email address are those to whom you’ve sent an email, because they can just hit, “Reply.” They won’t even notice what address they replied to.

But, back to my Yahoo Mail problem: I googled, “What is wrong with Yahoo Mail?” and was taken to a page with a “real-time” chart of Yahoo Mail’s activity. According to the chart, while Yahoo Mail did have problems this week, they’ve been resolved. Maybe they have been resolved in Yahoo world, but I still can’t open my email. Neither can a lot of people, and they left comments. The comments section on any web page is always entertaining to read. Here’s my favorite from this page:

My child just died a week ago and I needed a bunch of emails and information. This YAHOO problem made my personal loss even more difficult and from here on out I hope to phase out this crappy yahoo service. I have no access to many pictures of my dead child and as soon as I get those back I will delete my account forever.


If “nonshopper” really lost his or her child, I am sorry. But I have to wonder if he or she is telling the truth, because who keeps pictures in Yahoo Mail? Accessing photos from your email is very time-consuming because you have to remember who sent you the photo you’re looking for, then do a search for that person’s emails, and then look for the paperclip icon to see which email contains an attachment. Sometimes people will email photos by copying/pasting them right into the email, so a paperclip icon wouldn’t appear at all. I’m having a hard time believing this person. Some people enjoy jerking the chains of others.

Take my husband. The other day, he got a telephone call from a telemarketer. He listened for a second and then said, “Hold on a minute, Sarah. I’m busy now. How about you give me your phone number and I’ll call you when you’re busy?” (He borrowed this line from a Seinfeld episode.) Then he hung up.

“I can’t believe you were so rude,” I said. “That person is just doing her job.”

“We’re on the no-call list,” my husband replied.

“Then report the company,” I said. “Don’t yell at the poor woman who is just trying to make a living. She’s probably working on commission. If she’s lucky, she’s making minimum wage.”

“I don’t think so,” my husband said.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“It was a robo-call,” he replied.

It turns out that my husband likes jerking my chain.

chain jerk

Delayed Gratification

In Aging, Humor, Valentine's Day on February 14, 2017 at 3:17 am

It’s Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as the one day each year when couples over-spend in order to prove the depth of their love for each other.

After 25 years of marriage, I might be a little jaded, but my cynicism is practical. My husband and I haven’t stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day. We just move it forward by a few days. The date we celebrate depends on when Walgreen’s reduces the price of their Valentine’s candy by 75%.

I’m not crazy. Why would I settle for one small heart of chocolate that costs $20 when I can have a shopping-cart full of giant hearts for the same $20 a few days later?

I learned the hard way. In our first year of dating, my husband and I were on the way to dinner when he handed me a box of beautiful handmade chocolates (that his friend’s sister made and forcefully sold to all of his friends). I was touched. They were almost too pretty to eat. The candy set the tone for the evening. I was giddy with romance and anticipating our romantic dinner.

When we got to the restaurant, my husband gallantly came around the car to open my door. I stepped out of the car and the expensive candy which was on my lap fell onto the ground and scattered all over the parking lot. That was embarrassing. And expensive for my husband.

Now I get truckloads of marked-down candy that tastes as sweet as it would have on Valentine’s Day, and if I drop it in the street, it’s really no big loss.


Eye, Eye, Eye

In Aging, Humor on April 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm

In the movies, the husband wakes up, rolls over, takes one look at his wife (who slept in full makeup), and makes mad passionate love to her, morning breath notwithstanding.

In real life, I roll over, my husband takes one look at me and says, “Oh my God! Do not go out in public today. People will think that I punched you.”

In all fairness, this is what my eyes looked like this morning, and still look like. Eye Eye Eye

On Friday, I undertook a spring cleanup in our yard. When I came into the house and passed a mirror, I noticed that there was swelling in the corner of my left eye. I figured it would go away, but the swelling got worse and now there is a big, swollen, red circle around my eye that leaks. The center of the circle is white. I self-diagnosed as having been bitten by a tick. I’ll probably go to the doctor tomorrow to see if I have Lyme Disease. I live in Connecticut, so the odds are good.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep my husband out of prison by hiding indoors. I’ll also wear sunglasses round-the-clock to spare my family’s sensibilities.

State of the Marriage Address

In Humor on September 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I walked into my kitchen and my husband was sitting at the table, drinking coffee, and complaining about me to former-president Bill Clinton. Bill was empathizing with my husband, and adding his own complaints about his wife.

“This has to be a dream,” I thought. “This can’t be happening.” But I wasn’t sure, because my dream life is often remarkably similar to my awake life.

Either way, something had to be done, so I put in a call to Hillary and told her what was going on. She was not pleased.

She and I are getting together next week to complain about our husbands. It did turn out to be a dream, after all, so scheduling our meeting is going to be a little tricky, but nothing a former-Secretary of State’s assistant can’t handle.

Dreams (Badly) Imitating Art

In Dreams, Humor, Movies on April 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Last night, my husband and I saw Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, and we really enjoyed it. Anyone who has seen this movie, or The Royal Tenenbaums or Moonrise Kingdom, will know that Anderson’s movies do not follow any accepted Hollywood comedy format, and are funny (when they’re not disturbing) in totally unexpected ways.

I thought about the movie long after we left the theater, and I’m certain that it influenced the dream I had last night. My dream was so odd that I wrote a transcript, which I’m thinking of sending to Anderson. I doubt he’ll read it but, because I went to the trouble of writing it, I’m sharing it here. Dreams are usually boring to hear about, but I’m betting that some of you might find this strange enough to enjoy.

My Wes-Anderson-Inspired Dream

Act One:

On a visit to Ohio, I learned that my high-school boyfriend, Reggie Moore*, had died. I had been engaged for several years to Reggie  (in my dream, not in real life) until the relationship ended when I eventually noticed that he wasn’t calling or seeing me anymore, so I returned the solitare diamond ring he gave me.

I called Information to get his mother’s phone number, to offer my condolences. The operator said, “Oh, that’s so sad about Reggie’s dying, but his mother was actually happy that he died because she had learned to not like him; she only pretended to, for appearances. He turned into a long-haired, blond slacker who gave organic food to drug addicts.” (I had a vision of a white-blond, long-curly-haired Reggie [looking like Peter Frampton in the 1970s], standing over a pie chart that had been painted on the sidewalk. On each section of the chart was a colorful triangle that indicated an organic food.) I told the operator that Reggie had two other brothers and asked if she was sure that Reggie’s mother didn’t like him. She said that there was no doubt that it was Reggie who was disliked.

I decided to drive to Reggie’s mother’s house, but I couldn’t remember how to get there; I hadn’t been there in more than 35 years. Somehow, I got there, but first it involved finding the rental car that I had parked in a location that I had forgotten. When I finally saw Reggie’s mother, I told her that the telephone operator was giving out too much personal information about her, like the telephone operator in “The Andy Griffith Show.” I added that I thought the operator’s name in the show was Sarah.

Act Two:

I was on a crowded bus with people I knew, including my best friend, Kelly English*. She was several seats ahead of me. I went up to talk to her and she said, “Larry* [her husband] is sleeping on the couch now.” “Why?” I asked. She shook her head, indicating that she wasn’t going to say anything else.

Later, she came to sit next to me. She said that she was the cause of Larry’s sleeping on the couch. When I asked why, she said, “Why else?” I said, “You had an affair?” She said that she had, with her boss, Russell. She was his secretary (which bothered me because, even in my dream-state, I knew that she was a physical therapist and not a secretary).

Act Three:

That evening, at home (which wasn’t actually Frank’s** and my home, but my parents’ home in Ohio), I baked a lot of flat yellow cakes with cream between the layers and fruit on top, and coconut macaroons. Frank and our son, Luke**, were in the family room downstairs watching a game.

The doorbell rang. I opened the door to see a seven-foot (at least), handsome (part Caucasian, part Hawaiian, with jet-black hair), basketball player wearing a white, sleeveless team jersey (I think it was a Knicks jersey), standing on our doorstep. He announced, in a booming voice, “Hello, I’m Russell, and at 7 p.m., on April 23, 2014, I slept with Kelly English.” (I can’t remember the exact time or date [which is unfortunate, because they probably held the key to today’s lottery numbers], so I substituted another time and date.)  I told him to come in and explain himself.

Here it becomes a little vague. I remember that he started out by saying that it was Kelly’s fault that his marriage was in trouble, but by the end of the conversation, he was willing to continue the affair. Then Frank came up from the family room and invited Russell to watch the game with him and Luke, and talk about the affair. When I asked Frank how he knew about Russell and Kelly, he said that he had heard Russell’s loud announcement when he arrived.

So, Russell went downstairs with Frank, and Frank told me to put on a shirt. It appeared that I was only wearing blue silk pajama bottoms and nothing on top, which had escaped my notice when I was talking to Russell. As I turned to go upstairs, a female voice behind me said, “You could have made these bigger, but they’re very good.” Without turning around, I knew instinctively that she was talking about the coconut macaroons.

When I did turn around, Kelly was standing there, eating a macaroon and holding a plate filled with slices of flat yellow cakes. By this time I was magically wearing a top, so we sat down at the counter. I asked her why she had jeopardized her marriage by sleeping with Russell. She admitted that she was ashamed of herself. I asked her if she was going to apologize to Larry and try to make it up to him. She said that, while she hated to end her marriage after 25 years, and while Larry was a wonderful husband, she had to continue the affair. “Why?” I asked. “Did you see Russell?” she answered. “Vroom, vroom!”

After she and Russell left, I watched them through the window at the top of the front door. Whenever they looked at the door to see if I was spying, I quickly dropped the curtain on the window so that they couldn’t see me.

Act Something or Other (I’m not sure when this occurred in my dream):

I stayed up all night reading The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt,  on my Kindle. While I was reading, my heart raced when I remembered that I had a paper due that day, on Mexicans and pineapples, and I had barely started it.

* Name changed to avoid prosecution.

** Name not changed because even if I am prosecuted, the money I will have to pay to the injured parties will come from our household budget, so it will all even out in the end.

Here my dream ends. No matter your thoughts, you must agree that Wes Anderson movies are movies that keep on giving. Now, please take my poll:

Welcome to Crazytown

In Humor on March 24, 2014 at 2:34 pm

About a week ago, I came home from work and my husband greeted me glumly.

“What’s the matter?” I asked him.

“I’m sick,” he said. “I feel awful.”

“I’m sorry,” I responded. “What do you think you have?”

“I know exactly what I have,” he said.

Instantly, his sad face transformed into a gleeful one as he announced, “It’s March Madness, baby!”

I fall for this every year.


The other day, the phone in my office rang. It was my husband calling about what we should have for dinner.

Once that was resolved, he asked if I wanted to speak to our son, who was with him.

“Not right now,” I said, “But if I decide that I do want to talk to him, I’ll come downstairs and do it in person.”


Trees vs. Forest

In Humor on November 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

“You can’t see the trees for the forest,” he said.

“Well, you can’t see the forest for the trees,” she said.

I used to be a tree person but, at some point in the last decade, I became a forest person. Previously, I compulsively focused on details, which made me a great assistant to people who couldn’t be bothered — those who came up with big ideas and delegated to underlings the tasks that were critical to the realization of their dreams.

Then, one day, I woke up in the forest, figuratively speaking. (I’ll save the stories of my literal awakenings in forests for another time.) The things that controlled my life didn’t matter as much anymore. Whereas I used to be obsessive-compulsive about locking my front door — it took me ten minutes standing outside it to persuade myself that it was really locked — now, I locked it once and left. Sometimes I didn’t lock it at all. That way, I didn’t have to worry about its being locked; I knew it wasn’t.

Forest people create masterpieces. The scale of their masterpieces vary from the pyramids to a spectacularly successful Super Bowl commercial, depending on the field of the big thinker, but one thing remains constant: forest people rely on tree people to get the work done. Forest people may supervise, but they don’t haul bricks or set up the lights.

I realized that I had become a forest person when my mother-in-law came to visit and asked my son who had cleaned our house. Until recently, she had always proudly announced to her friends that I was a wonderful housekeeper. And I was. Until I wasn’t.

I now keep the house clean enough for our family to live in without (much) fear of getting a staph infection, but if the dog sheds on the rug, I don’t run for the vacuum cleaner like I used to do. And, if my husband and I have to navigate an obstacle course of laundry baskets before getting into bed, well, so what? Anybody who lives here is welcome to tidy up if it bothers him or her.

Anyway, when my mother-in-law asked my son who had cleaned the house, he said that he had. This wasn’t close to the truth — we had hired a housekeeper— but he later told me that he did it to save me from being judged for wasting money on something that I could have done myself. In all honesty, as long as my son had told her that I, and not my husband, had hired the housekeeper, she would have given me a pass. She lets a lot slide with me, which I love her for.

While I could go on and on with examples to prove that I’m now a forest person, I’ll end with this one: long ago, I used to get up at 6 a.m., or even earlier, and make breakfast, lunches, toss in a load of laundry, and get my family off for the day before I went to work. Now that my husband leaves for work at 5 a.m. and my son is self-sufficient, I only wake up when it’s absolutely necessary, like when I have to go into the office.

Yesterday, I went to bed at 3:30 a.m., after reading all night. When I awoke, fully rested, at 5:30, it was still dark, which meant that I had only slept two hours. So, why wasn’t I tired? Because it was 5:30 p.m. and I had missed the daylight hours, that’s why.

At first, I panicked. Then, when I realized that it was the weekend, I calmed down. All that mattered was that I was awake, right? Things would get done, or not. And if not, I could always hire a housekeeper. Meanwhile, it was time for some coffee. I asked my son to make it.

My Son, the Photo Bomber

In Humor on September 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

My son is nuts … and I am so proud. He’s a great young man, mostly due to my husband’s role modeling, but I can see my influence, on the odd occasion.

Most people would say that he is quiet and introverted. And he is, in public. But, once in a while, he publicly does something so outrageous, just to amuse himself,  that outsiders are flabbergasted. I absolutely love this quality in him. And, I’m fairly sure he got it from me.

The other day, he went into Manhattan alone to attend a Fan Fest for a sports team. When he returned, he told me that it was a fun event. He added that he had especially enjoyed the trip itself.

“Why?” I asked.

“When I was at Grand Central, I photo bombed a bride and groom,” he said. He looked a little sheepish, but mostly gleeful.

“What did you do?” I asked, amazed.

“I was walking to my train, and in the center of the station were a bride and groom posing for photographs. I ran up behind them, jumped up in the air and waved my arms.”

“Were they furious?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he laughed. “I got out of there, fast.”

And that’s, fortunately, where my son and I differ.  I would have gotten caught.

Little Pleasures

In Humor on September 8, 2013 at 12:22 am

“What are you making?” my husband asked hopefully from the family room. I was in the kitchen and he and our son were sprawled on sofas watching football on TV.

“I’m not making anything,” I responded. “I’m filling our new canisters with flour and sugar. I’ve finally found canisters that are the same size. For some inexplicable reason, when you buy a set of four canisters, there’s only one big one and you have to decide whether to use it for the flour or the sugar. Then you have a half bag of flour or sugar left over and nowhere to put it. This is so exciting!”

“Wow,” said my husband. “It doesn’t take much to make you happy.”

“It’s not just that I can fit all of the sugar and flour into them. They’re also the coolest canisters I’ve ever seen.”

“Uh huh,” my husband responded, clearly losing interest.

I lifted the filled containers and carried them into the family room.Canisters

My husband looked up. “Wow, they are cool.”

“And you laughed at me when I called them that,” I said.

“I was picturing something else. But, you’re right; they’re great. How can you tell which is the sugar and which is the flour, though?”

“Well, I’m going to look through the glass. But you can feel free to label them,” I said. I didn’t get a response. My husband was back to watching football.

I thought about his question as I returned to the kitchen. Maybe labeling them was a good idea. Flour and sugar do look a lot alike at first glance.

I opened the junk drawer to find a Sharpie. I don’t want flour in my cereal tomorrow.

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