Separateness and Togetherness


Disclaimer:  There were no animals harmed in the development of this column, unless you count the bull elk, which was shot legally and with good intention.  The wolf spider is technically an arachnid, and in his divine creepiness, deserved to be crushed and pulverized, never to climb up the water spout again.

My husband and I recently celebrated 29 years of wedded bliss with a declaration of love and an exchange of gifts.

“Why don’t you take a week and go elk hunting in New Mexico?” I suggested.

He tearfully accepted.  “And for you, my Aphrodite, why don’t I take a week and go elk hunting in New Mexico?”

Then we made mad, passionate, pancakes and giggled with glee.

It was a win-win proposition.  Only the elk would beg to differ.  (May he rest in piece, peacefully, in my freezer).

Hubs and I don’t mind spending time apart now and then.  We find it rejuvenates the relationship and serves as a time for personal growth.

In his absence, I have learned to change a headlight, fill the wood burner and bury a dead dog, twice. 

I overcame my fear of the oil change, no longer concerned I will drive into the open abyss on the floor of the Quickie Lube.  I even utilized the “tip box” on the wall, to acknowledge the young man with the gauges in his ear lobes.

It said, “Here’s a tip. God gave you a certain amount of holes for a reason.  Why mess with perfection?”

I’ve cindered the driveway, pumped up tires, pumped up children. 

I think it’s fair to say, I’ve handled it with perseverance and dignity, that is, until….


This, my friends, is the one reason a woman should never be separated from her spouse. 

OK, maybe there is one more reason, and that would be Algebra. 

I don’t mind helping my 8th grader with his homework, but I took Algebra prior to the Carter administration.  Herein lies the root of the problem.

My son is still under the impression, however, that I know things. 

He tells me:  Chris pays 29 cents to have digital prints made.  Debbie bought a printer for $180, and including paper and ink, can make digital prints for 14 cents.  The question is:  How many prints will they have to make to have spent the same amount of money?

I asked, “Are Chris and Debbie in an intimate relationship?”

“Why?” he asked, “should that matter at all?”

I explained, “That would guarantee a lot more X’s and O’s in the equation.”

“This is Math humor?” 

“I know it’s lame,” I said, “but this stuff is too hard.  Ask me something easy…like, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

“OK, Mom, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

“SpongeBob SQUARED pants!  Get it?”

“Can we call Dad?”

How quickly we forget who breastfed us for 14 months.

We opted to text Dad, our algebraic dilemma delivered to cyberspace. 

To our surprise, he answered right away, as if he was in the next room. 

And, suddenly, life seemed a bit better, a little easier.

I messaged him back, “29 years ago, I married the groom and the best man.  Please come home soon.  I think the spider had siblings.”

(Click this link for a little fun). 

Jennifer is staying out of the basement.  You can write to her at


master of none said...

Congrats on the 29 years of wedded bliss! You guys obviously have a system that works. If the occasional bull elk has to go down, so be it. Thanks for the laughs and the touching ending was PERFECT. Can’t wait for your next column!

jpgraham said...

Thanks, Jeff, you're the best!