Friday, February 20, 2004

Belated Valentine’s Day Report

Elsie gave me some interesting Valentine's Day presents. One was a Sharp electronic organizer, the Wizard. It includes a "memo" function in which one may write drafts of letters, etc. Naturally, I had to try writing a poem on it:
fire on the street
lightning bugs fly through
stolen windows
Um .... would you believe Surreal Haiku?

She also gave me a copy of American Dynasty by Kevin Phillips, who was a Republican campaign strategist during the Nixon and Reagan years. The book concerns the House of Bush, and is considerably less than favorable. Since I have taken up hating the current Resident as much as Rush & his friends hated Clinton, this was an inspired gift.

What did I give Elsie? Well, Friday night we went out to Tom & Jerry's, a very nice "surf & turf" restaurant here in town. I had steak filet with a blue cheese and hazelnut dressing, and lobster tail. It was excellent — they even got "medium well" right. Elsie had salmon, which was also excellent.

Saturday evening, I took her to a local production of the off-Broadway musical "Pageant".  The pageant in question is a beauty pageant sponsored by a (fictional) cosmetics company.  The contestants are broad stereotype characters: Miss West Coast is a multiple-lives air head; Miss Texas is rough and ready; Miss Bible Belt hardly needs an explanation.  Most of the humor is in these stereotypes, but some initial humor is gained by the fact that these contestants are all portrayed by men in drag.  We were especially impressed with the gentleman who portrayed Miss Texas — he was an excellent tap-dancer, and did back-flips, all in heels.  Elsie did wonder, during intermission, how they managed to hide their "equipment" so well.  Otherwise, we soon forgot the gender of the performers and focused on the characters they portrayed.

The daylight hours of Saturday were somewhat marred by the fact that part of my garage door broke.  I have an old-fashioned manual-lift door, and part of the spring broke.  Afraid I don't know the name of the piece, but it looks like an angle brace and goes from the door to the actual spring (which is attached to the door frame).  Naturally, this piece broke just as I was lowering the door Friday evening (before dinner), so my car seemed to be "trapped". I chose not to tell Elsie about this that evening, for fear it would spoil her enjoyment of dinner. As for my own enjoyment, I focused on Elsie, the food, and the leisurely ambiance of the restaurant.

Now, Elsie had a number of "to-do's" she wanted to accomplish while in OKC.  But once I told her of the situation with the garage door, she made that her first priority.  We worked together to take off the broken brace (for lack of a better name).  We discussed a variety of options to resolve the problem. Elsie tolerated a wild-goose chase to a chain hardware store to see if a replacement could be found. Ultimately, she helped raise the garage door so I could release my car. We then lowered it again, as there is a neighborhood cat who likes to hide in my garage.

All this may seem unromantic.  But, what impresses me about it is we got through it without fussing even once.  I think this is partly maturity on my part, as I tend to get fussy when I feel vulnerable & out of my element. It also seems emblematic of the maturity of our relationship.  One thing that has remained constant has been our ability to talk respectfully to each other. That's something to give thanks for, and may be worth more than two dozen roses.

As for the garage door — I've chosen to wait until after pay day to deal with that one.  And, by the way, we achieved at least two of Elsie's "to-do's", in spite of the fandango with the garage door.

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