Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Birthdays. Happy Yours, and Mine, and Ours.

If you spend any time at all here in my cozy little corner of the Internet, you know three things:

1. This blog is named after a phrase in a poem by Charles Baudelaire.

2. My nom de blog is an affectionate corruption of Mr. Baudelaire's name.

3. I am not, in fact, Charles Baudelaire, the 19th century French poet.

I do love a smock with a large bow.
But the similarities end there.
But today I discovered an EXTREMELY FREAKY connection between me and the esteemed poet.

I picked up a 2018 calendar at my local Half Price Books.

Do you have Half Price Books where you live?

I have wonderful memories of visiting the HPB location on Dallas' Mockingbird Lane in the 80s, a subterranean space that was actually physically dangerous to navigate. Nowadays, HPB locations are located mainly in suburban strip malls in 17 states, but back in the day, they could be found mostly in cramped, funky retail spaces that no other self-respecting retail outlet would occupy.

I love Half Price Books, you guys.

Anyway, Precocious Daughter and I ventured to the HPB in Richardson, Texas. Here's the thing: She and her dad had been there over the weekend, and she found something we've both been looking for: An original US vinyl pressing of Jesus Christ Superstar. In near-mint condition, at a spectacular price.

She didn't buy it.

Totally my reaction.

Tonight she and I ventured to said HPB. I've been cooped up at home for a couple of days, and she was massively regretting not buying the album, so off we went.

Lawdy lawdy, the record was still there.

Of course, we snagged it - at $14.99, a tremendous bargain. It includes a booklet containing the entire libretto, which is worth the price all by itself. Right?

Anyway.

PDaughter also bought an antique book about Nazi war strategy for her dad's Christmas present. (If you were never married to an historian...good for you. Really.)

As a result, our purchases totaled more than $30, which qualified us to receive a FREE 2018 calendar.

And of course HPB's calendar is filled with interesting trivia, store coupons, and every day is marked with the birthday(s) of notable literary figures.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who reacts to a new calendar by flipping to his/her birthday to see what happened on that VERY important day.

You guys.

My IRL birthday is April 9.

Guess who was also born on April 9.

GUESS.


Charles MF Baudelaire.

I swear, I had no idea until now.

I'm a little bit thrilled. And a little bit freaked out.

But mostly I love that we share this tiny bit of history. Wouldn't you?

So my question is: With whom do you share a birthday?

Google it.

Share it.

And let me know if you had any idea of the connection prior to today.

I love being freaked out this way. <3

Monday, December 11, 2017

I Knew It Was Coming

Here is a story from my married life.

Back in the day - before we had Precocious Daughter - my ex-spouse and I had one car between us.

And that was OK, because our house and both our jobs were in the same small town. We could drive from home to my job  o his in about 15 minutes.

So he would drop me off at 8:30 and pick me up at 4:30, which were my working hours at the time. No sweat.

One day, shortly after the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, I waited patiently for him to pick me up as usual. Four-thirty came and went. My co-workers all left for the day, and I assured them my ride was coming.

Five o'clock came and went. I assured myself my ride was coming.

Five-fifteen came and went. I swallowed my panic.

This was pre-cellphones, you know?

Finally, at 5:30, my spouse pulled up and wandered into my office, just as calm as can be.

I stared at him.

He stared back.

I managed to choke out the question, Where the hell have you been?

Turns out he was hanging out with a friend. A friend who hadn't bothered to spring forward. So to their minds, my spouse left his house in plenty of time to pick me up at 4:30.

Except that it was 5:30.

This was a thing that actually happened before cellphones, I promise.

I was upset. I was livid. I was literally speechless.

We went home and had dinner. I was completely silent. I could not articulate how I was feeling.

Eventually - finally - he begged me to break the silence and tell him what was going on inside me.

I opened my mouth. I honestly had no idea what I was going to say.

Here's what I said.

"YOU LEFT ME ALONE."

And that was my introduction to realizing that I had not - and never would - get over my old, deep-seated abandonment issues.

I don't mind being alone, you guys.

But being left alone? Honestly, I can't take it.

So when someone I love (you can guess who that is if you're a regular reader) tells me "I'm headed your way," and then shows up three hours later, possibly you understand my reaction.

Yes, it's mostly my problem that I believe people who lie and say they'll be with me.

I get that.

So maybe I need to find someone who will keep his word when he says "I'm here."

I'll try.

I'll let you know how it goes.

And if I can't find what I'm looking for, at least I'll know I'm purposely by myself, rather than accidentally failing for some random person.

Good luck to all of us.