Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fun With Pronouns

I wrenched my knee on Thursday night and spent Friday feeling like somebody had whacked me across the shin with a lead pipe. I limped around my office making "Keane painting" eyes at everyone, but couldn't bring myself to take the day off because:

1. I feel I've been playing the "terminally ill husband card" too often to push my luck; and

2. I wouldn't be going home. I would be going to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy a new toaster oven because our old one bit the dust.

We bought our old DeLonghi together 13 years ago during a January White Sale at Macy's. The one before that had been "mine," which became "ours" when Jim moved in.

The same deal with our cats. The ones we have now, Chico and Ashley, were adopted by us together after our original cats had passed on in extreme old age. The original cats, Phoebe and Pongo, had originally been my cats, and they became "our" cats when Jim moved in.

This new toaster oven is nominally "ours" and being brought home to a place I still refer to as "our house." But it's unlikely that Jim will see this new toaster oven, and had no input in its selection beyond this conversation:

"I'm getting a new toaster oven."

"Did our old one bite the dust?"


My sister-in-law swears by her digital DeLonghi, but it's disappointingly small. I would feel as if I had the starring role in a poignant movie called "Lonely Widow With A Single Porkchop." So last Friday, I went looking for something big enough to cook a whole chicken. I've rarely cooked a whole chicken, even when cooking for more than one person, but I like the assurance of knowing that I could if I wanted to.

I got the Cuisinart pictured at the bottom of this post. Isn't it a beaut? And it's made as well as our old DeLonghi. The DeLonghis aren't made as well as they used to be.

Saturday morning, I finally got around to some long-neglected housework before going up to the hospital. The bending and stretching helped my knee until the Advil could kick in. I did a lot of weeding and decluttering; eg. the car vacuum my husband inherited ten years ago (we don't have a car.) Stuff that never worked that we couldn't give away and couldn't bear to throw away and never got around to fixing. I was culling the best of "we" while contemplating all the possible permutations of "I."

Psychologists call it "anticipatory grief," but it was the best I've felt in weeks.

Here's the toaster oven. Look! Pretty!

Very pretty!

This is a poignant glimpse of and tribute to the companionship that is . . . not yet past, because you both use the same language about the toaster oven biting the dust. Such small places are where a marriage lives.
Yeah, I've been thinking a lot about those little things lately. I'd been looking for these broad, sweeping platitudes and meanwhile, these little things kept popping up. And you're right, we are in limbo pronoun-wise and tense-wise.
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