Sidebar: My New Kentucky (Street) Home

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What you’re about to read is an extremely moving story.

I should know, because I am an exceptionally moving person.

In fact, I have moved at least fourteen times in my adult life, and probably more than ten in my childhood (including to and from other countries, because, before I was a plain old Brat, I used to be a Navy one).

I know what you’re thinking (because I’ve hired a burly, off-duty Thought Policeman named Klaus to patrol my computer, and so far he’s been able to pick up the thoughts of all those Meanopause readers who aren’t me and/or whose heads aren’t covered in tin foil).  You’re thinking:  But Heather, that’s not what we mean when we say that something is “moving.”

To which I say: oh yeah?  Then riddle me this, Smarty-Thoughts: which of the following phrases most logically completes a sentence that begins, “We just bought a house on Kentucky Street”?

 

Is it:

a) and now we’re completely broke!

b) so la-di-fucking-da!

c) and now the balalaika is completely green!

d) and now we’re moving!

or

e) and now we’re getting a divorce!

 

If you chose a), “and now we’re completely broke,” you’re wrong, but you get five extra credit points, because while we aren’t completely broke, we haven’t actually paid anything except hand money yet.

If you chose b), “so la-di-fucking-da,” then while you didn’t choose the most correct answer, you still get ten extra credit points, because that is the phrase that logically follows the sentence that (spoiler alert!) answer d) completes, especially if we’ve gone out drinking together.

If you chose c), “and now the balalaika is completely green,” then we should probably stop drinking, and head on home.

If you bubbled in d), “and now we’re moving,” then you are correct!  Still, we should definitely stop drinking, because you have completely ruined your computer screen.  And there aren’t even any bubbles.

If you chose answer e), “and now we’re getting a divorce,” then ha ha!  I am so sorry that we don’t get to go out drinking together anymore, you crazy kidder making with the uproarious jokes!

Unless, of course, that wasn’t a joke.

Wait: is there something that you’re not telling me?

There is, isn’t there?

WHAT IS IT?

Okay, I’m going to wait a couple of minutes while Klaus works the perimeter of your brain, trying to find out the thing.

(So, yes, Klaus, good point: it was probably a bad idea to tell the readers about the foil.)

(But you’re still only going to get paid by the thought, so: chop chop!)

(Fine!  Go!  It’s not like I really even need you.  If you remember from the last post, I can read thoughts myself.  Because I’m a WITCH.)

(No, with a “W,” silly Klaus.)

(Same to you, BLOUSE.)

(See what I did there?  I can make jokes by changing letters to “B,” too.)

Oh come on you guys, this isn’t fair.  Take off the foil helmets!

Fine, I’m going to guess.

Is it:  There you go, screwing up nearly half a year of a great marriage by foolishly moving in together? 

If it is, then I just have one thing to say to you, which is: No, it will have been more than half a year of a great marriage that we’ll screw up, because the sellers have to get the tenants out before we can move in.

So there, Smarty Thoughts.

But if that’s what you’re thinking, then I won’t lie and say that I haven’t also thought this thought.

(Though if it isn’t what you’re thinking, then I’m totally going to lie, and probably act all outraged and stuff, if it comes up again.)

Here’s the deal: we’ve got a pretty great thing going right now, my husband and I.  He has a nice, roomy apartment in which to nap in the afternoon and watch shouty financial guys on tv and do his own laundry and store his thousands of Pez dispensers and Converse shoes, and because the kids don’t spend much time over there, they hardly ever complain about the terrifying mannequin heads in his coffee table, or the elephant footstool that’s made of, well, an elephant’s foot.

And the kids and I have a nice, medium-sized house that’s not quite big enough for him to move those things into it.

Plus, because we haven’t yet co-mingled our things, we haven’t had to argue about where they should go (like, for example, the basement, or maybe straight to the dumpster behind the apartment building, or to a mannequin hospital or something).

We never fight about the bills, because we don’t see each other’s bills.  We never fight about tidiness, because it’s none of our business.  We never fight about shopping, because we do our own shopping.   We never fight about house maintenance, because he can just call his apartment manager, and I can mostly ignore the fact that the oven door has fallen off roughly four times a year since I bought this house after the ex and I split up in 2005.

In fact, if it weren’t for Words With Friends, we’d have had nothing to fight about our entire marriage so far.

Thus, I can safely conclude, as a Board-Certified Crackpot who has sifted through her personal experience to support her theories while actively ignoring other plausible explanations, that living separately is the very key to a happy marriage.

And we’re about to change the locks.

So yeah, I totally get where you’re coming from, if this is where you were coming from (which I can’t possibly know, since you won’t take off your stupid foil hat).

Hang on: I’m getting something here.

Someone just took off her hat.

Oh, wait, that’s not what you were thinking?

You were thinking: But mom, you promised us when you bought this house that we would never move again.  You said our rooms would be waiting for us when we came home from college, and we haven’t even gone to college yet.  You said we could bring our children home to play with the Barbies and the Legos that you’d keep in the basement for us, and that we could add their marks to our penciled heights that never made it that far up the wall you swore you’d never paint over, ever.

To which I say: um, hey, you’re going to catch a cold if you don’t put your hat back on, Sweetie.

Okay, yes, fine, I did promise you that.

But I also promised that I’d never remarry, and look how well I kept that one!

What’s that you’re thinking?  That doesn’t help my case?

Fine, I’m a terrible promise-keeper.  But that’s not always a bad thing.

Because once upon a very long time ago, I promised myself that I would never marry or have kids in the first place.

So make a choice here, guys: do you want me to keep my promises or not?  Because I brought you into this world, and I can sure as hell invent a machine that brings me back to a point in time where I didn’t (if I can work out the bugs in the flux capacitator). 

(Not that I’d ever want to.  Ever.)

Ultimately, there are some promises that I’m very glad I never kept.

And if it’s any consolation, your stepfather and I are giving you a WAY cooler house to come home to on spring break, and the oven door is WAY less likely to fall off when I burn treats for the grandchildren whose heights we’ll mark on a brand new wall, while they play with the Barbies and Legos in a basement that will probably hold no more than one mannequin head.  Or, okay fine, maybe two.

About Heather Aronson

Heather Aronson is a freelance writer and editor. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona way back in the 1980s and has put it to scant use ever since, publishing a few short stories in now-defunct magazines (including American Short Fiction) and storing a handful of novels in now-defunct boxes. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA, in a new house with some of her children, her new husband, and a bunch of old stuff that totally doesn’t go together. Especially the cow creamers.

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