119. Sooner or later I knew that dave’s reputation would come and bite Julie on the ass

Julie called me this morning. She was trying to get onto her mental health care plan but she couldn’t because she wasn’t able to remember her password.

This was pretty important because she wanted  to submit a claim. The claim being that she’s as nutty as a fruitcake .  No argument here. Doesn’t mean we don’t love her cause heaven knows we do but no one in this family wants to get caught short without their mental patient pills.

I digress.

They gave her 3 test questions which she told me she was sure she would ace.

1. Her mother’s maiden name?  check, got it

2. what hospital was she born in? once again, easy.

3. who’s your favorite uncle? Since she gave them these test questions over a year ago she was sure the answer was dave ( or Dave as he was known then). She typed Dave in. rejected. She followed up with David, then Dave Matthews and several variations. Nada.

Julie reasoned out that United Health Care had clearly read my blog and figured it was a mistake because he couldn’t be anyone’s favorite anything.

118.A typical end of the year post but with the word “fuck” in it.

Probably most blogs start with “Whew what a year!” or “Here are my New Year’s resolutions” so since I want to be one of the crowd…

Whew what a year.

Now let’s see what’s happened this year that’s different from previous years.

1. I got a new guest room

2. I started taking mental patient pills.

3. I’m seeing a lot more of my family.

4. I’ve taken up cocktailing

5. I started a blog and strangers write to me.

I think that’s about it.

Now resolutions…

1. the usual:

Get rid of clutter, lose weight, be more active, kill dave,  see more movies, throw away my set of dishes and replace them with single dishes that I like, take up a new hobby.

That pretty much covers it.

I have kind of a full day today. I’m taking Liz’s David to the chiropractor.

He doesn’t really want me to come because as he says, he doesn’t really like to be with me and it would be too complicated explaining my presence.

I told him he can say I’m his caregiver or au pair. Anyway I’m going whether he wants me to or not.

I’m the one who convinced him to go to begin with. He’s been limping around for days and he refused to go to a chiropractor because he says they are like witch doctors.

I think the thing that finally convinced him was that this morning Liz said the word fuck to him as in “I asked you 3 times if you wanted eggs and you said no so now you want them? I’m not making you any fucking eggs” Liz NEVER curses.

He immediately picked up the phone and called for an appointment since he had clearly used up any sympathy he had with her.

I’m going with him in case he tips over or something. I told him I would let him go into the examination room alone but maybe just to piss him off I’ll elbow my way in there and every time the chiropractor asks him a question I’ll answer for him

This year is already ending better than last year.

117. And Neil Diamond can kiss my ass too.

So I’m watching the Kennedy Honors last night.

I was absolutely loving it.

It was only when they got to Yo Yo Ma that I had one of my epiphanies.

Yo Yo Ma or as I like to call him, Yo seemed absolutely joyous. His music was transcending. You could see that it was part of him. And I recognized the look.

The total absorption and happiness at listening to his own music and loving his ability to make it. It was dave I was seeing.

Funny it didn’t hit me with Sonny Rollins or Neil Diamond.

In truth I had been thinking of dave’s career as probably on a downward turn. He is, after all,  turning 70 in a few months but who knows. He could get a hit record or a Grammy or something.

And my eyes moved from the sweet face of Yo , gliding over Meryl Streep and honing in on Neil Diamond.

Didn’t I read that a few years ago he  had dumped his long time wife and married that japanese, I mean blonde floozy who stood behind him, patting him on the shoulder and basking in his success.

If dave doesn’t want me to come and beat him and fuckface to bloody pulps, his best days better be behind him.

116. The original “Stranger With The Face of My Best Friend”

In the 80’s and 90’s my group of friends were securely married. We all still looked okay and our husbands, all musicians were doing pretty well.

I’m not going to say we were all crazy in love but we loved and felt loved.

One couple stood out. Fred and Karen Griffen. Both musicians which was a little unusual in our crowd. Karen was a virtuoso flute player, who played with the Metropolitan Opera, the rest of us were just wives.

But that wasn’t the thing that made them different.

Fred was hot for Karen. I mean hot. If she bent down and he saw her bra he would get excited. There was one story that they told about him fixing the roof or something and he happened to look in the window and Karen was taking a shower. He just watched her without saying anything.

When he told us all this story we all yelled at him saying who cops a peek at his own wife naked? But when the women talked later we admitted that though intellectually it was creepy we were a little jealous that none of our husbands would ever think of doing that.

Another side of Fred was that when Karen started going through menopause he bought a book on it so that he would know what she was going through and he could be sympathetic.

Now I know that no one knows what really goes on in another person’s marriage, but I thought I knew Fred pretty well. dave and Fred went to college together and were good friends. And I really loved Fred. In fact when we got together as couples, often dave would talk to Karen more and I would hang with Fred.

They came to our wedding. We traveled together. Fred had been in dave’s big band since it’s inception.

Your can imagine our shock and the shock of all our friends when fred (he get’s a small f during this period) fell in love with a young girl and Karen and fred got a divorce.

It scared all the wives. Even though as I’ve always said, I felt safe, it scared me.

The other guys in the band were all yelling at fred because their wives were all mad at them because of what fred did.

Everyone started to refer to fred as ‘fred the shit’

When the band would gather I would say “Hello, musicians, hello fred”.

It upset me so much that I wrote a song, “Stranger With The Face of My Best Friend”.

Part of the lyric was:

I thought I knew that he would always be

The one who was the other half of me

But now there’s just a shell

Where there used to be love inside

Anyway I didn’t have much to do with fred for years until I saw him right after my sister, Phyllis, died. He came over and put his arms around me and told me he knew how much it hurt and what she’d meant to me. He became Fred again.

I got the sweetest card from him for Christmas. It made me miss him.

115.Please don’t kill dave or his skanky piece of shit whore

After I playfully suggested on two of my posts that my life would improve dramatically if dave were to buy a pine condo I was surprised that a few of my blog followers seemed more than happy to oblige, some more creatively than others.

Miss Liz, the Emily Post of the western world, said quite rightly that it was improper of me to say that.

1. Because as my mother said when in the fourth grade I wrote William Lupatkin a love letter and used my sister’s lipstick to put a big kiss on the outside of the envelope, “Don’t ever put anything in writing”.

In that case the penalty was William’s mother being all creeped out and bringing the letter in to my teacher, Miss Liff, and demanding that she speak to my mother.

In this case that punishment may well be the chair.

2. I probably don’t want him to die. I’ve loved him for over 40 years and I don’t wish him harm.

Besides if he dies then he won’t suffer my real wish which is to never have another happy day with that craphead.

114. His new babe better be organized and smart as well as whorey

Miss Liz gave me the greatest gift.

One of the early Nancy Drew books, “The Secret of the Old Clock”.

It made me cry because that was my first book obsession. When I was little they were $.99.

Once a year the bookstore had a sale. Buy one get a second for $.01. I’d run home at top speed and tell my dad and he’d give me a dollar so I could run back and buy 2 books.

David keeps saying he bought me a present but it hasn’t arrived yet. I’m sure it will be equally thoughtful.

Now enough of those hearts and roses. Back to my latest epiphany.

I have definitely decided, well ‘definitely’ might be a little strong, but I really think I have decided not to do dave’s business after all this is settled.

Every time I get an email from him no matter the subject I get a sinking feeling.

Who needs that?

So he’ll have to depend on himself and sluthead to take care of his tours etc.

At least I think that’s what I’ll do. The only thing stopping me is that then I’ll have to count on him to send me my share of the publishing. Even worse, I’ll have to depend on crapneck and I know she isn’t looking to make my life better.

Any more thought of one of you guys giving him a dirt nap? Or maybe just giving his stuff a dirt nap.

Just askin’

113.I’m bumming out my whole family since I been dumped

This morning my niece Stephanie called and while we were talking she mentioned that she had a terrible nightmare last night.

It had to do with losing 2 things and being in danger of losing the third. And her going to my mother’s house in Florida to pick up the things my  mother left  and since she had no money she had no place to put them.

She said she was overwhelmed with grief and she couldn’t shake it when she woke up.

I explained that it was clearly me she was worried about. She lost my mother and my sister, Iris her mother and I was all she had left.

She clearly feels responsible for me.

And not just Steph.

My sister calls me 10 times a day.

My nephew Brian never takes a car trip that he doesn’t call me and talk to me until his arrival.

Julie feels like she has to drag me to anything that seems like the slightest bit fun.

Matthew who is as hard to corner as a butterfly is visiting me on Christmas day.

My niece, Randy came down and weeded my whole terrace.

My nephew Barry, in Oregon calls me “just to chat”

The rest of them just call to make sure that I’m not sobbing in my closet and I know they all talk to each other to check on that.

And don’t get me started on my friends and David.

There is only one solution.

One of you losers who reads my blog better kill dave and marry me.

Case closed.

Thank you.

112. Sometimes it feels good to be a tattletale. Actually not sometimes, all the time.

Let me tell you about Captain Hugh.

About 15 years ago we left the boat in West End, Bahamas for over a year.

We didn’t really mean to. We were just too busy or too scared to bring it across the ocean back to Florida.

When we first got there we met an old black man who had a ramshackle boat in the same marina. He didn’t live on it but he spent many nights on it. I think he lived with his niece in Freeport.

He was an old man. I have no idea how old he was then or now. He had shabby clothes that were immaculately cleaned and pressed.

After a short period of time we struck up a friendship with him. He taught us how to manage in that strange, to us, place. When we needed something done on the boat we’d have him arrange it and would have him pay whoever he hired to do it.

He really did take us under his wing.

One time we took the boat to a neighboring island and stayed a day longer than we said we would and when we came back the Captain was preparing to go look for us. Since the boat terrified me I was very comforted by that.

West End was an interesting place. There was a warmth and generosity there like nothing I’ve ever known.

I remember when we first got there we went to the little store up the block from the marina. We wanted to buy an extension cord so we could use our air conditioner.

The man in the store said we’d have to go into Freeport for that the next day but he disconnected his coke machine and gave us his for the night. He had never met us before.

And going into Freeport was a trip in itself. The bus routes were approximate. On one trip the bus driver took a left off the main road and stopped at his house to pick up his lunch.

On another trip we asked the driver where there was a hardware store. We only needed a few screws. He told us and then we asked where we catch the  bus to get back to West End.

He explained that since the hardware store was only a block or two off his route, he’d drive us there, wait for us and then we could make the return trip with him.

The kindness of these people made me feel somewhat guilty for all the times I’d mug out of towners in NYC.

Anyway we’d spend a few weeks at a time there and when we’d leave Captain Hugh would live on our boat. At first without our knowledge and then with it. We also paid him $50 a month to keep an eye on it.

When we’d return the boat would be spotless and totally free of any liquor that we’d left there because as the Captain said “When a storm blows in you can’t expect these guys (his friends) not to have a drink or two”

One day when we were home we received a call from Captain Hugh saying that the customs guy was asking about our boat being there and it would cost us a lot of money if we didn’t get it out soon.

We arranged for friends to go and pick up the boat and bring it back to Florida.

I thought I had heard the last from Captain Hugh.

Well that wasn’t the case.

For the next 15 years, every holiday, Easter, Thanksgiving Christmas, I’d get a call from the Captain.
“How you doing, Captain?”

“Not so good, Mattie” and he’d tell me about either an eye problem or a hurricane or whatever.

And I’d say “Can I wire you a little money?”

“That would be nice, Mattie”

I’d send him $100 via western union.

The holidays became more and more frequent. He started calling me on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

As dave’s income slowed down I’d send him $50 but I never didn’t send it.

Eventually he’d ask me to send it in his nephew’s name because he couldn’t get to Freeport any more.

He called me this morning.

We went through the usual “How you doing Captain” and he answered as he always does “Not so good, Mattie” and it went on. He reminded me to send it through his nephew’s name because he couldn’t get out of bed any more.

Money is tight now but I still dread not getting those calls any more.

By the way I told Captain Hugh on dave and he was really pissed.

111. It’s not that I have a better personality with a cocktail. It’s just that I am way more liable to crack myself up with a buzz on.

I had plans last night to go to dinner with friends.

We were meeting at a vegan restaurant.

Although I’m saintly in almost every other way I’m not a vegan. I prefer vegetarian but I don’t like fake meat.

I looked at the menu of this place on line and it seemed like everything was almost food. It was shaped like food but not quite food. More importantly the website said there would be a wine list added later.

Anyhoo, I was thinking of backing out because I had been out all day with my nieces but I really love the people that I was going with, Susan and Allan, Rocker( if I could put little hearts around Rocker’s name I would) and his wife, Shirley( I love her too) and John Doumanian who might just be the funniest guy alive. He rubs elbows with the stars and doesn’t get at all annoyed when I pump him for details.

On my way over there I kept thinking about that wine list to be added later thing.

I was really tired and I knew that a cocktail would be absolutely necessary if I were to sparkle so I stopped in a liquor store.

I asked the guy if he had any vodka in a small enough bottle that I could slip it in my pocketbook (and you thought we weren’t soul mates, dave).

He pointed over his shoulder at little airplane size bottles.

I suddenly realized that it made me look like a drunk so I said I’d take 2 and  mumbled something about having dinner with people that don’t drink so I’d feel funny ordering something.

He just gave me a pitying look and said “Don’t worry about it. It’s okay”.

Clearly I wasn’t convincing him of anything.

When I got to the restaurant I plopped my bottles on the table and told my friends what happened.

For some odd reason the subject moved to most awkward situations.

Mine involved my super.

I had taken a picture of him one day and I used it as the wallpaper on my phone.

I just thought it was funny that when people saw my phone and asked me who it was I would say
“my super”.

Well no one ever asked me and I just never thought about it.

One day I was having problems with my phone and since the super’s wife works for verizon I asked her to help me. I had totally forgotten that her husband’s picture would appear when she opened my phone.

As I said before stress puts me in mumbling mode so I started babbling that it was a joke, which in no way improved the situation.

I was tempted to say I’m in love with him so that rather than being insulting I would just be pathetic since I’m almost 40 years older than him.

Anyway my story came in second to the guy that tongue kissed his mother by mistake.

110. Let his whore save his memorabilia. I’ll save a punch in the neck for him.

I had a basket of programs from all of dave’s performances.

I think in Japan they sold for $25 at the concerts.

They are irreplaceable which is too bad because I deep sixed them.

I actually thought of emailing dave and asking if I should save them for him when I thought of my niece Stephanie who said she would hit me with a magazine if I did one more nice thing for him.

Today I’m having lunch with Steph so the risk is too great.

I did feel a twinge when I threw them in the garbage but that’s better than a lump on my bean.