Sunday, March 16, 2014

A visit from an old friend

Gail visited yesterday. She is an old friend, who predates the BFF I've known since the early seventies. Gail and I go back to the college days, the sixties. Tiny apartments, tiny grocery stores, long walks to the Laundromats or home from the bars. Those days.

Gail is a laid back woman who is domiciled nearby on occasion, house sitting. She came with Lily, an extremely laid back Golden Retriever. I have it on good authority the animal is only laid back in Gail’s company. Gail is an animal whisperer.

Gail also is the only person I can contact easily to second my version of cutting off the end of my husband’s nose. The story does circulate occasionally.

Watching Janice put the quilt together
Jim, my husband, was classically passive aggressive. I had to grow older and read a lot of books to figure that out; so that bit of information is after the fact. The fact is, he expected the house to run smoothly, but he ran counter intuitively to the operation.

One Saturday we were having a large party. He did not get out of bed to assist in straightening the house; when he got up he moved straight to the sofa while I continued preparations. Then he decided he wanted his hair cut. OK, I had time to fit that in. But he wandered off, puttering.

Doesn't look difficult
I didn't refuse to continue, I just needed him to sit still soon enough and long enough to do the job. Yes, guests began arriving, gathering in the kitchen to watch the haircut, which had barely begun. “I want to do this later,” I advised. “You’re going to do it now,” he replied.

I cut hair with a razor in those days. Perhaps something pulled; he jerked, I lost tension on the hair, snatched my hand back and almost missed the end of his nose. I felt it hit, though, and there was a good deal of blood and screaming. He lost a sliver of skin, right on the end of his nose.

The guests were friends from graduate school, one a resident in surgery. He took over, put Jim to bed, prescribed ice and aspirin. The party went on, with Jim occasionally roaring his displeasure from upstairs. The scab on the end of his nose lasted several weeks. It didn't bother me at all.  As Gail said to Jim then and will tell you now, “She said she didn't want to cut your hair.”

Oh, hello
Between schlepping kids I listened in on Gail’s visit, knitting a sock. I've been remiss with socks this winter and have some catching up to do. And the last news, the arsenic and rice team did not move on. Emily hopes to get through high school without being required to participate again; Angela is thinking about arsenic in juice for next year. Well done, ladies.

And another person come to pet me.


  1. Nice to have old friends who can back up your stories....miserable begger...I would have taken the whole nose off.

  2. Hari OM
    That's taking the Freudian slip to some extreme... heheheheheh (ahem cough). Oh that doggie is gorgeous. As are old friends. Blessings. YAM xx

  3. I love seeing old friends... and hearing about other folks old friends... and I love the way you tell a story mingling the times and folks. And this one was a doozy....

  4. Oh, this is so hilarious. That ex-husband of yours deserved what he got.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this story (say no more). Well done to Emily and Angela. One good point in your ex-old man's favour is that he provided you with three beautiful grand children - so not all bad.

  6. Never push a woman too far...they should teach that in school.
    Jane x

  7. Old friends are the best. Am I right in thinking that no-one was particularly sympathetic to ex-husband (except of course himself).

  8. Jesus. At least my barbarian barber restricted himself to my ears, and at least I could have grown my hair to disguise the lack of them.

  9. Great story, one that needs to be ended with some idiot commenting, and I guess I am the idiot this time,

    "did you do that to spite his face?"

    Sorry it's like dump diddly dump dum .....I had to do finish it.

  10. Old great is this!

  11. I wonder if you have seen The Color Purple...the shaving scene.

  12. Great story! But I bet your husband continued to want his way in his time despite having his nose almost cut off ;-)

  13. Oh gawd, there's arsenic is juice too! jk
    It's so very nice to have old friends to visit with; the ones who knew you from back in those days.

  14. What a story! Totally blame him for not listening to you when you said you didn't want to do the haircut then. Sorry the team didn't make it onto the next round, but they did good and should be proud of themselves! Always great to have visits from old friends I do believe!


  15. Alway nice to catch up with old friends and they always know the right story not the one that has changed over the years.

  16. Dear Joanne,
    the photos + text about that dog are great! Can't say the same about your (late or ex-) husband. Serves him right.

  17. Love the dog, Lily is a great name for her.
    Those passive-aggressive drive us crazy that's for sure.

  18. Oh Joanne you do tell a good story.... so he missed the party - good !

  19. I must as, does he have a scar? Hope so...

  20. I'm sure you didn't do it on purpose, but it was no less satisfying ... !

    Doggies always seem to find those who will make the proper fuss over them.

    Well done to the science project ladies for going that far. It's nice that next year is already in the planning stage for Emily's friend.