When we first started sleeping together he’d purposefully fart in bed and pull the sheet over our heads filling our sinuses with the awful odiferousness. It’s crazy how much I hated this trick and still love this funny charming man.
My friend Lia and her husband set up a date for the 4 of us to go out. I was travelling for work about 10 days a month back and forth to NYC. The date was just after one of these trips and my flight was late, weather was bad and my car was buried under 10 feet of snow in the airport parking lot. I woke up the next day at home and was just not in the mood to go out. I called Lia to reschedule, she didn’t answer and her voicemail box was full- typical Lia. So I tried to call John. He had moved back home from a job overseas, temporarily moved back in with his mother and was not in the phone book.
So I was stuck going out on this date, subsequently falling in love with him and marrying him all because I couldn’t find his name in the phone book. When I’m angry with him I quietly blame his mother for remarrying after John’s Dad passed away and changing her name.
On one of our first dates, he decided to test my sense of “being a good sport”. Barberton OH is famous for– Barberton chicken. There’s a string of family run fried chicken restaurants all within 4-5 blocks in Barberton. They are all cafeteria style places with aluminum tables and chairs with cracked vinyl seats. The menu: white or dark greasy fried chicken, with your choice of greasy sides- apple sauce, rice with hot sauce or French fried potatoes. Soda or coffee, no alcohol. The waitresses are “lifers” sporting service industry orthopedic black shoes. They open at 4pm every day with a line out to the parking lot. To this day, I still agree to this occasional ritualistic pilgrimage….Tums in hand.
In most life situations, we are opposites. He loves boats and the water. I can hardly swim. He loves the beach and the sun. I’m very pale, freckled and I sit under an umbrella. He loves to ski. I can’t get on or off the ski lift without shutting it down. He loves roller coasters. I hate theme parks (partially because a bird pooped on my head when I went there in 8th grade with my class- it was a traumatic experience). He’s the best, most fun Dad. I’m the less fun but patient Mom. Sadly he’s lost most of his hearing and I repeat everything I say- with or without hearing aids. It sounds like I’m yelling at him all day. He still farts in bed, in the kitchen, in the car and the grocery store with no abandon or apology, in fact I think he’s proud of these productions.
And, he still puts up with me, a graying over 60 who’s gained over 50 who wears t-shirts to bed, often leaves dirty dishes in the sink, leaves the trash taking-out to him and needs spiders killed on a regular basis.
He’s the air I breathe, the fabric I’m made of, the funny, not so funny, charming love of my life John Darr