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Some Answers
2006-09-18, 10:16 a.m.

Day 757 Some Answers Back in last Fridays post, Sport asked a couple of questions in the comments section that I thought were worth answering in another post. In a nutshell, she asked 1 – how I keep slugging along (I’m taking that to mean putting up with Cindy’s drinking) 2 – how Cindy drinks and still maintains a job in the schools 3 - If you could go back to one point in your marriage, when would that be? (neat question) and 4 - If you asked Cindy that question, would she have the same answer as you... (neater question) So. More or less in order. How do I keep slugging along? 25 years worth of marriage. Stubborn as a mule. Al Anon (thanks toAlison for getting me to go) Can’t just toss 25 years worth of marriage out like dirty bath water. Like question 3 implies, there were plenty of really good times in all those years. Those are what I’d like to get back to. We’ve paid our dues. Got kids almost done with college. Established careers, got the house, the yard, and really still have dreams for the future. Don’t want to toss that away. I believe it’s all worth slugging along for. At least so far. I got plenty of fight left in me. Did I mention the stubborn part? How Cindy maintains? She’s got a system. If she needs, she stops at one of several stores on the way home. Here in NY, liquor & wine can only be bought in state licensed stores. Beer you can get anywhere that bothers to get a beer license. The harder stuff is a little harder to come by. Anyhow – there are currently 4 liquor stores in her rotation. Don’t want to stop in at one too often. Looks bad. Her mixer of choice is Canada Dry Ginger Ale, available at every gasoline/convenience store on the planet. Where they also sell the cigarettes she still so desperately craves. Cocktail hour commences as soon as her work satchel hits the floor – I think. 22 oz. Mug, liberal amounts of ice, more liberal amounts of liquor, enough Ginger ale to float the ice. Usually, by the time I get home she’s on number 2 or 3. If I get home late, or if she started early, she might be on #4. Hard to tell anymore. I size up how many sheets to the wind she is, and figure out where dinner stands. That can vary anywhere from there’s nothing even out to thaw, to dinner is in the oven ready to eat. It’s usually at the point where there’s thawed meat, but nothing beyond that. No biggie – I cook, and cook well. When dinner is ready, I’ll call all interested parties to come & get it. Cindy will navigate into the kitchen as best she can, given the conditions. Anymore, we load up our plates and eat in front of the TV in the Family room. Sucks, but that’s how it goes. On nights when Cindy has pretty much passed out on the couch, Jill (or what ever kids are home at the time) & I will eat at the kitchen table, Cindy will eat when she wakes up. Maybe. There have been nights when she doesn’t eat dinner. One thing that never, ever fails though, dinner or not, is her gigunda huge glass of water. Always, before she goes to bed, she grabs one of our quart size cups & fills it with ice water. She’ll wobble over, take her coumadin & synthroid (both counter indicated for alcohol) and down about half the water. She’ll refill the cup then navigate her way upstairs. She’ll usually consume another half a quart of water before she’s settled into bed. This, I believe, helps her to avoid the worst of the de-hydration induced, hangover headache in the morning. Not to say she’s a ray of sunshine in the morning, but she has developed a coping mechanism. By 5:15am she’s making the first of many calls to her work voicemail to see if substitute teachers are required for the day. Scary thing? Sometimes she has to call for subs in the evening. She gets no help from me. I have only ever checked her voice mail once – and that’s when I had her carted off to the hospital back in May. (I’m not going to link it. It was back on May 8th or 9th) Even then, I had to make no calls for subs and was able to hand off the responsibility to the middle school secretary. That is more than I should have done, but I didn’t know it at the time. Should have left her ass in a sling, fretting over whether or not subs were needed & called. This whole scenario repeats anywhere from 3 – 6 nights a week. Varying degrees of drinking, dinner routine is flexible, but we rarely go out to eat because she’s too shitfaced to be in public. Then I get bitched at because we never go out, have few friends, what ever, but it’s my fault, of course. She’s still in denial about the cause, about her own complicity in her own mess. Don’t know how much longer this will go on. I am not going to call her boss and spill my guts. However, I am also not going to call her in sick if I believe it’s a drinking related “illness”. I won’t call her voice mail. I do not buy her liquor. I gave up trying to have wine in the house for the odd dinner with friends or even for cooking. It “evaporates”. I can have a few beers in the fridge out in the garage, but I have to be careful and select varieties she doesn’t much care for. Except she’s stretching her range. If I had to give up having beer or wine around the house to support her not drinking – no problem. I could give it all to my brothers, or even the kids. It could be gone tonight – I just need to hear the word. Whew. Question 3 - If you could go back to one point in your marriage, when would that be? Good question. (I’m bouncing back & forth between two PC’s here. One {the faster one} is running work simulations, the other one is to keep me occupied while simulations are running. Don’t tell my boss that I could be more productive. This is more therapeutic. Really) I’m going to guess that Sport is referring to some time after the honeymoon. Our real honeymoon was only a week, but the first 2 or 3 years of marriage were pretty stress free too. I was still in college for the first year, got a job right out of school and have been with them ever since. Best times in our marriage – First 3 years (‘81 – ’84) – no kids. (Shhh, yeah, I know, I’m old. Shut it.) Next really good period, ’89 – ’94. Kids were young, we bought a new (to us) house, I started night school towards the end there and didn’t have time for much of anything else. Plus my dad died towards the end of ’93. No impact to our marriage, just kind of a general bummer. Next good period? 2000 – 2003. I was done with night school, kids were wrapping up high school, we were be-bopping around all winter watching the kids play hockey. Question 4 - If you asked Cindy that question, would she have the same answer as you... Don’t know. The first 3 years are easy. Almost everyone would pick those. After that? Kind of a crap shoot. You think you’d agree on when you were communicating well, which times were stress free, but it’s all based on ones own perspective. I know for certain there are times I thought everything was peachy, only to find out there was an undercurrent of tension because of something (left unsaid) that was just harshing the general good buzz I thought was happening. So much for good communication, huh? This blather ought to answer Sports questions, for now. Back to our regularly scheduled drivel . . .


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old habits - new tricks