Archive for April, 2006

Published by PaintingChef on 28 Apr 2006

The first step is admitting that you have a problem.

Usually you get to PREPARE for this shit. If someone is going to take away your ONE LEGAL DRUG, your ONLY remaining vice, and you are going to have to go cold turkey, don’t you generally get a little warning? I mean, if I had know what was about to transpire, I would have enjoyed my last fix a little more…and then maybe curled up in bed with an oversized bottle glass or two of red wine and perhaps a gallon of chocolate ice cream and prepared to hunker down and ride out the withdrawals.

My last fix wasn’t even a GOOD one. It was back from the beginning of my addiction and I’ve already covered how I felt about those years. Back before I realized just how far this thing was going to suck me in. When it was all a little innocent once a week thing. Before it became the ugly, gripping, all-consuming obsession that it eventually turned into.

Damn you Soapnet. Damn you for taking away my 90210. And then just to turn the knife a little more you move Melrose to 4:00. Rot in hell you filthy bitch. What did Aaron Spelling ever do to you?

Published by PaintingChef on 28 Apr 2006

No pictures…just more boring phone conversations…

“Hey. Do you want to hear a good story about what an idiot I am?”

“You mean a new story?”

“Yes Patrick. A new story.”


“So you know that book that I bought for my mom and had autographed for her for Mother’s Day?”

“Yes. The one she’s already read.”

“Shut up dude. She LOVES that book. Anyway, I accidentally returned it to the library when I took all those other books back.”

“Susannah. You DO know that when you actually BUY a book at the library, you don’t have to return it, right?”

“It was an accident you jackass.”

“Again with the sweet pillow talk.”

Published by PaintingChef on 27 Apr 2006

So much more interesting than phone sex.

“What are you doing? How was your class? How is Denver?”

“It was fine; I think I’m learning a lot so that’s good, right?”


“But I was thinking about something last night and I wanted to get your expert opinion on it.”

“Oh this should be good.”

“If one of the Seven Dwarfs were a drug dealer, which one do you think it would be?”

“That’s an excellent question. I think it would be Doc, for certain.”

“Really? Because I was thinking it might be Dopey.”

“Oh no, definitely not Dopey. Drug dealing takes a surprising amount of business sense if you want to be successful at it. It would absolutely be Doc. Maybe Happy because of his excellent people skills but I really think that Doc was the brains of the Seven Dwarfs operation.”

“And would all the other dwarfs be like his customers or what?”

“Well, probably not all of them. I’d say that Grumpy was probably the teetotaler of the group and was just always pissed because everyone around him was so jacked up on high grade pharmaceuticals. But the others…Sleepy, Happy, Bashful, Itchy, Scratchy, and for sure, Dopey, were probably all loyal customers.”

“Susannah, I don’t think that Itchy and Scratchy were dwarfs.”

“You so obviously never did drugs.”

Published by PaintingChef on 25 Apr 2006

The Great Adventure.

This past weekend I went to hear one of my favorite authors, Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair) speak at our local library. She discussed, among other things, the themes that run through her books.

She said that her books, like most all books, are centered on a person’s “Great Adventure.” According to her, making the decision to write fiction after spending years working in non-fiction was her Great Adventure. But wait! I wanted to say. You are married. You have children. Grandchildren. Are those not part of your Great Adventure? Can a person only have one or two Great Adventures in their life? What if it works on a ration basis? Much like Charlotte said “A person only has two great loves in their life”, maybe we only get a couple of Great Adventures.

What if I’ve already had mine? What if turning my life around was my first Great Adventure and this life with Patrick is my second, and final, Great Adventure? As far as Great Adventures go, I guess I can’t complain. But do children come with that second one? Is it a package deal called “married life” that, kind of like a happy meal, comes with a side of babies and an ice cold grandchild or two? Or did I fritter that first Great Adventure away along with the thousands of dollars of drugs that disappeared into my body?

I’ve kind of been stewing over this for a few days now and I think I’ve decided how I feel about it. I think that we create our own Great Adventures and that when we are ready to open ourselves up to another one and to what we will learn from it, then it is time to go on our next journey. But I think that the second we stop learning from our lives is probably when the Great Adventure dies.

I had to spend this morning at the doctor’s office being repeatedly stuck in the arm on an hourly basis on an empty stomach because apparently my doctor is trying to kill me but while I was there, I had a lot of time to people watch. A favorite pastime of mine. There was an elderly couple I watched for just a very few minutes. I would guess that they were both in their 70s and they kind of inspired this entry. She was in the lab having her blood drawn and as she walked out he stood up (as quick as he could) and walked over to her, putting his arm around her protectively and stroking her cheek making sure that she was alright. He then offered his arm and they walked out, their heads bent together talking softly in the kind of intimacy that I imagine could only come from a lifetime together weathering the better or worse, sickness and health, richer and poorer.

I wondered what their Great Adventures were. How long did it take them to learn how to lean completely on each other? When they were young, were they full of the same uncertainty about what their future was that I sometimes find myself filled with? Did they look at their young marriage and find themselves full of the same “I know everything about marriage and everything is going to be smooth sailing” bravado that I felt drain out of me as I watched them walk away? How many nights had they spent in tears over a child or each other?

I have no idea who they were and I’ll probably never see them again. But I honestly think that in the 60 seconds I watched them together, I learned a lifetime.

Published by PaintingChef on 24 Apr 2006

In which Patrick and I break down the fundamentals that make our marriage work.

“So a whole week without me cramping your style, huh? Whatever are you going to do with yourself while I’m on the other side of the country doing engineer things?”

“Huh. Well, I was thinking that after you leave in the morning, I’d get on the party line and have the big rave party tomorrow night. Something good to get the week started. Since we’re planning on painting the house this year, you don’t mind if I turn everyone loose on it with spray paint and all the Ecstasy they can eat do you?”

“No, actually I’d been planning that same event in the not too distant future.”

“Oh good. I love that we can be so on the same page with the parties and the drugs and the house graffiti. I think that any marriage not based in similar opinions when it comes to spray paint and chemical assistance is doomed to fail, don’t you?”

“But you’ll share your bed with a Republican?”

“Let’s just say you’re lucky you’re cute…”

“Thanks. So what else do you have planned for the week?”

“I’m not really sure but they are installing the stripper poles in the kitchen on Tuesday afternoon so we’ll just play it by ear from there.”

“Really you should put them in the living room. I’m surprised at you Susannah, seating is key when it comes to stripper poles.”

“Actually these are standing room only stripper poles.”

“Ah…I’m sorry I’m going to miss it.”

“Well, I can leave them up if you’d like. I don’t mind.”

“Sometimes I can’t believe how good you are to me my dear.”

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