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11:16 a.m. - 2011-06-02
Word salad.

Mick grew up in New Jersey, mostly within spitting distance from the border of New York, but in an area I rarely think of when it comes to NJ. To me NJ is Bergen Co- the consumer capital of the tri-state area. Newark for the airport. Fort Lee to get on and cross the George Washington Bridge. To me NJ is busy, crowded and sometimes a little smelly. Not Mick's New Jersey. The places he lived in were teeny and rural. Call them what you like- Hicksville (not the one on Long Island, dur), the Boons, East Bejesus Nowhere. Not that this neighborhood was a hotbed of bustling metropolitan glamour, my friends and I used to ride bikes and rest in the shade of the overhanging trees and flip baseball cards while sitting on the very road I live on now. Further down toward the wee colonial era cemetery, true, but this now very busy and speedy road was just a paved cow path 40 years ago and it was possible to go the whole afternoon without seeing a car. It was all very 'Stand By Me', unfortunately without Kiefer Sutherland. Still, the towns Mick and his family lived in were even more remote and his parents compounded things by always choosing isolated houses, of the three homes during Mick's growing up years only one had neighbors within sight distance. The O'Gaelics were clearly not people people.

Anyway, Mick's speech is larded with local colloquialisms swirled with city-isms from his folks, who were originally from Bayonne. It makes me laugh because he's got this From Here/Not From Here thing going on. And because he doesn't spend his life online as I do his speech is unchanged whereas mine has absorbed all kinds of words and phrases from far away friends. I can guarantee without the internet I'd have never ever said, "Gobsmacked." Or "Uf dah." Or "Bitchin'". I brought this up (and it's going to sound goofy) because it really irks me that Mick says 'basement' and not 'cellar'. 'Basement' is not a local thing, it's a Bayonne thing. The city people who move here call it a basement. If you grew up around here it is and always will be a 'cellar'. The other stuff I can blow off, him calling my purse a 'pocketbook', to him the DMV is 'motor vehicle', junk like that, but the cellar/basement thing truly grates. It's irrational and doofy but every time Mick says 'basement' I have a brief surge of turfy hostility. "Interloper! Transplant city asshole! Locust! Plague carriers with your too big McMansions and even bigger mouths!"

See? Super-duper dumb because as I just explained, Mick grew up in the sticks. If anyone in the relationship is a local yokel it's Mick. Mick's lived within 50 miles of the same spot his entire life. And I have lived Away, married a real outsider (an army brat) and through him have kids that add some badly needed fresh DNA to the local gene pool. So who am I to claim sovereignty over the 'proper' vocabulary of a true native? Pretty biggety of me, eh?

I also brought this up because we've been all about words and their meaning recently. From the start Mick's been fascinated by the la-la-la way I go on and how smoooove it makes most things. And even more so by how often I get my way because of it. This was an unknown strength to my poor hotheaded Irishman who had been going through life with a roaring mouth, chip firmly on shoulder. But he's a quick study. It's been fun watching his growing pleasure in the mastery of the delicate art of not shooting yourself in the foot with your cannon mouth. The best part is how happy Mick is. With life. With himself.

Maybe at first it was a good behavior necktie Mick was wearing to gussy up his husband suit. Something he put on to make me happy. But then he had a few successes, a couple amazing payouts for what to Mick wasn't much of an effort at all. Like any new habit you want to cultivate- the more you do it the easier it becomes- and now four years into the Mick-i-tude Makeover my guy is stunned at how good not deliberately fucking up your life feels. So much pleasure was just an attitude adjustment away. Recently he's started wondering and regret is creeping in. Why had it taken this long to catch on? What was the point of making everything so hard for himself?

This I understand very, very well. Been going through that myself. I try to stay away from the regret, when I fall off that wagon it gets real black real fast. But I understand it and why Mick's questioning things. I think you have to settle a couple of those Why questions so you don't accidentally backtrack and start screwing up again, but you can't ever understand all of them. And that quest to understand Why can make you crazy. Definitely a human thing, you never find the dog moping over a latte brooding about why he eats cat turds from the litter box. Or beating up on himself for humping Mrs Kessler's leg. Dogs live in the moment.

At this moment things here in Casa Sage are pretty good. Spent yesterday doing A LOT of stuff with Mick and everyplace we went it was good news. And if everything shakes out as it looks like it will, this will be the ultimate payoff for being patient, doing stuff in the right order, and using our indoor voices when dealing with jackholes. The Escort got a clean bill of health and a compliment on her good shape from the mechanic yesterday. I got a call about a really cool summer program for Wolf. Something he instigated. It finally dawned on him just how long and boring his coveted 'free' summer was going to be and when this came up at school he jumped on it. After a brief hiatus due to a broken truck, Jer the lawn boy will be back today and our meadowy wilderness will be scalped into suburban uniformity. The Job's Tears recovered from Mick's butchering and it's blooming like mad. Just in time to join the clematis, the trumpet honeysuckle and a zillion irises. Everybody else's peonies are open and mine are still hard knobs of bud. Phooey. But the long cool wet spring did wonders for my ancient pear trees, barring bugs or fungus this should be a bumper crop. Ditto for the apple tree. It's a self-pollinator with male and female trunks and grafted branches. A very nice tree stuck in a terrible location. For the tree. I like the way it looks through the living room and one of the dining room windows. Almost every year there's a robin's nest I get to watch through the glass too. Mick finally got confirmation that there's summer school and he's employed for the gig. Whew. It was close this year, these idiot budget cuts are killing the schools. Had a lucky shopping at Sam's yesterday too and the fridge and freezers are jammed with all sorts of fun stuff to cook.

All in all not bad. And total bonus, I finally got 'Beauty and The Beast' (the Disney one) on dvd.

Happy as only a goofball with a new princess movie can be, ~LA

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