Take Seven – 15th October 2021

Our words were:

duty, event, exchanged, hefty, hole, missing, particular, piece, quality, quizzical, riot, roast, secret, see, segment, sixty, spend, tapped, terrific, traditional, wire.

***

Sixty years together in a traditionally conservative marriage and at the point in my life where I should be cruising, all about to hit the fan.

The first ten years were terrific. I’d found the missing piece of the puzzle and would tell all and sundry that I was happy to spend my remaining years with this one, good woman.

But she had a secret, see. While I saw everything with those rosy glasses, she was involved in a lengthy extramarital affair. At first, she was waiting for the kids to leave the nest, and then I had a health scare. She wanted to be kind. She felt duty bound, vows exchanged were not to be thwarted, she said.

She waited a bloody life‑changing amount of time to break the news. To face me. In the end, she chose the event of the christening of our first great grandchild to create the hefty hole in my heart. Broken into segments, as cleanly as if cut with piano wire.

I was tucking into the particularly delicious roast prepared with love by ‘her’ hands for the celebratory feast, when she asked if we could chat. I looked up at her, oblivious to the cuts she was about to impart, and felt gravy sliding down my chin and a large, odorous burp escaped my lips.

She grimaced, then smiled brightly again.

“When you’re ready, darling,” she said.

I continued to eat the quality meat. Only the best for our table. I raised my fork to get the attention of my riotous extended family.

“Oi, you lot. I get the sense a surprise is in the offing. Any of you know what Mum has up her sleeve?”

There was a pause in conversation as several faces turned toward me, various degrees of stupidity, disinterest and general boredom reflected back. There was only one quizzical expression, shown in raised eyebrows and a nervous smile. That was the face of Johnny, my longest and dearest friend.

“No? Nobody? Alright then, must just be something between Joanie and me”, I called. ”Carry on!”

I got up from the table and followed my beloved wife to the nook, our cosy winter space. Scene of many a companionable evening, cuddled together in front of a roaring fire.

“My darling,” she began. “There’s no easy way to say this …”

“What is it, Joanie? Just say it, quickly. Rip the band aid,” I said, encouragingly.

“I want a divorce,” she said.

“Wow, not what I was expecting,” I said. I sank into the nearest sofa. “But it is probably about time.”

“Sorry? Um, you’re not surprised,” she said. “I’m in love with Johnny.”

“Ah, Johnny. Our Johnny? Johnny imbibing of our fabulously rich celebratory feast, right now. In the other room. That Johnny?”

“Yes. What other Johnny could it be,” she asked. I could see that she was puzzled, intrigued, and frustrated all wrapped in a messy package.

“Just checking, my love. Because, that Johnny has been my lover for the last twenty years,” I said.

“I … can’t believe it,” said Joanie. “He … we’ve been talking about leaving you for years.”

“As have we. We have discussed and planned what we’d do with the divorce proceeds. Where we will travel to, where we’d live …”.

“No,” she said. “No. That can’t be right.”

“Do you think, darling that he has hedged his bets and we’ve been tapped for our marital fortune?” I asked Joanie, angry and confident that we’d both been played. “He has always been a greedy bastard.”

As we have done for over sixty years, we came to an easy telepathic decision. We were a team. Together we could conquer all. And we would not be played.

We walked back into that party, took our places at table and I threw into the conversation … “Has anybody heard … Uncle Johnny has syphilis. Unfortunately, he’ll be checking into a sanatorium tomorrow.”

Stunned silence and a beetroot red, sweating Johnny jumps to his feet and crashes away from the table. Without a word, he wobbles to the door grabs his coat on the way and slams the door behind him.

“Well,” said my elderly mother. “That was different.” [701 words]

Take Seven

Three Things Challenge #708

Today’s three words are poke, tap and press

* * *

“I could poke holes in your logic all day,” I said to Father Joe.

“Logic and faith,” said my girlfriend. “Do they go together?”

“I know that faith can seem illogical,” said Joe. “But trust in God does not in fact negate the application of reason. And reason depends on logic to come to understanding.

“Faith creates freedom to tap into deeper understanding. It buffers and strengthens in a world where logic rules, and reason often wanes.”

“I used to have faith in the press, Father,” I said. “I used to have faith in justice. It was how I was raised. Facts, laws and rules were the foundation of a good life.”

“They play a part,” said Joe. “In the modern world, do they work? So many are depressed, despairing at what is truth. To the believer, the only truth is God. Faith keeps us strong.”

“I wish I knew who to trust, that’s for sure,” said my girlfriend.

I looked at them both, traditional priest and modern woman. Two good people. Entirely different ways of walking the world. Two people I trusted.

“I thank you for your faith, Father,” I said. “I’m glad that you’re holding hard to a belief that encourages you to reach out and help the lost.”

“My son, I’m here for you both. When your first child arrives and you look at this world in despair you will then be ready, perhaps, to be inspired by faith,” Joe said.

He anointed us both, before ushering us through the old wooden doors, out into the unreasonable, illogical world of man.

Three Things Challenge is set daily by #pensitivity101

We are presented with three things that may, or may not, be related. Simply read the prompt and see where your creativity takes you.

You can use one, two or all three words in your post, there are no restrictions regarding length, style, or genre apart from keeping it family friendly.

Remember to tag responses with 3TC, #threethingschallenge or #TTC and add the logo if you wish.

Three Things Challenge #476

To join this writing challenge, check out pensitivity101 for the “rules”: https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/three-things-challenge-476/

Your three things today are:

MISTRESS
EXPECTATION
ANYWHERE

My wildest dreams could not compete.
For such promise to come anywhere near bespectacled, bow-legged, book nerds such as myself, impossible.
I found her in a book. At least, I found the spell, temptation.
When I began to gather ingredients, it wasn’t serious.
Preparing the room was a laugh. Expectations were non-existent.
But there must have been a seed of hope. Otherwise, why did I take such care. Reading and reading again the words. Setting everything up, just right.
Candles fluttered, and curtains flapped in jerky, convulsive shudders.
Then, centre of the pentagram, there she was. Resplendent! Magnificent!
I squealed like a girl, danced on the spot, spinning, and spinning, hands to my face.
The spell promised a friend, confidante, love, and wealth. In one fair bundle.
A glimpse in the mirror as I spun past and I stopped.
Reflected back was not that  beautiful, statuesque woman, straight out of Vogue.
This was a withered hag, thin and grey, straggly hair, and toothless face, grinning at me.
Mistress,” she croaked, a spider crawling from her mouth.

#3tc; #TTC; #pensitivity101

Take Seven – 8th January

Take Seven 8 January 2021 by Pensitivity101

Words: Add All Basic Being Bit Determined Hidden Knew Lean Lurking Measured More Show Sneer Started There Tin Tired Treat Wobble Work

My effort below

I’m tired of feeling rejected.

The lurking depression, basically hidden but measured by how easily I feel hurt.

It all adds up. No matter how determined I am to show strength, I wobble.

I’m not alone. Many of us feel this desperation; if people only knew.

They say, it is not about you. We don’t treat you any differently.

You look at me, at my cushy world and sneer.

You don’t understand how much energy it takes to overcome the negative self-talk.

At work all you can see is how unreasonable I’m being because I’m tough. My expectations are high, of us all. Not just you.

Bit by bit I need to prove there is more to me than the lean offering I share.

I wear the tin badge of self-appointed sheriff, started so long ago; first line of defence.

Take Seven

Three Things Challenge #461

The three things today are:

BRING, GAVE and CONTRIBUTION

*** *** ***

Bring home the bacon. There’s a designation of duty well established.

I gave, and I gave, and I gave … designation of another sort. Remarked and reflected upon.

With many a maligned partner asking, “what has your contribution been to this relationship?”

If I’m honest, my generational biases could come into play if I were the reader, and not the writer. At first glance. Before further analysis.

I might assume that …

The husband is the bacon bringer

His unappreciated wife, the giver; and that

Either of them could be the whining and unhappy partner. The supplier of the ingredient, or the one cooking said pork.

Whichever is the provider.

I reflect on how easy it is to disenfranchise and discriminate by pigeonholing people, stumbling into an abyss by misuse of language, by interpretation.

Filtered by perception, generation, gender, colour, circumstance. Country of birth.

Through eyes of the child.

Words should bring clarity. They often bewilder. Obfuscate.

Even with the best of intention.

Three Things Challenge

Three Things Challenge #426

Three Things Challenge #426 words for today are:

INTRICATE
UNJUST
CENTRE

The man I love. Light of my life.

A dimming light.

Lost to the wilderness of drink, drugs, fear.

I tried to be his CENTRE, to hold him fast.

To encourage and remind him of all we had.

I cry UNJUST. Life is cruel, unfair.

Love, comfort, companionship could not beat his demons.

The INTRICACIES of life, marriage, responsibility, overwhelmed.

The man I lost.  Light diminished.

Surrendered to night.

Three Things Challenge

Fibbing Friday 20th November 2020

Hosted by Di at pensitivity101: https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2020/11/20/fibbing-friday-my-response-for-20th-november/comment-page-1/?

  1. What is Kapok?

A testing device for the tensile strength of car panels.

  1. Where will you find a kernel?

In a hospital, being treated for fuel inhalation.

  1. If you didn’t know a door as a door, what would you call it?

The go-through.

  1. What’s the difference between a yolk and a yoke?

You can’t harness a yolk; the yoke will just slip through it.

  1. What does E R N I E do?

Everything Ramses and Nefertiti instructed Ernie to do.

  1. What is meant by sunny side up?

The opposite of Mooning?

  1.   What could you wear on your head that would make people think you were awesome?

At a writer’s convention? A deerstalker.

  1.   What is meant by cattywampus?

A glamping tent for cats.

  1. What is an erf?

What Santa’s elves call ‘the fat one’.

  1. What is a mouse potato?

The droppings of a rodent from the age of dinosaurs!

Three Thing Challenge #424

Three Things Challenge #424 by pensitivity101. Three things today are:

BEAUTIFUL
GLOW
REAL

I watch him reverse the car into our driveway, with a modest nonchalance. That simply beautiful, man‑skill he flourishes every day. His hands loose, yet confident on the wheel.

At the beginning, I fell in love with his hands. Graceful, long fingers, slightly tanned, not too hirsute. They somehow spoke of real strength, and gentleness. Not heavily calloused, but not effeminate either. They confirmed my impressions of the man I’d often observed.

He wasn’t overly refined. He was just solid. He was in his early 20s when we met, carefree it seemed, easy-going, friendly and dedicated to his work. Quick to praise his co-workers, modest about his own achievements.

He was boyishly handsome, not classically. There was something about him though. Dark features, tall and lean, well sculpted biceps but not from the gym, from manual labour. So, an office boy, but used to physical work. As it turned out, his was a farming background and he’d supported his university studies in the real world, during seeding and harvest.

A fair and caring man, but practical. Not gushing, not sentimental, but reliable, interested, spontaneous, and nurturing.

A man, yet still a boy. A professional, yet somehow still a bumpkin. Detached, yet still engaged. Looking. Searching. Although he didn’t realise it.

The man I met, fell in love with, married and gave children to. A man that took on my first child as his own, supported us all with joy and hard work.

The man I glowingly love.

My husband.

Eric Mauritius 2010

Three Things Challenge #421

Three Things Challenge

Crispy critters round for tea

On the eve of Christmas

Better cut the biscuits up

Need some offset sweetness

Who the hell invited them

Something from a nightmare

Not our fault their boiler blew

Spoiled our Christmas di-in-ner

(To the tune of Good King Wenceslas)

Three Things Challenge set by pensitivity101. Today’s three words were: better, crisp and cut

Fibbing Friday 18th September 2020

New to this challenge … so here I go!

  1. What exactly is Yorkshire pudding?

A rotund young man from Yorkshire.

  1. What is treacle, and why do people make tarts out of it?

Treacle is that bitingly sarcastic ‘thank you’ offered to one of the ‘Happy Friday’ crowd, as you hand them a sharply sticky (sugar free) apple pastry; also known as tart.

  1. What is the key ingredient of haggis?

Ground up old mother-in-law (of the unfriendly kind only).

  1. How is toffee made?

You get a toff …. And go for it!

  1. How did pound cake get its name?

One day a virtuous nutritionist, realising that sugar in the form of cake was detrimental to waistlines everywhere, tried to change mindsets by putting a negative name on to a cake. Good luck with that one!

  1. Why is candy corn so named?

I believe the name derives from the Dentists of America Association, who believe candy shaped like teeth (aka Oompa Loompa candy in the trade) will:
a) bring them more clients or at the very least
b) discourage people from eating the candy corn

  1. What is marzipan?

A mad hatter who has run out of hats; therefore, pans.

  1. Why is a baker’s dozen so named?

Originally, bakers were notoriously bad at addition and so in the early days, a baker’s dozen just meant ‘quite a lot’. Over time, they settled amicably on a true number.

  1. What is meant by the idiom, “Too many cooks spoil the pot”?

Well, when brewing a batch of marijuana, one needs to keep ones wits about one. And therefore if there is more than one, and one is ‘wired’ it just doesn’t work – and the pot may well blacken.

  1. What is meant by the idiom, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”?

Sauce isn’t gender biased and currently enjoying a surge in popularity.