Saturday, January 12, 2013

Christmas Letters

 It’s this time of year when we usually receive wonderful letters from friends who insist on making us feel like crap even though they have no idea that’s what they’re doing. And while our lives (speaking of my immediate family here) are pretty darn good, when we finish reading one of these things it usually causes us to drink heavily or go to bed early with a sleep aid. Vacations to Europe, law school graduations, weight losses resulting in new found loves or redeemed marriages and on and on until at the end, when the writer finally says, “Have a happy new year” or asks how we’re doing, we want to say, “not so damn good!”
Just once, before I’m called home to “glory”, I’d like to get a letter something like the one penned below. But…now listen, this is only kidding, written in jest, because I really do enjoy hearing from friends. So take it for what it’s worth, something different written by a woman who is eternally positive and grateful for each and every blessing at this hallowed time of year.

Christmas Greetings from our house to yours! Here’s that Christmas letter I promised to write last year and, as you will see, things are going great at the Hanratty house! And speaking of our house, we gave the darn thing back to the bank last week! Ha! Todd, the wonderful man in my life, told em’ to “come and get it”.
We’re married thirty years now, seems like yesterday, and he never ceases to amaze me. Such a go getter! He said, “Honey, Wal-Mart has a tent sale and we can pick up a good one, camp for a year, save up and who knows?” Well, I know I’ve got the last of the good ones and an eternal optimist sitting right here next to me in front of a beautiful two log fire.  I’m sure you get the picture. As for the rest of our wonderful people, Todd Junior is on a well- deserved leave from the local detention center.  
Yes, you remember that rambunctious little fellow, just like his daddy (all grown up now), had a misunderstanding with our men in blue (bless each and every one) about a year ago, something about a weed of all things and driving too fast, the way Todd junior tells it, and they recommended he stay with them for a while. I don’t know much about these things but if that’s what Todd junior thinks is best, who am I to argue?! We expect him to start community college in a few years after he; Shelia and Todd III get on their feet. Yes, we have a beautiful grandson staying right here at the campsite! Shelia’s a keeper. Todd junior, as luck would have it, met her at the Waffle House one morning, after a night at the dog track.  That girl stays busy looking for work just about every day. The good news is, Todd  junior will be able to ride his bicycle to school again, when he gets out and the money they save not having a car...well, can you imagine!? Little Todd III looks just like Uncle Melvin (picture enclosed) without the mustache.
Of course it’s been a while since we’ve seen Melvin, beings he’s been AWOL from the army for about three years now.  Oh! Did I mention our new year’s resolution? Hold on to your selves. Each and every one of us is going to get a pedicure and a few new teeth, starting with me! I swear if my fingernails get any longer Todd will never let me scratch that beautiful back of his. He says the long nails hang up in the hair. What a man!  Plus, corn was always my favorite fruit and yes, it’s been quite a while. You’ll remember Barney, our mixed Labradoodle, who seemed to be in “love” with everybody he met? Well, he went to doggie heaven last month after an extended illness.  Todd says there ought to be a special place on earth for dogs like Barney.
He’s ringing the bell at Wal-Mart as I write this and says the money will go a long way toward just that.  Guess that’s it for now. Happy New Year from our tent to your house!Harriet Henratty for the Henrattys, Todd, Todd Junior, Todd III, Shelia, Uncle Melvin and Barney (picture enclosed)

Friday, January 11, 2013

As a Hetero

I was watching Melissa-Harris Perry the other Sunday, she of MSNBC fame. Issue was gay stuff, gay rights, gay marriage and so on. I listen to Melissa-Harris whenever it's convenient because I feel the need to stay abreast of opinions that are sometimes not my own. I don't really care how she feels about gay folks beings I'm not one, don't care how they got that way, who they marry or any of those other seemingly “news worthy” items.  

And I doubt that gay folks are waiting around to hear what I'm up to as a hetero. I think we're all a bit tired of it by now and probably about as informed as we’re going to get on the subject. But this past Sunday she stepped over the line and linked gayness with oldness and me being old, my old ears perked up and I heard her say something about when this old generation moves on (paraphrasing here) the gay issue will no longer be an issue, as if to say gay folks will be able to do whatever it is they do and no one will care enough to vote on it. She’s probably right here but as a hetero I’ve had some pretty darn important issues of my own.  

By the way, one of her guest panelists, who looked like she had parents about my age, began to squirm in her seat but said nothing in rebuttal. I reckon her paycheck was important enough to keep her mouth shut. I could hear her thinking, wait a minute there Ms. Perry, you're talking about my folks here!

Well, the bad news is a lot of us older folks are going to be around for quite a while and how we vote is still going to be an issue for several decades to come. I plan on outliving at least one other set of dogs and buying maybe two more cars. But, if you want to talk about sex, I can go there. Sex has always been a big part of my life, even though I’m heterosexual. I just don’t talk about it that much. But, if I did it would have all started with first grade.

 I’ve known I was a boy and liked girls since then when Mrs. Mott looked good to me behind her desk at Clara Harris elementary school. That was a long time ago and I hope she’s kept herself up. When she got up to write on the old chalkboard, something we rarely see anymore, things got even better. But when her husband would come to visit, I just wasn’t interested. In the second grade it was Ms. Doran, cute brunette, blue eyes and she taught me a lot about writing cursive. I always enjoyed watching Mrs. Doran walk up and down my aisle. Can’t really say why, she just looked good it.

My grades took a tumble in grade three when I had Mrs. Evenson. She invented math and spent a lot of time reading Dr. Doolittle to us. When she wasn’t reading Doolittle she was smacking my hand with a ruler for playing with my toy soldiers. I sat in the back. My grades didn’t recover until the seventh grade when I had a wonderful teacher named Patsy Cosson. I sat on the front row with a pair of new glasses and absorbed every word that came out of that blued eyed blond’s mouth.  

Seventh grade was also the year of the sex tapes we got to watch during P.E. Well, I guess by today’s standards they wouldn’t be much, but it sure beat ping pong. Another dry spell hit until grade ten. I had “Mary Tyler Moore” for English literature and became a big fan of whatever she wanted read. She was amazing in that she could cross her legs and still have both feet on the floor.

After that we started changing classes and I barely graduated. It seemed like every time I’d catch a really good teacher, the bell would ring and off we’d go to some Driver Ed coach or ancient speech teacher. So see there? We’ve all got sex issues we just don’t put them out for everybody to read. Oh; My wife does most of the driving.