“Whosis, Whatsis and Whatchamacallit”

ALERT: this story isn’t for everyone, just those in long term relationships, say 30, 40 or 50 years. However, you’re still welcome to read it…

“Honey, I’m home from, ah, whatchamacallits. Whosis was there, she’ll see us at, you know, whatsis place Saturday.”

“Okay!”

And with that exchange, we affirm our relationship is stronger than ever…again!

Do you recognize it? Sound familiar? I expect those of you in long term relationships are nodding in the affirmative.  You know each other so well that substitute words suffice in place of real words, the ones that escape us momentarily. Gibberish fills the void and, strangely enough, we understand each other. How does that work?

This behavior confirms my belief that as we grow older with our life partner, our spirits, habits and language meld, allowing us to behave almost as one. There must be a term for it?

With a certain bravado, I proffered this theory to my whosis, a nonbeliever of most of my ‘proffers’. Almost had her convinced until the suggestion that we’re even starting to look alike, the longer we’re together. With a stare that would stop a charging ‘whatchamacallit’ in its tracks, that notion destroyed whatever credibility I may have had with her.

You may disagree but think of your own situation. Do you finish each other’s sentences? Do you say something like, “honey, I know what you’re thinking”? Do you both start to express the same thought on cue? See, you’re coming around, right?

How did all this ‘oneness’ happen? Where did our habits, idiosyncrasies and brains not just intersect, but converge and become of one mind on the graph of Life? When did I start letting her pick out my clothes? And when did she trust me with grocery shopping?

Whenever and however, the fact remains that it happens. And it’s a good thing it does. Think of the waste of time trying to remember the real words when gibberish will do. So,  when the time comes that you can’t think of each other’s names, just throw in some ‘gib’, keep the conversation going, enjoy yourself, no matter who your with, or think you’re with!

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
Friedrich Nietzsche*  

To all my friends and their whatchamallits…

Steve
Srbottch.Com
October 2018

*(Goodreads.com)

The Bar Chronicles: #19, “But, Your Honor, It Was Only Manure”…The Story Tellers

Bar Night 2

We sat among the boisterous patrons of Cavalry’s Irish Pub, enjoying a break from another long hot summer day. With cold beers in hand, the mood brought out the best in our diverse table-talk, as we prattled on about Leonardo DaVinci, mathematics, world population, and ‘stealing’ manure.  If that doesn’t run the gamut from haughty to hillbilly, nothing does.

Caverly’s was unusually noisy this warm September weeknight, even the normally sedate ‘bar dogs’ were feisty whenever a friendly face sauntered in from the street. Nevertheless, frayed by the season long struggle against heat and humidity of this oppressive summer weather, patrons were enjoying a relaxing evening of camaraderie. a typical bar scene, strangers talking with strangers as though they were long time friends.

It was difficult to hear the sordid details of the one among our small group describing his appearance before the local magistrate on crap caper charges, years ago, of course. A good story was developing and our Senior group leaned in with hand-cuffed ears, straining to hear the narrative and guffawing, as Seniors do, when a funny story is finished.

Seniors are good story-tellers.  With longevity comes a trove of life experiences, good fodder for comedic routines around a drinking table. We are wonderful receptors of these stories, too, because we’ve experienced a potpourri of crazy stuff and can identify with much of it, even when the details are embellished by the story teller.

What we did hear tonight was funny, the misadventures of a young man innocently trespassing onto a farmer’s field for a trunk load of bovine excrement to use as fertilizer, and the resulting incarceration in the back of a police squad car and subsequent court appearance to answer charges. How does one explain a charge of ‘stealing manure” to a judge? We laugh now, years later, but at the time, there was genuine concern for the potential damage to a good reputation.   

Some stories are best told in a bar scene when the collected few are mellow and easily moved to believe, and laugh.  And the teller, himself, is likely more animated by the attentive audience he knew, and the few strangers he didn’t, leaners-in from adjacent tables and stools, hanging on for the verdict.

These stories are the essence of our ‘bar nights’, friends gathering to enlighten each other with opinions, observations and anecdotes. The beer is secondary. We can’t drink that much, anyway. One or two and we’re on our way home, richer for the experience and ready to drift asleep with good thoughts and smiles of another ‘bar night’ with good friends 

Do you have a story waiting to be told?  Tell it to friends and have a good laugh! Maybe have a beer with it.

Steve
September 2018
srbottch.com

Reflections………………………………..Ethics

Great perspective on parenting…

dgcoker

 

I watched as the young men came into the gymnasium for the beginning of a new athletic season. They were healthy, full of energy with an attitude of excitement. Each of these men were given a notebook which they fondly referred to as the “bible.” Within the content of this notebook was the offense and defense the team would be playing for the coming year. It was filled with every conceivable behavior that could occur on a football field.

During the next three weeks, the players met with coaches executing the plays listed in the playbook. Coaches were quick to make corrections when a play was not performed in the manner listed. In addition to meeting twice a day on the athletic field, there were numerous ‘skull’ seasons where the mental aspects of the game were discussed and discussed.

The first game was between two strong teams, and…

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Reflections…………………………………Aging

I encourage you to read/follow posts by Dr. Coker on Life, Spirituality and Common Sense in today’s world of ‘confusing messages’. This one on ‘growing older’ and maybe ‘growing up’ is poignant for us Seniors.

dgcoker

 

I stood on the advanced tees at the golf tournament saying to myself, “I don’t believe I am supposed to be hitting from these tees. They are for ‘old’ people. You had to be 70 years old to hit from the forward tees. You were classified as a ‘super senior.’ I was 73 at the time and for three years I had pushed to the back of my mine the fact I was not a ‘super’ senior. Turning 70 was rifted with emotional landmines. All this hullabaloo about aging gracefully was ‘for the birds.’ “I’ll show them!” Off to the gym on a regular regime, eating all that healthy food and oh! yes, a little aging cream to make my eyes look normal. I didn’t have an aging problem. I had an attitude problem. I had to accept the inevitable changes of aging rather than seeing them as a…

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Okinawa – June 1945

Excellent blogging site for
military history. Check it out…

Pacific Paratrooper

Last picture ever taken of Lt.Gen. Buckner, the day before he died

By 10 June, the Marines had captured Yuza Hill.  The 10th US Army suffered severe casualties before they and the USMC advanced to Kunishi Ridge, the western anchor of the Japanese defense; a massive fortress.

Gen. Buckner had been sending messages to Gen. Ushijima, urging him to surrender.  So, when over a dozen Japanese wearing white hats appeared, the Marines assumed they were surrendering and they ceased operations.  Shortly after the enemy soldiers ran, a mortar barrage began.

By morning, the Americans had a foothold on the ridge, but reinforcements were cut down when they tried to advance.  Nine tanks were used to deliver 54 fresh men and supplies, but returned with 22 wounded.  As the battle for Kunishi raged on, the tanks opened a road to continue supplying the Americans.

Okinawa

By 16 June, the US 96th…

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To Beard or Not To Beard

“He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.”

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

I had them all; sideburns in the 60s, a moustache in the 70s, a beard in the 80s. And why not? The paucity of hair on my head offered few options for style change, but the face was another matter. I could grow it there, and I did.

Beard

The sideburns were fun as an accessory to my bell bottom pants in the late 60s. I took a moustache into the Army in the early 70s, but shaved it off when a corporal ‘advised’ me of ‘the policy’ on facial hair, none 1 inch above the lip or 1 inch below the nose. Of course, there was no policy, there was harassment. but who was I, a raw recruit, to argue?

The beard came last in the 80s, as a means to draw attention away from the rapidly disappearing hairline. It seemed to work, but after ten years, as the gray dominated, I shaved it off. Wow, I looked like a kid, again. Have you ever noticed that about men who shave off their beards, they look more youthful?

Now, here it is, about three decades later, and beards are in vogue, again, but with a twist. Men are not growing full beards, yet they aren’t shaving regularly, either. The two, three or four-day growth look is the rage.

Stubble 2

A suit and tie, slacks and open collar dress shirt, jeans and t-shirt, flannels, the unshaven look goes well with them all. Like any new fashion, this ‘stubble’ look took some getting used to, but it’s here, and it’s cool (is ‘cool’ used anymore?).

Yes,  I’ve tried it and I like it. I don’t like beards on high schoolers, it seems a bit precocious. But I do like the unshaven look on adult men. Of course, I’m retired, so I’d probably do it regardless of fashion. But now I have an excuse to leave the razor on the shelf. And just to be more daring, I might try those skinny pants that are fashionable. Age be damned, I’m going for it, turning back the clock.  Who’s with me?

There was an old man with a beard, who said: ‘It is just as I feared! Two owls and a hen, four larks and a wren have all built their nests in my beard.

Edward Lear

Steve

August 2018
stephen.bottcher@gmail.com
‘Follow’ my blog for updates whenever a new story is published

The Bar Chronicles: #18, ‘It Took 18 Beer Nights, But We Still Get Looks’

Bar Night 2

As ‘bar flies’ go, our group is not your ordinary ‘flies’.  Going out for a beer, or two, every five or six weeks is not what bonafide ‘flies’ do.  But, when the time rolls around for us to have a night out and ‘howl at the moon’, there’s no limit to our enthusiasm, ‘flies’ or not. And Caverly’s Irish Pub, a corner bar in Rochester’s ‘Southwedge’, is our favorite.

The real ‘bar flies’ already had their elbows ‘dug’ in and ‘locked’ onto the bar when we arrived,  guffawing the evening away with idle chatter, each beer bringing more guffaws and louder chatter. Not our ‘cup of tea’, we’re here for some sophisticated and sober conversation. Believe me!

The five of us walked our beers to the round table by the screened front door, a spot that might offer a rare breeze on a humid July evening,  and allow us to greet the ‘bar dog’ when it ambled in, and it always did.

As is customary, our evening began with a toast to new and lasting friendships. Coincidentally, a new friend, another neighbor, joined us this evening, passing our simple standards of being retired and looking for idle conversation while enjoying a beer with friends.

Friendship was our theme tonight, as we quaffed beers and recalled what Bruce Springsteen coined, ‘the glory days’ of working, hanging out and growing up with others our age whom we called our best friends. And when ‘old men’ talk about those times, the eyes light up, the voices come alive, and the enthusiasm needle moves off the charts. Tonight was no exception.

As a kid laboring in Connecticut tobacco fields, or a farmboy building a speedboat in a cellar of his New York farmhouse, or a band of boys running the streets of a coal mining town in eastern Pennsylvania, our stories carried us back to a simpler time. The names weren’t recalled easily and the smiles belied the hardships of those days, but as it always does, our memory filter remembers those earlier times with buddies as the best of times. Tobacco still grows in Connecticut, the boat sank, was salvaged, then disappeared with time, and the boys of eastern Pennsylvania abandoned the hard life streets of coal towns for greener pastures.

The Caverly barmaid surprised us with a serving of blueberry scones while feigning regret that there wasn’t a bachelor among our good looking group. Nevertheless, we soaked up the flatter willingly and washed down the scones with the last of our beer, before strolling to the car, laughing that it took 18 ‘beer nights’ before someone hit on us. Is that a record of sorts?

Outside, some motorcyclists volunteered their bikes for a photo shot but we declined, politely, of course, and cautioned them about the barmaid. But who knows, maybe they’re interested. It’ll make a fine story one day, when they’re having their own ‘glory days’ conversation…

#18

“There is only one thing better then making a new friend, And that’s keeping an old one”   Elmer G Leterman

Steve
July 2018
stephen.bottcher@gmail.com