“If you give a man nothing to lose, then he’ll lose that too.” Eileen, or Gram to the rest of us, was most definitely the most vocal of the family. Three children, five grandchildren, and antics of an oafish but good-natured husband had really put her in a mood since the early 80s. Irascible as ever, she held the position of clan’s cynic for many moons.
“Oh Gram, Pawpaw’s a little confused these days.” A slumping of the shoulders suggested Marvin was very tired that day. “He’s trying his best to find the cell phone for you, and Ally is helping him. We’ll take care of it.” Marvin was the house apologist, a paragon of pardoning people’s problems for personal peace. It rarely worked on Gram, but this was automatic to his nature.
“Did I ever tell you the time he lost the rings on our wedding day?!” There was the wind up. If this were baseball, Marv would be in bunt formation.
“Yes, several.” Dishes clinked a murky tone as he rushed to occupy himself for the repeat performance.
“We waited thirty minutes at the altar. Thirty minutes! Why, I had to sit down in a pew and bury my head in my hands. I was so embarrassed; I couldn’t look at anyone!” Punctuating the history lesson, the lid to the trash can clapped shut in metallic finality.
“I know, Gram, and the best man found them on the kitchen table near a half eaten bowl of corn flakes. You’ve said this several times before.” Matching the sigh of the cupboard, Marv finished stowing the cups for the evening.
“That should have been my first clue.” Eileen pointed her index finger in the style of an ellipses. “Fifty years is a long time. I’ve been such a fool! Those prescriptions lapsed, all thanks to him, and it has been a race to renew them. He’s trying to kill me!”
Mercifully, Ally bounded into the kitchen waving a smart phone in the air. “We found it!” She chirped and laid it on the counter top across from the sourpuss.
“Well, it takes a woman to solve my husband’s problems. The story of my life.” Satisfied, Eileen folded her arms with a congratulatory nod. “Where was it?”
“Actually, Gram, it was on your nightstand. That’s why we couldn’t find it for a while.” Ally was too honest for own good.
…but that was right. Wasn’t it? She had a lengthy conversation the night before with Eleanor, her younger sister out in Albuquerque. Eileen froze up, and flushed with embarrassment. Pawpaw, preferably known as “Buddy” to many, set his face upon his reddened wife.
In an effort to save face, Eileen squeaked out “there’s a first time for everything.”
“There most certainly is so!” Bellowed Buddy in a uncharacteristic manner. “Do you have the number for the pharmacy?”
Eileen when from red to white. She had forgotten to write it down! Oh, the insult to injury after hounding him for forty-five minutes. She quickly and quietly conceded, “I don’t have it here.”
“If we’re using sayings, then ‘events come in threes.’ Is there anything else you’d like to add?” A tired, old man propped himself up on a counter and waited for a response to relish.
© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved