January 18, 2016

Morning Greenwood

Dear Tom Selleck . . .

Do you ever hear a song you haven't heard since you were a kid and it takes you back?  And then suddenly, it takes you aback?  Like in a 'What the fuck did he just say?!' kind of way?  That happened to me recently.  With a Lee Greenwood song of all things.  Lee fucking Greenwood.  Lee fucking.  Mister God Bless the USA.  fucking Greenwood.  He's so squeaky clean that it makes me feel better to fuck up his name a bit.  Plus, I may still be harboring a little bitterness about having my childhood censored.

Back to the story.

When I was a kid, I was not allowed to listen to what had been deemed 'secular music' by my mother and the good people of the church.  It was all satanic.  Pronounced say-TON-ic by those same wise church folk, and by my mother.  All she had to do was hold an album, and she could feel the sayTONic vibes coming from it.  I watched them burn albums (not to mention books) in a bonfire behind the church on more than one occasion.  Basically, if it was not gospel music or christian rock, you would spend an eternity burning in hell.  And no one wants that.  So, I quietly watched The Beatles Yellow Submarine go up in smoke.

I don't know if country music had been grandfathered in under god, under the church, under my mother, or if it was one of the seven things my dad put his foot down about and we kept our mouths shut about, but regardless . . . we listened to it, especially if my dad was spinning the tunes on a road trip.  My mother and sister would pass out, and he and I had a set of tapes that took us to West Virginia and back:  Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray, Tammy Wynette, and Lee fucking Greenwood.

My dad and I knew every word of every song on every tape.  Neither of us could carry a tune in a bucket, but we loved to sing in the car!  You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run . . . Even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey . . . Stand by your man, give him two arms to cling to, and something warm to come to . . . It's everything that is wrong with me today.  It is also everything that is right with me.

Well, there was this Lee fucking Greenwood song I loved:  Morning Ride.  Enough said.

But, I'll go on.

Because I loved to ride in the car, I loved that fucking song.  Loved it.  Belted it out.  Could not wait to grow up and meet a boy that would take me for a car ride in the morning.  That was my version of Prince Charming and happily ever after.  I was a teenage girl at that point.  A virgin would be an understatement.

Over the weekend,  I heard the song for the first time in decades.  As I sang the old, familiar tune, with visions of watching the sun rise through the car window on a country road, it hit me.  Um, I'm pretty sure this song is about sex.  Not totally sure, but pretty damn sure.  Even when he is trying to fool us into believing it's an actual car ride, he uses the term 'spanking'.  Spanking.  I can't be certain, but I detect a hint of, "Yes sir, may I have another", at the end.  Then again, it's Lee fucking.  Mister God Bless the USA.  fucking Greenwood.  He's so squeaky clean, he's probably never even had sex.  I'd hate to misinterpret the lyrics.

What do you think, Tom?  I'm going out on one of Satan's fiery limbs and saying it's about sex.  I kind of hope so.  I still like the corny little song.  And if there's a boy who wants me to wake him up and go for a morning ride, then do it again?  What can I say?  It makes for a better Prince Charming and happily ever after than some dude who wants to throw me in a car first thing in the morning.

true story.

Edie B. Kuhl

January 17, 2016

He Doesn't Have to Know About Us

Dear Tom Selleck . . .

I don't want to have sex with you.  Ever.  I can't even watch you on the screen.  I've tried.  Other than an occasional Friends rerun, or maybe an old episode of Magnum P.I., I just cant watch you.  It weirds me out.  Sorry.  That's just the way it is.  Once I decided you were 'the one', the one who would play the role of my dad in our blockbuster, I just can't do it.  Just cannot.  I'm terrified of what I may see and what I may feel.

The sailor does not understand this.  It's ironic, or not so ironic in my world, that he watches everything you appear in.  He's constantly trying to get me to watch Blue Bloods, or some movie you've done.  Constantly.  I always politely remind him that I cannot watch anything with you in it, there's no good explanation for it, that's just the way it is, so stop suggesting it.  It unnerves him every time.  He doesn't understand, and finds it even more frustrating that I keep a picture of you in the bedroom, but can't watch a show or a movie with you in it.  What can I say, Tom?  He knew going into this just how weird I am.  Most of the time, he's ok with it.

Sometimes I don't know whether to take our Tom Selleck connection as a sign he and I are on the same path, or if he is trying to figure me out in a very observant and calculated way.  He's like that.  It's one of the things I love about him.  He thinks I don't know, but I do, and that's how I stay a step ahead of him.  It's cute, watching him trying to figure me out, realizing how little he really knows about me.  I'd like to think it's part of my charm, and what keeps him coming back.

The sailor has no idea that I write to you.  He knows I write, just not to you.  I've told him I'm writing books and there's a chapter about him, but I'm not sure if he believes me.  I'm ok with that.  It makes the story all the more enchanted.  If I had my druthers, he'd remain fictitious forever.  He's mine.  I don't want to share him.

The way I see it all playing out, is that I'll write a bestseller that is made into a blockbuster and eventually makes its way to Netflix, which will undoubtedly put it on the 'Suggestions for the Sailor' list.  He'll have to watch it.  Because it's you.  And it has five stars.  I bet he never mentions to me when he watches it.  He'll think he's a step ahead of me.

true story.

Edie B. Kuhl

January 11, 2016

I Found My Pants

Dear Tom Selleck . . .

A few weeks ago, in the midst of the second biggest crisis of my life, I forgot my pants.  Luckily, I was still in my bathroom.  I was running late for my lunch shift and have almost no curtains in my magic cottage, so I ran as fast as I could to my bedroom.  I never run.  Ever.

But suddenly, I felt free.  Not late and hurried and worried.  Free.  I stopped to breathe and to laugh when I glanced at my mirror.  I had run through my house in my Wonder Woman Underoos for the first time since I was a kid.  I hadn't planned it.  It just happened.  It felt amazing.  So, I did it again.  And again.  And again.  And then I put on my socks and I did it again, so I could slide across my hardwood floor.  I didn't care who may walk or drive past or come to my door and see me.  I was Wonder fucking Woman.  At least until I donned my waitress blacks and went in to serve the people.  Even then, I just thought, "Do you even know who I am?!  I am Wonder fucking Woman.", every time someone tried to treat me like the help.

I only wait tables for fun, and I'll keep doing it long after I'm discovered.  What most of my customers don't know, is that I did my time in corporate and now run my own business.  I could probably fix their businesses.  I just don't want to.  Kind of like growing up hearing how I could be the class valedictorian, if I just applied myself.  I just didn't want the pressure.  I also could have taken the fast path to management in corporate.  I just didn't want to deal with other people's bullshit.  Unless you had a dick and an accent, no one could hear you in corporate.

I traded in my big blue corporate pants for waitress blacks 5 years ago, this month.  I thought I knew what I was doing, why I was doing it, and how it was all going to turn out.  I could not have been more wrong.

I went looking for my big blue corporate pants a month or so ago.  I had no choice.  I was going to have to sell my soul and slither back to them.  I would just blend in and bide my time while the people with dicks and accents made all of my decisions for me.  Someday, I would be retired with the rest of the herd and spend the rest of my days in a comfortable retirement village.  The American fucking Dream.  Not mine.

But when I found my big blue corporate pants and put them on, magic started to happen.  It's like I had a dick and an accent.  Everything I had been saying was finally heard.  Finally.  Things started to change for the better.  Quickly.

I now wear my proverbial big blue corporate pants over my Underoos every day.  It's my corporate dress code.  Not the people with dicks and accents.  My corporate policy.  Mine.  I'm in charge now.  I am Wonder fucking Woman.

true story.

Edie B. Kuhl

January 6, 2016

Ribbons

Dear Tom Selleck . . .

I may have mentioned that I have great hair.  Sometimes I tie ribbons in it, just because I like ribbons.  To me, they feel like a socially acceptable cape.

They also remind me of songs:   "Take the ribbon from my hair.  Shake it loose and let it fall...", "Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the ole oak tree.  It's been three long years.  Do you still want me?..."

I have a yellow polka-dot ribbon tied in my weeping cherry tree in honor of my dad's tree that was lost to the ash borer over the summer.  I have a yellow ribbon tied in my pear tree for the sailor.  The last time I visited the labyrinth, I tied a ribbon in a nearby tree.

I even like the word ribbon.  Ribbons.  Ribbon.  Say it.  Again.  And again.  Faster.  Now you sound like a frog.

true story.

Edie B. Kuhl

January 2, 2016

The Proposal

Dear Tom Selleck . . .

We were in the bedroom.  I don't remember what we were talking about.  If we were even talking at all.  I stood up with an armful of dirty laundry, and he turned to face me . . . one hand over his heart, his other arm outstretched.  Oh fuck.  In my world, men are too old to get down on one knee.  He had assumed the position.  I saw it in his eyes.  It all happened in slow motion, and yet it only took a moment, and I can't even remember most of it.

It went something (or maybe nothing) like this:

"We've known one another, what?  Twenty years?  We always enjoy spending time together.  We're great friends.  I like just hanging out with you, whether we're playing cards or having sex.  We always have so much to talk about, laugh about, and we always have fun.  I'm comfortable with you.  Mary's cool.  I like it here."

Actually, it was not those words at all.  But close, and how I was hearing it, as I slowly sat down on the edge of the bed with a death grip on the pile of dirty laundry.  For the only time in my life that I can recall, I was left dumbfounded.  Mute and whirling.  It was all so surreal.

I knew what he was going to say before he said it, because I had said it out loud, had written it out loud . . . years before.  I just didn't see it happening now.  Here.  In this way.  But I should have.

With one hand still planted on his heart, and the other arm still outstretched, looking me directly in the eyes, now cocking his head, he went on:

"I've thought about it and thought about it.  All of it.  I can't stop thinking about it, ever since you left Tampa.  About us.  From the very beginning, until now.  I've tried to remember every minute we have spent together.  Tried to remember every conversation.  Reread all of our correspondence.  We have something special here.  A connection other people don't have.  I'm at a crossroads in my life, ready to decide what's next."

I could barely breathe.  He knew I didn't want to get married.  It's the one thing we could always agree on.  For different reasons, but the same end result.  Neither of us would ever marry.  Again, for him.  Ever, for me.

I had just left Tampa on Sunday night.  It was the first time in 20 years I had visited him on his turf.  On a whim.  Because I needed a break from my reality, and a couple of doctors had tipped me a plane ticket on a night I wasn't scheduled to work.  I had only been in Tampa for a few days.  I spent most of my time sleeping in his recliner, because I had bronchitis.  We hadn't even had sex, just an amazing time.  I had hopes, but mostly doubts and cried the whole way home.  I was THAT girl at the airport and on the plane.  I would get over it.  I always had.

It was Wednesday.  He had called me every morning between the classes he taught, since I had left him just a couple of days before - including that morning.  Not long after I turned on our 'Open' sign for lunch, at 11, he walked through the door.  I believe my reaction was, "What the fuck are you doing here?!  I just talked to you a couple of hours ago and you were in Tampa!"  Actually, that was my exact reaction.

He told me that for the first time in 13 years, he had called in a sub.  He couldn't sleep the night before, and at 2:00 in the morning, had decided to come see me.  The earliest and closest flight he could get, flew into Indianapolis, so he booked it.  He drove to the airport at 4 am, flew from Tampa to Indianapolis, rented a car, and drove to our little bistro in Ohio, to be there as early as he could.  He had thought to trick me with his call that morning.  I had led him directly to me.  He had no plan.  He had no return flight.  He had done it all for me.  For the first time in a very long time, I was his destination and not his stopover.

He told me he needed to make some decisions.  Had to figure out what was next in his life.  Told me he had not seen Mary in years, and wanted to see how they got along.  Asked me for a grocery list and a key.  Then he kissed me and left.  Like that happens every fucking day.

So, I guess I had technically been dumbfounded just hours before.  But now, he was about to bring it all home with his bedroom proposal.

No need to point out he was still in 'the position', while I clung to dirty laundry, and he continued:

"Why have we never done this?  You and I?  Why have we never had a relationship?  I can't figure it out.  We're great together.  I care about you and I know you care about me.  Why have we never done anything about this?  In 20 years?  What are we waiting for?"

If I recall, I may have attempted to answer his rhetorical questions, only to be shushed.  He had something to say and was going to say it.  And, I was going to listen.  I don't know if he planned it, or if it was spontaneous when he saw how cute I am when I do chores.  Either way, it was happening.

He popped the question.

It sounded much like this:

"Let's do this.  You and I.  Let's just try.  We'll try it together, and at least we'll know.  Let's commit to it.  To trying it.  I am making a commitment to us, to you, and I just need you to make one too.  Please.  Commit to trying it.  Commit to us.  Commit to me.  Come on, let's do this.  I'm willing to commit to trying, but are you?  Will you please?"

It was the exact words I had always wanted to hear.  Had dreamed of for years.  Had hoped for, but never believed I would hear.  It was happening.  My heart stopped.

I told him I needed to start the washer.  And have a cigarette.  And text Beth.  And think.

He let me.

I can't remember my exact response when I returned to the bedroom, but it contained questions, the word terrified, and ultimately . . . yes.

After 3 weeks of committed bliss, and just weeks before we were to embark on 'happily ever after', life dropped a shit bomb on us.  It blew up his commitment to me.  To us.  It did not blow up mine to him.  To us.

That all happened in April.  He spent the only 18 hours he could manage over Christmas with me.  He's still completely committed.  Clearly.  And hopefully I'll get at least one more proposal out of him.

true story.

Edie B. Kuhl