Mary Beth Writes

2/9/2024

I think today has to be a Three Things. You probably don’t even know I have Three Things scaffolding in my secret writing toolbox of organizational tools, but I do. Sometimes it’s how thoughts present themselves, you know? Things to say, but not for too long.

(Now that I've finished and read what I wrote, I guess this is five things but some days, in our expanding universe, the math just works this way,)

How aware are you that Fat Tuesday is next Tuesday and Valentines Day is also Ash Wednesday? I feel as if there is some kind of joke in here. Maybe Len will know what to say about the confluence of food, love, and mighty sorrow.

Yes, I am remembering Len’s and my first Valentines Day. And that, as you might expect, it ended with humor and some sorrow. https://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/valentines-moments

...

Tomorrow my Substack short story is one I wrote in the early 2000’s. It’s about a lovely young woman in 1940’s Chicago who meets a handsome man. After that they have to figure out how romance and lifelong love works.

My substack is at: https://substack.com/@marybethdanielsonstories

If you subscribe (you can do it free) an email will come to you at 8AM on Saturday mornings with that week’s story.

Yesterday I went to a hand doctor at the huge orthopedic clinic not too far from here.

In 2015 Len and I spent a lot of time house hunting and were viewing approximately our 30th house. We walked outside after less than five minutes in a nice home that was pretty much the clone of the house we were selling in Racine. We were saying that to each other as I leaned to get in the backseat of the car of Megan the Real Estate agent. Right then the ring finger of my right hand spasmed into the bent position. It hurt a little but mostly freaked me out. What fresh hell was this, that my body could do this witchly thing?

Megan casually said, “Oh that’s trigger finger. My mom gets it all the time.”

So I want to tell you right here and right now that if you are ever going to sell or buy a house in my area, we really recommend Megan who has a great deal of real estate savvy plus she can casually diagnose surprising medical symptoms.

The spasm thing didn’t happen again until last fall. That spasm took five hours to uncurl. It happened this past Christmas and that time it took twelve hours to relax. Since then I’ve babied it along.

My doctor referred me to the guy I saw yesterday. What is it about modern doctors and specialists? They look so young I want to give them jump ropes and model rockets. Anyways, he said I have “trigger-lock syndrome.” Oh cool, I despise guns and now I have one embedded in my hand.

He said he would give me a cortisone shot that probably will help for three to six months. Then I can get another one. After that, if it’s still a problem and it probably will be, there is a pretty simple outpatient surgery he can do.

I asked if the shot would hurt. His eyes gleamed back at me. “Yes. But it’s quick.” He was right.

Anyways, I still can’t bend that finger down to the palm of my hand but my hand itself and the other four fingers are back to ordinary and nothing is on the edge of triggering. This is amazing - as if I stopped hitting my head against a wall. I had not realized how great this was going to feel.

The clinic is modern, light filled, organized, and calm. There were at least fifty cars in the parking lot and all of us patients were inside calmly receiving treatments for sore thisses and thats.

I was wondering, looking around at the place, why can’t we airlift this whole damn place into Gaza?

Engineering healthcare for profit and not for need is evil.

Last night Len and I watched Supernova. I looked up movies with Stanley Tucci (love his work) because Len was going to be out for the evening. I had no idea what the movie would be about and, oh dear friends, it broke my heart.

Here is every trigger warning I can offer. If you are not ready to think about what happens when a long, good marriage faces its end, watch something else.

Actors Tucci and Colin Firth play Tusker and Sam who are long married gay partners. Casting straight actors as gay characters is questionable and there are several good essays out there addressing this. For me it worked. This was not a movie about falling in love but about being in love a long time.

I was almost done watching the movie when Len came home. I restarted it so we could watch it together. I’m still in tears but it’s not a tearjerker. The movie explores the spirit that lives in good marriages. When two become one, what happens to that ‘one’?

Len laughed (too) hard when Tusker (who is a writer) criticizes how slowly Sam is driving. Yes, I may also have said to Len, more than once, that he might as well let me out and I’ll jog home. Sam at one point says to Tusker, “Why do we always do it your way?” Aaack! Arrow to my heart. Are all writers so damn particular about everything?

The marriage is powerful because both men are strong and independent characters. They do not want what’s coming but they are both thinking about it; they delve deeply into their own power. Then they share, over time, what they know and what they want to do with the limitations coming straight at them.

Sometimes we need stories to help us figure out how to enter relationships. Other times we need stories that explore how strong characters face the end. There are no dying scenes in this movie, simply characters dealing with their memories and future.

If we are lucky enough to be in or have been in a good relationship, this movie asks us to see the integrity, humor, and power of the life we know and have known.

So I guess that’s it.

Fat Tuesday – Live it up.

Valentines Day – Celebrate love.

Ash Wednesday – Hang on to your spirit in the face of loss and death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Good blog. My head is to clogged to find anything witty to say. I did laugh at the slow driving. I get it. I do.
Leonard's picture

I liked, "But being sad when something is gone, just means it was great while it was there. right?" It's like sitting in a boat and whining when the fish aren't biting. If you always got a fish, they'd call it 'catching' and not 'fishing.' It's the same way with love. It might not last forever, but there is no mistaking what it is, and how being in love changes who you are. No matter if it's fleeting or past, you can't say you didn't know love. Also, Megan the Real Estate Agent can be found here: https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/wi/brookfield/agent/megan-pelletier/aid_216272/

I loved the movie. There was recognition to my own story, and As often happens; through reading books, or watching movies, it allowed me to openly grief, and yearn. Hope the shot helps your hand. Be well, my friend. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Sometimes i think the scariest place we go, is into our grief. Thanks.

So true

Must be the year for bodily demise! Suddenly my leg was very swollen from knee to ankle, The orthopedic doc took X-rays. I have Arthritis! Bone on bone! And there isn’t anything to do for it. Yes, I loved my cortisone shot too…but it has worn off and now I’m pining away for another ( have to wait three months). I will be scheduling a knee replacement in January!! My doc says… no problem, he does about 350 a year! After research on arthritis, I see many folks prefer to do what they can without surgery. Not me..I don’t like this pain business. I ll try a new knee, thank you. Good luck with your finger! I try to feel gratitude for all the body parts that don’t hurt.
Mary Beth's picture

Exactly, it's that time of our lives when we wake up in the morning and check around for what doesn't hurt and then plan one's day around those parts.

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