Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Although it places a near second, the weather is not the universal language. The subject of food, food and more food is the language we all speak. At least that’s how it is for our family and friends.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
If I had to describe a place with a climate that represented my day to day life with Teresa, I’d look for the warmest, most tropical place on earth--Hawaii or Fiji, perhaps, and still declare it not temperate enough.
I’m the first to admit: In the Super Pick Six Lottery of Marriage, I had all six numbers and the bonus. I have friends who remind me of this all the time. Just earlier this year, after a sensitive faculty meeting in which a particularly stylish Teresa made a couple of incredibly apt and to-the-point suggestions benefiting the entire staff, a young charismatic Social Studies teacher leaned over to me and said, “DAMN, Oefinger, you really married UP!” He was right.
With that said, every once in a long while, amidst all the obligations, expectations, caring, counseling and doing for others, even Teresa reaches a breaking point where she proves she’s human after all. If pushed just a bit more at this time, she morphs into a character that my daughters know I refer to as her “Cruella De Ville” mode, the villain from “101 Dalmatians”. In the movie, Cruella acts harshly and in a state of frenzy. There is fire in her eyes as she grabs her steering wheel and zooms off looking for vengeance. Around here, on the rare occasion when Cruella arrives, Teresa is uncharacteristically short in compassion and long in directives. It’s not a time to look for sympathy (she once told one of our daughters to ‘get off the pity-pot’ during the T-Storm of ‘09). Asking what’s for dinner is practically a capital offense . These are treacherous times that try men’s souls. These are “T-Storms”.
A Cruella-infused T-Storm lacks all of the usual patience, kindness or logic of the normal climate. A T-Storm can’t be reasoned with, coerced or lessened in intensity. A T-Storm must simply be endured; after all, it was deserved. T-Storms come when the unbelievable expectation we assume in this incredible person are momentarily unattainable as the giving well runs temporarily dry. One should be able to see a T-Storm coming, but in our self absorbed focus we don’t. If not recognized early, our only recourse is to allow it to pass, to stay safe and out of harm’s way and to know that eventually the sun will return. An enlightened person will learn about their own short comings and perhaps, minimize the chance of a similar T-Storm returning in the future.
Last Friday, after a day of golfing with my buddy while Teresa was home with a myriad of chores, I averted a T-Storm.
After golf and post-round libations, Teresa drove down and joined us at our friends for dinner and card playing. The night was quite enjoyable, as it always is with these very dear friends. By midnight, though, I was quite tired from a day that had been full of fun. My fatigue probably showed.
As we were leaving, Teresa announced that she’d be driving home. I didn’t have a problem with that. In the car, she questioned my ‘sportsmanship’ during the card games. I explained that the long, full day may have contributed to my less-than-chipper demeanor near the end of the evening (not to mention the thrashing we absorbed at the hands of our competitive friends). I thought I heard the rumble of a distant cloud. Teresa then announced that we would be leaving the top down on the little miata. Hmmmm, quite chilly.... My request to put the top up was immediately vetoed....very unusual. I’m pretty sure I caught a glimpse of Cruella, nearby, in the shadows, and definitely noted the flash of lightening in the distance. It was only then that I realized the possibility of a storm. I hadn’t really given much thought to what my wife’s day may have been like. But lately they’ve been long on caring for her mom, commiserating and listening to others, short on the supposedly carefree days of summer. While I was out seeking pars and birdies, she had been doing laundry, baking a pie, gardening, preparing for our incoming Italian guests all while giving her sister some relief by entertaining her mom for the afternoon. She never complains, but I sensed an impending gully-washer. I quickly calculated the approximate time it would take to get home and inventoried the clothing I had with me. Suddenly it seemed like a right fine night for a convertible ride home. Resolutely, I sighed, put on my golf jacket, entwined my arms around my midsection for warmth, closed my eyes, and nestled in for the chilly ride home. Back at home, my reward was knowing that I had, at least this time, circumvented an impending storm....a T-storm. I hope I’m enlightened enough to learn from it.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Now that my girls are 19 and 22, would I parent differently? Would I extend the boundaries beyond my neighborhood for my kids in retrospect? No, I can live with my decisions, just as my parents are living with theirs.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The ensuing scene at the grocery story would be pretty humorous if it didn't involve me. It normally finds Teresa race-walking up and down the meat and fish counter in search of the liver 'department'. Invariably, liver is never prominently displayed. I am normally 2 or 3 paces behind, and still 'in trouble'. On a recent search she employed the services of a willing shelf stocker whose accent indicated English was not his first language. I cringed as she took the time to explain what she wanted, and incredulously, WHY. Apparently, 'planaria' is not a common word in the Spanish language, and as Teresa started to gesticulate on how minute these worms are (and how small a portion was really needed--perhaps the size of a dime) I could see that somehow, the time take was going to be added on to my morning transgressions. Eventually she was presented with a three piece, cross sectional one pound frozen package of Safeway's finest. I was going to ask if perhaps the planaria would like some onions frizzled up with that, but thought better of it.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
I was 26 years old when I began working at Del Mar. Sy was nearing the end of his teaching career while I was in the early stages of mine. As the youngest staff member, I was lucky to be surrounded by seasoned veterans who to this day have no idea how they helped influence my career, and Sy was one of them.