Imogene “Idgie” Threadgoode

Photo by me

Jase and I out in public is at best hysterical.

Today’s adventure was the hospital. I gave the elderly man at the front desk my information. I could have sworn when he looked at the gal and gentleman next to him he said, “Imogene”.

A grin broke out on my face. Bubbling with enthusiasm, I blurted out, “Imogene! I love that name! That is such a great name, who’s name is Imogene?”

Jase standing next to me, “No Mare, imaging.”

Me, “I know honey, Imogene, isn’t that a great name!”

At this point, I was perplexed why no one behind the counter volunteered themselves as Imogene. Why no one was sharing in my excitement. Why was everyone looking at me like I pooped my pants?

Jase, “I-M-A-G-I-N-G, imaging honey, no one’s name is Imogene.”

If you’re familiar with the book/movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”, the name Imogene holds a special place in your heart. Much more than “imaging” ever will.

I’ll now hand the keyboard over to Jase to regale his take on this mornings exchange:

Jase here. Honestly there’s not much more to say. Mare was out of pocket; a total comic relief this morning. After she heard what she wanted to hear…the name I-M-O-G-E-N-E, she stood around looking like the only kid on the playground who didn’t get the punchline to the joke.

I’m allowed to poke fun of Mare. I tease her and say she’s not really a Ginger or Day Walker (with all of her cute freckles and gorgeous red locks of hair that stretch down to her butt). I say she’s more of a blonde dying her hair red. Or that she lives under the world’s deepest rock. Why? Cause she rips on me too. I’m pretty clueless. I have book smarts like math and physics, but when it comes to practical knowledge, that’s a different story. I have the street smarts of June Cleaver. But together….well we make up one well rounded brain…lemme just add a very good looking brain at that.

Mare here again.

There’s something about genuine laughter that lightens the heaviest of situations.

On our drive to the hospital, we listened to one of my favorite tunes. The lyrics help direct me to a better place. They remind me to honor all emotions and that we’re all in this together. Oooo this song gives me the “goosies” every time.

Troy, The Voice In The Ceiling and Other Gassy Tales

The sleep clinic didn’t know what hit them.

5 minutes before Jase had to leave he fucked up the sleep number bed, pushing it to the max of 100 and then quickly down to zero. Yes, zero, where no sleep number bed has gone before.

It looked like we were laying in a taco.

The deflated bed jacked up my anxiety to the point I was sweaty and nauseous. I could barely look Jase in the eyes for fear I’d pluck them out.

Jase had been with me for 2 hours to ensure I could handle my new identity as a circuit board. We we spent our time joking at a loud decibel. We are not sleep clinic material.

Once the bed was restored, the dismayed tech politely demanded it was time for Jase to head home.

I was alone with “Troy” as the voice in the ceiling, the camera at the foot of the bed and a costume of wires.

Ready. Set. Sleep.

I’ll spare you the stressful details. It was a long night.

I recall being startled awake by my passing gas. Yes, I let one rip in my sleep and felt like I should say “excuse me” to Troy, the voice in the ceiling.

No snoring, no holding my breath, no restless arms or legs. just farting.

At 5 am when Troy removed my costume he said, “You are very sleep deprived. When you actually do fall asleep, you go right into REM. The doctor will tell you the rest. “

“Is farting a sleep disorder?” was at the tip of my tongue. I held back.

I figured I’d spare us both the embarrassment and wait for the doctor to tell me……………

Shouldering The Pain

Jase the blog jacker here again.

I always want to write funny stuff. I know it comes from writing when I was traveling around the world. I used to fill my brain up with beautiful landscapes and funny adventures. I now realize I was filling a pot. The pot was my brain and it had tons of vivid material to draw from when sending correspondence to people on over five continents.

The last few years have been exciting. I moved to Colorado, started a new life and met a wonderful girl. We’ve had tons of adventures together. When we first met we were traveling every weekend camping and staying at ritzy resorts while spending on a shoestring during the offseason.

Over time Mare’s energy level has plummeted. Pain has spread across her body like wildfire. Her sleep has become broken and patchy. She gets constant headaches, numbness and tingling in her extremities. Anxiety and depression can hold her hostage at times for days.

I have experienced much of what Mare is feeling currently. I had comparable symptoms while being disabled from Bipolar depression and Fibromyalgia. In my own way, I felt the similar mental, emotional, physical and spiritual pain she feels right now.

What distresses me now is that I thought that my experiences would have better prepared me to handle what she’s going through. The fact is they haven’t.

It’s one thing to journey through difficult times yourself. It’s another to compassionately sit on the sidelines cheering someone to better health. What I see is that no matter how much shit you go through, it doesn’t take away the sadness you feel for when your lover has to go through it. I am not a great spectator. I want to take this pain off her shoulders. I want to carry it for her.

…and now a word from the other person in the room….thank you Santa!!!

A word from Jase…

My holiday gift came early this year. Way early. A week to be exact. I say holiday cause i’m not Christian, Jewish … or as you guessed it …not African American either. I’m white and pasty; mostly English with a dash of Irish. So i don’t celebrate Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanzaa. Okay, truth be told I might have a secret endearment to the jolly ole fatman who can shimmy down chimneys without burning his chubby ass. That fondess might exist still cause my 10 year old still believes in him.

Nonetheless, I am celebrating today. The reason…the beautiful love of my life got another lease on life. Ten scary days ago we received a brain MRI impression from a radiologist that said Mare….the owner of this blog, had angiopathic ischemic changes in her brain. Fuck….thats scary, right. What the “F” does angiopathic and ischemic mean even. I can tell you….it means blood vessels clogging, circulatory pathways dying. In other bodily systems it would mean a heart attack. If your a dude, it could mean you’re never getting a boner again cause you ate to many McDonalds cheeseburgers and ya can’t pour “Draino” down your Jean Thomas to unclog the block. For Mare, with this prognosis it could mean that she may have been dealing with a disease called small blood vessel disease of the brain.

In layman’s terms if your brain blood vessels are dying you could experience early onset Dementia, Stroke, balance issues, pissing yourself….you know all the great fucking things that come with being geriatric after age 80. The only goddamn problem is Mare is 44. That’s half the age you expect such fun caregiving experiences of epic humilating proportions.

Just to let our readers know….I don’t mind taking care of Mare. Saddling her up with Depends sexy diapers. Personally i’d get the form-fitting ones with the floral pattern and the smell of coconuts and Jasmine. Or maybe wiping her ass with sensitive skin huggies flushable wipe…i certainly strike the balance between form and function. I would never want a huggies wipe that doesn’t biodegrade and instead ends up in “Flippers” mouth 5,000 miles away in the north atlantic.

It’s just that….well….i’m not ready to lose my sexy little monkey to brain loss and forgetting who i am. I am her Silverback. Her gorilla. The one who adores her 24/7 365. I love our everyday life together. Our intimate evenings. Cooking, drinking rum and cokes with a side of muscle relaxors to help us melt into the couch while singing our own perverted lyrics to Disney cartoons , reading poetry and instruction manuals next to each other on the green velvet microfiber couch, blogging from our our slightly larger than twin mattress and at times professional wrestling in a kiddy pool filled with KY jelly.

The bottom line. We found out that Mare’s occluded cerebral blood vessels are few in number and small in magnitude. So that is my Christmas gift. Our Christmas gift. It could be the best one that never ended up wrapped in box and a bow placed by Santa under the Christmas Tree. Instead the gift is right here with me conveniently placed directly under the mistletoe.

A Proper Ass~hat

When you are asked to purchase coffee, please remember to take it out of the car when you get home.

If by chance you forget, and 30 inches of snow falls while you sleep, be a proper ass~hat.

Dig it out for your coffee deprived girlfriend.

The Communication Stools

The art of communicating in relationships gets tossed around like objects in the junk drawer. In a perfect world good communication would be instinctive, but often times it’s not.

If left unchecked, communication can become non existent or it can turn into a primal scream.

I imagine most of us have experienced both. What gives? Is there a “right” way to communicate?

This is not our first rodeo. I was married for 20 years prior to meeting Jase. He was married twice in a span of 20 years. Poor bastard.

Man, I could tell you some shit from our 3 years together! My favorite might be the time I left him with our 80lb cargo bike and he had to pedal 15 miles home, uphill…….there were some strong emotions left unchecked that night….OOOO there’s the time he packed up all of his belongings and started driving back to PA (his homeland) only to have his car throw an electrical tantrum.

Communication in the early days was gravely malnourished.

Through countless disagreements, crying, yelling, and threats of leaving one another, we have found what works for us.

Once the two of us are home, we grab a glass of wine and a stool so we can share our thoughts and feelings from the day. We also share any conversations we’ve had, with family, friends, co-workers or passerby’s.

We leave no emotional stone unturned and nothing is watered down.

In the mornings we have coffee and discuss what we’re feeling about the day ahead.

The result is we feel closer to one another and there are fewer outburst or misunderstandings. Having 2 set times to talk things over brings a calmness to life.

If feels rather proactive. We clear the air and nothing has a chance to fester and get infected. We’ve also taken the time to sift through our previous arguments, healing the wounds inflicted by one another.

We now laugh at the drama we each brought to the table.

Would love to hear any wisdom you have unearthed in your communication skills. Feel free to comment!

As always, thanks for reading, and keep smiling 🙂

Sometimes I Feel Bad For My Boyfriend: Relationship Evolution

We met on a dating app. It’s been 3 years. And though we didn’t experience the “honeymoon phase”, EVER, I can’t help but feel a teensy weensy bit bad for Jase.

I could bore you with the backlog of our histories, but who the fuck has time for that? Long story short, when we met I was active and adventurous. We both were.

No one see’s illness coming. It swoops in gradually until one day it’s kicks you in the back of the knees and takes you down.

We had a good laugh together this morning when I pointed out how different our conversations are now compared to when we first met.

This morning:

Me laying in bed: “Holy hell my armpits stink, time for a new t-shirt tonight before bed, I think I’ve worn this for like 2 weeks.

Him: “Let me smell. Yep, you reek, the right pit is stronger than the left. How weird.”

30 minutes later I filled him in on the 10 inch ripe banana of a turd I had.

In all fairness, last night before bed I read in the Epstein Barr book that you should document all your bowel movements and what constitutes as healthy.

My point, he didn’t sign up for this, but he’s still here and loving me with grace and sensitivity. Stinky armpits, banana bowels and all.

Our relationship looks different on the outside based on our lack of adventure. The inside is different too. It’s richer and deeper. We are evolving along with what we can not control. Together we look for ways to make each other laugh and make light of what is happening.

It’s not uncommon for me to be minding my own business and Jase to walk by with curly lettuce bursting from the fly of his pant’s. “Hey honey, I think I’m due for some man scaping.”