Best Experienced With: Indigo Girls; Closer to Fine
(please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music to this evening’s treatise in a new browser window. Happy Singles Awareness Day.)
My friend Mav commented here last week, asking why the ex would pop up in a MLOG since I stuck a fork in her three years ago. Great question! Writing things in a semi permanent location makes them real and fits the Mind of Mully “hit by a bus” test. Were a kryptonite laden bus to run me over later today, a real estate agent might show Chez Mulligan next month. This real estate agent may have to field the questions: “Why would a single guy have such a massive walk in shower? Wouldn’t a great big Jacuzzi tub be better there?”
Said hypothetical real estate agent would simply have to pull up his or her laptop, point the potential buyer to that MLOG, and remain silent. Mostly because that was not an objection…..it was simply a question. Same real estate agent might also have to explain the dog house safely and strategically placed on the ledge outside the shower window.
Mom and Glove Man will celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary on May 4, 2010. My three sisters will celebrate their, respectively, 22nd , 14th , and 10th wedding anniversaries in 2010. Each has a unique relationship, different from the others. All love and fight in a different fashion. Would imagine they fight like cats and dogs at time because they are all at 100% in this era of 50% of marriages failing. Am certain they learned the following cycle from mom and Glove Man:
Fight……fight…..….fight……come to agreement…….hug it out.
This is a love story. A very long love story.
This is a love story.
The love story began one summer morning in 1995 when I awoke to the soft gentle sound of “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” in the room that is now Chez Mulligan’s surfboard room. In those days it was an open, overgrown garden. “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEE”. Thought maybe the nine volt battery in the downstairs smoke detector had died of natural causes overnight. “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”. Rolled onto the floor, pulled aside the blinds, and saw four teeny tiny kittens hidden in one of the overgrown shrubs. Mama Cat (as we creatively named her that evening) was out making the acquaintance of more gentlemen callers for when the kittens left the nest. “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEE” is kittenspeak for “please may I have some kitten milk…I am famished.”
As the Mama Cat family got older, they moved from the back patio to a more comfortable spot in the bottom hallway. They came in when hungry, had snacks, and then went back outside for badminton, volleyball, or whatever was on that day’s list of feral cat activities. None ever allowed petting and we all kept our distance during meal time. Some lived in the board room and shared nose kisses through the screen with the indoor cats.
The Mama Cat family, along with a host of others, took their meals at Chez Mulligan and took shelter from the storm here for as long as they wanted. 5433 ½ La Jolla Blvd has been a halfway house for wayward and feral animals since that morning. Over fifteen years we have trapped and released fifty-four ferals and most spent some part of the life in the doghouse just above the zillion foot walk in shower my ex installed. All but three have moved on. Some tell me the other fifty-one are dead, yet I never saw their bodies. I prefer to believe these fifty-one moved two blocks over because some more wealthy home owner feeds their feral colony serious gourmet cat food.
The “love” part of this love story began in Q1 1997 when the Hale Bopp Comet cruised by Earth for a visit. While the Heaven’s Gate folks were lacing up their tennis shoes for their rendezvous with the master ship, I was taking out the trash to the dumpster behind Chez Mulligan. On the way back, met a very plump, very preggo cat eating at the communal feeding dish for the first time. Named her Haley and did not see her again until I found her body near my back door two months later.
That’s love, yes? Haley chose to die near my door because she wanted me to find her six week old kittens and make certain they had a longer life than she did. Saw Haley exactly twice: once that first evening and the second time when I buried her.
Searched high and low for the next week for Haley’s litter. One evening I saw three tiny shapes trying to get into a garbage can two doors down. The next evening we set up a cat carrier with two cans of smelly salmon. Sat in a prone position with three hangers tied end to end for a few hours until out of the darkness came a single file line of three shadowy, tiny kittens. Look left. Five steps. Look right. Single file kitten sprint!!!!! Attack smelly salmon and BOOM…..pet carrier door slams shut.
We spent that evening in the spare downstairs bathroom picking roughly seven million fleas off of three feral kittens that had no desire to lose these fleas or be indoor cats. Spent the next five weeks sleeping in the spare bedroom with the feral kittens cowering under the couch in the spare bedroom, visions of me carving coffee mugs out of their skulls running through their little kitten heads. Woke up one morning with the black and white kitten sitting on my chest, gently tapping my chin with her paw and then rearing back after each tap. Was a great deal of fun to watch her swatting my chin through squinting, fake asleep eyes.
Two weeks later the kittens (named Marsha, Jan, and Cindy by my friend Jen) were ready for adoption. Overnight their internal switches flipped from “fully feral” to “awesome pets” and they were ready for loving homes. Posted the following ad around The LJ:
Then I thought about Haley and kismet………and I kept the stupid morons. Haley loved them enough to crawl over and die near my door as a message, so Marsha, Jan, and Cindy were clearly mine for life. Marsha still owns my chest and she has been at the top of the stairs each time I return from a business trip. Should a significant other choose to spend the evening, Marsha will perch like a vulture on my shoulder as we spoon, staring at the date and doing her darndest to make date-erasing laser beams shoot out of her green kitty eyes. Marsha is not overly fond of female visitors.
Jan still makes me laugh like a hyena each time I reach out my finger and say “smell my finger”. As the shiest of the three, she has sniffed that index finger 2,634,986,003 times before allowing me to pet her and I still laugh like a hyena when she does it.
Cindy has taken over the top floor of Chez Mulligan and brooks no nonsense up here. Her kitty treats must be delivered to the top of the table. She will not jump down, even for kitty treats. I give Cindy the kitty treats up top because she is here more than I am.
Bruiser and Sage joined us after that and added to the fun.
Then, Ceeeeeeeeeeatie and Deeeeeeeeeeegie made it just a bit more ridiculous ten years later.
I like to think the reason my sisters all have marriages lasting between ten and twenty years is that mom and Glove Man taught us to fight to the finish and then hug it out. None of that nambly pambly passive aggressive crap while we were growing up. No, sir. You dug right in and you fought to the finish. Afterwards, you hugged it out and passed the peas because only the strongest of relationships can handle and respect the differences. Life would be boring and intolerably vanilla if we agreed all the time. Attraction and love are easy because they are surface feelings and emotions. True love and marriages are decisions we make each morning when we hear “SREEEEEEEEEE”. We should be willing to fight for true love and marriage………………….sometimes with each other. Be happy when you hear “SCREEEEEEEEEEE”. Handled properly, it is an excellent opportunity to grow closer.
Thanks, mom and Glove Man for teaching us Mulligan kids the value of fighting and hugging it out. Erudite scholars and PhD’s have opined on love for years and would benefit from watching the cats here in Chez Mulligan beat the snot out of each other and then clean each other’s heads. It is a time tested, solid offense.
To those of you out to dinner this evening with potential “last first dates”? Have fun and I hope it works out exactly like you want it to work out. Those of you madly in love? Slow clapping, rising to a loud crescendo as you bow before us with your beloved. The rest of us celebrating Singles Awareness Day in The LJ….. please direct your attention to the sheet on the south wall where we will show Pulp Fiction in exactly three seconds.
Three, two, one……………………………………………..disco.
Darkness has a hunger
Lightness has a call
That’s hard to hear.
This is dedicated to Cupid and my friends Patty and Jillian. Happy fifth wedding anniversary you two kids……have enjoyed watching your love. Always find it hard to understand how some folks can experience true love and yet not embrace all couples’ love. Interesting. Perhaps they are afraid and that’s OK. We all get scared. Come over here all you homophobic folks! Give me a hug.
Last minute gift suggestion? Of course I have last minute gift suggestions: I’m the gift freaking master! Get him or her one of the books below. Each is a love story and one is told from the point of view of a dog. Brilliant! The thing in the middle? Oh, that’s just from church this morning. I highlighted the part in the middle that says it’s perfectly awesome for anyone to marry whomever they love. Silly left wing Christians……..that’s just crazy, blasphemy talk!
And yes, as Too Much Joy opined musically years ago in their theme song, one of the precepts up here in The Attic is “to create, you must destroy”. In fact, one of the walls has a colorful mural, lest we forget.
This is a love story.