Jan 23, 2011

There's Baby and Patrick and Mary, oh my!

I cheated on my wife last night. Tucked her into bed, then snuck back out first to expose myself on internet, then finally curled up on the purple couch with a supple 16-year-old (and her roughneck boyfriend third-wheeling).

Yesterday's posting about juggling too much was all about me, and for me. I was feeling fractured, too divided to even sleep with my beautiful wife, and writing about it helped make it manageable. Somehow when things are in a list, and the dayplanner is open to a fairly open next week, the overwhelming gorilla gets reduced to bunch of bite-size body parts and extraneous hair that can be shaved off. At 11pm I hit "publish" then wrote a quick, prioritized things-to-do list that let me finally let go of worrying about it.

Then I indulged in my favourite feel-better pastime - watching Dirty Dancing. Nobody puts Baby in a corner, and nobody makes me feel better about the world than Baby. In 1985 I finished a workday as a social worker by dropping off a 10-year-old boy off at his basement door while listening to his mother screaming and throwing things upstairs, watching him shrug "this is normal, I'll deal." I drove straight to Macs to pick up Dirty Dancing and a pack of Twinkies, then lost myself in that incessant Patrick Swayze pelvis and the tender moment he called her Francis and let go of what I couldn't change for that real-life boy. It's been my go-to ever since.

Huge disclaimer - my one true love, even greater than Baby, is Mary. During grad school, every weeknight I'd study in my office till 11:30, play guitar with Ted and Mark till 1am, then go home and watch Mary Tyler Moore reruns till 1:30, and sometimes again till 2am if I really needed it. And still wake up at 7am sharp without an alarm to go swimming the next morning (our communal bathtub was so gross that I vowed to never use it - a vow I kept for the full 2 years). No matter what I'd experienced that day, she could certainly make it all seem worthwhile.

We all have comfort foods and soul strokers, and that's all just a long-winded way to give you a glimpse into some of my self-nurturing quirks you may not have guessed. And to let you know that the puzzle may never be finished, but the pieces are sorted and do seem like they'll add up to a coherent picture.

PS - Turns out the joke's on me. While I was cheating with Jennifer and Patrick, Sarah was dreaming that she'd become engaged to a gambling statistician who looked like our Texas real estate agent, and who gifted her with the incredible romantic book "How to buy swimming pools with your kids." Well my dear, that may have amused your hungry eyes, but in the meantime I had the time of my life.


  1. Love it! Love it! What a hilarious glimpse at another side of you Rick!

    I too love Dirty Dancing, but for me, the go-to decompression-time movie is When Harry Met Sally.

    Do you have the Dirty Dancing soundtrack? Oh, I listened to that over and over again back when I had the "cassette tape"! There are songs on there that you can't help but get down and dirty to!

  2. Bonnie, I had a first date in college where she came to my fraternity dormroom and taught me to dirty dance. Fond memories of that soundtrack...

    As for When Harry Met Sally, I probably quote that movie more, or at least more diversely, than any other I've ever seen. Brilliant.

    When are you moving out here? We obviously need to hang out together.

  3. ah, good to not be the only one nudging for that move. you know you want it, bonnie.