The Poetry of Marriage

This Episode Brought to You Courtesy of

The Kentucky Derby

I may be the only horse person in the country who forgot to watch the Kentucky Derby.  Who, uh, forgot it was even this weekend.  (Or I wouldn’t have posted the goofy jockey video.  Bad timing.  Sorry racing fans.)

Shaun is currently at work in one of the U.S. swine flu states, trying to get some business protocol in place in case.  We’re not currently in the same time zone.

I’m used to being stumped by Shaun’s texts, emails, and messages.  She believes in extreme editing.  It’s minimalist art for her.  Get your message across in the least amount of words possible.  I’m convinced she thinks I’m psychic.

Where I’d use 600 words to fill you in, she would use 2.  (I know, I know.   I could use some of that.)

I’ve learned to fit the entire contents of an email in the Subject Line.  Otherwise, she won’t read it.  It’s kinda fun, in the way a puzzle you’re not good at is fun.  Would you understand this if it came with a blank email?

RE: m hairline arm tree  SMHER  fine  call LL, not fine

This is crystal clear to Shaun, if a bit wordy: Micah fell out of a tree, got a hairline fracture in his arm, is at St.Mary’s emergency room with me and Lee lee, it’s not bad, he’s okay, but Lee lee is hysterical and needs to talk to mama right away.

I would stare and think: m hairline arm tree?  What does that MEAN?

Out of the blue, Shaun texted me yesterday:

Shaun: mine that bird

Jane: (several puzzled minutes later)  Haiku?

Shaun: i am okay it jumped over me it’s a mess kentucky derby

Haiku is 7,5,7 right?  What on earth is she talking about?

i am okay it  (5)

jumped over me its a mess (7)

kentucky derby (5)

But what does it MEAN? I’m gonna have to ask. She hates it when I ask.

Jane: R U somewhere I can call U?  WHAT jumped over you?  Mess?!?

Shaun: dinner hot

This means she just got her dinner and could I wait so she can eat it while it’s hot.  But she saves me the agony of waiting and calls.  Sweet girl. Cell rings and I snatch it up, leaving out: “hello dear”.

“What’s going on?!”

“I wanted you to know the tornado jumped over me.  I’m fine.”

“WHAT tornado??”

“The one that knocked down Valley Ranch. ” She says this with a lot of patience.  Her hot food is sitting in front of her.  She adds:   “That was the name of the horse that won.”

Valley Ranch?  This is the name of the winning horse?  I plow ahead, still anxious about the tornado.

“The horse got knocked down by a tornado?  You’re not IN Kentucky, right?”

“I’m in Outback Steakhouse.”

I feel like I’m in a replay of Who’s on First.  Outback Steakhouse, WHERE? But I don’t ask.  I ask if she’s okay, she says yes, and I say let’s talk later so your food doesn’t get cold.  Okay, she says, happily, completely convinced we’ve communicated thoroughly.

I have the basics.  She’s fine.  She’s eating.  We’ll talk later and she’ll think it’s ridiculous I didn’t have a clue what she meant.  And I’ll think it’s ridiculous she expected me to understand.  But after all these years, it’s got the comfort of a familiar exasperation for both of us, so really, who cares?

Nice to know Valley Ranch won the derby.  Too bad he got knocked down by a tornado.  I wonder what the heck  “mine that bird” was supposed to mean?

6 thoughts on “The Poetry of Marriage

  1. Crappy telephone service
    Tree…red…it’s over
    Say what? Come again? Confused.

    The bird is hers? She ordered chicken at outback? She bought a racehorse named “That Bird”?

    1. Hey, I understood it, (and it’s PRETTY) so it works!

      Because it’s in my nature to do most things backwards, I looked up the form of Haiku about 30 seconds ago. You know, after the post? Haiku is 7-5-7.

      syllable order tangled
      try harder, I pledge
      oh yeah, says memory, suuuure

    1. every

      How’s that for minimalistic? I’m sure Shaun could do better. Oh I know. She would have simply responded:


      Glad it made you laugh! Marriage. It’s an art form.

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