Today I am a woman

Isn’t that like a Bat Mitvah thing or something? I never was BM’d; we had moved from the midwest to sunny San Diego at that point and all I cared about was getting my tan and beautiful salty skinned surfer boys. (I haven’t changed much or grown up, apparently.) My captain absentee-husband did his mitvah (good deed) today.

Before he left on this latest assignment, we were having a chat about the way I wash dishes. He has a completely insane method. Oh, I need to back up and explain that we don’t have a dishwasher. Well, there’s a dishwasher in the place that one should go; it was installed in 1968 when they built this house. It hasn’t worked in the two decades since I moved in. No, really. We’ve had several discussions about replacing it, and it just never happened. Even with the captain’s predecessor, BioDad. It simply never happened. I’m not sure why; it’s deep I’m sure, and extremely profound, or maybe the more that people told me how I can’t possibly live without a dishwasher caused me to be incredibly perverse and refuse to get one. Anyway. The funny thing is that we upgraded and got a new oven, cooktop, and refrigerator, and never got a dishwasher. Now it stands for something. It represents my contrary personality. Whatev. I am kind of attached to my not usable dishwasher where I store bags and sometimes Halloween candy that I hid from my son (to save for myself) and I forgot about for a couple years. Maybe it’s a symbolic representation of my nonfunctioning ovaries–like a placeholder for something that was at one time functioning and flowing and… Oh, geez. That just came out of nowhere. Stream of consciousness shit. It’s hard to stay focused after a glass or two of wine. So…here’s an example of another one of our conversations that are extremely strange when you pull them out of the context of regular marital interactions. Don’t forget our interpersonal communications are heightened by the very fact that we aren’t together 7/24/365. We have disagreed about the best way to wash dishes for the twenty-plus years we’ve been together. He thinks HIS way is more efficient because it uses less water and because he used to work at a restauarant when he was in high school and because he’s a captain. Those are his stupid reasons.  Step one: He takes all of the dirty dishes out of the sink, laying them on the tile counter. Step two: He fills one of the sinks with hot soapy water.  Step three: He washes the dishes and places them into the other sink. Step five: He rinses with hot water and places into drainer. MY way is my mom’s way. I keep the water running for the entire procedure and wash each dish, pot, glass individually and then rinse with hot water and put into the drainer. I know it sounds like his way is better, but I don’t like the dirty dishes piling up on the counter. That really bugs me. I don’t care if his way is better or not. I wouldn’t admit it in a million years.

This is all leading to something, trust me.

He was sitting at the counter that separates the kitchen from the family room and was watching me do it my way. I’m sure he was itching to make a snotty ass comment for the 568th time, but this time I felt it coming, I felt the vibe of the bossy pants captain rearing its head to spew some crap I did.not.want.to.hear. I am not a very good delegator but I am a GREAT micromanager.  I do everything myself. MY WAY. (More on that in another post. ) I looked over at him and said, “Don’t even start. I know what you were going to say.” He just laughed at me and said “You think you’re pretty good at reading my mind, don’t you?” I replied, “Well, after all this time, you have a limited repetoire and rotate the same few things on a fairly regular basis, so it’s not brain science here.” Him, “Well, you’re wrong this time”  I ignored him and went back to wasting a week’s worth of water. His computer sits on the counter and out of the corner of my eye I noticed he was scribbling something on a piece of scratch paper. “Why don’t we ever have any paper around here?” My thoughts were elsewhere as I was suddenly sad, remembering our darling cat, Bandit, who would drink from a dripping faucet and loved to watch me wash dishes. I do miss that girl.

He shoved the scrap of paper toward me. “What’s that? Your Home Depot list?” Him, “Just read it.” In case you can’t read it, it says, Do you want an early Xmas and Bday present? My birthday’s in May, so for a second I didn’t get it and then I whispered, “Do you really mean it?” Him, “Yes, it’s about time you had a very special present. Plus, you are never gonna give up bugging me about it, so yes, go ahead and get yourself that purse you’ve been wanting.”

I kept the document for legal reasons just in case he changed his mind and I could sue him for breach of promise. That’s the lawyer’s daughter talking.

I’m not alone in my shallow desire for an outrageously expensive accessory, and I’m not just talking Desperate Housewives. Zillions of females are obsessed with Chanel and I proudly share that compulsive preoccupation. I feel that owning a Chanel is a rite of passage, a declaration of womanhood. I’ve arrived. This might not mean a lot to a lot of my sisters, but to those who can relate, you know how I feel. When I first started my period, I was twelve, and my mom took me out to lunch and a bit of shopping to celebrate this next important step in a young woman’s life. This is another one of those milestones to me. It’s not that my life has been entirely without adversity, but I do like to look on the bright side and expect the best to happen more often than the worst. I am a firm believer in projecting a positive attitude.

And I positively had to have that handbag.

I’m also not very subtle, so my hints to the captain were more like overt hammer-like smacks on the head. I’d email him pix of Chanel handbags, and once dragged him to South Coast Plaza to visit the Chanel store so he could get a better sense of what the attraction is. He appreciates quality and after looking at one closely he had to agree that it was extremely well made. I made several Supreme Court-worthy arguments regarding the many different ways his marital happiness was intricately entwined with my having a Chanel, and conversely, how unhappy his life could be if I never got one.

But he really took me by surprise. I have to say I got a bit teary-eyed at his loving generosity. He never ceases to amaze me.

I love the anticipation of wanting something, but enough was enough. It was time to make my dream happen. It was love at first sight. My first Chanel. Now I am a woman. Somebody’s gonna get REALLY thanked when he gets home. Oh yeah. In a very special way. Ya know what I’m sayin’? May I introduce the Grand Shopper Tote? Totes gorg, huh?