Along for the ride:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Silver Linings?

My husband was born and raised in Lyon, although he moved to the southern coast of France years before we met. The Lyonnais look down their noses a bit at anyone who is not from there. They esteem their food to be the best in the world, seal a deal with a handshake and take pride in their own reserved dignity. People who have known one another for decades still use the formal "vous" and address one another by last name. (Sometimes even married couples speak to each other as Monsieur or Madame). The standard rebuff, if a friendly outsider oversteps the mark and either uses the "tu", or tries to greet with a Gallic kiss, is the query: "Did we perhaps herd pigs together?" 
Aforementioned husband has a story that for him shows how commendably private his Lyonnais peers are wont to be. He takes as example a hypothetical man, with whom he had regular business contacts for many years and they considered one another as friends. Upon meeting him one day the answer to "How are you?" was that the man's wife had died after a long illness. My husband thinks it is laudable and appropriate that no-one knew she was sick.
They are not open to discussing personal details with anyone. 
I live in a different world. I see every stranger as a potential new friend and have found that if we share we can often help each other.
Back to "The Stoic One", who has been a grumpy and unreasonable beast for a week or so. Now, on the Richter Scale of grumpy and unreasonable he is usually somewhere between a five and a six. Recently he has been registering a regular nine. I have the same stresses that he does, as we work at our business and life together, so short shrift and much slamming of doors punctuate our interactions.
Yesterday TSO mentioned that he wanted only soup for dinner, as his stomach was hurting. Alarms went off in my head. Last time he mentioned a stomach pain he was hospitalized for four days with a GI bleed. There have been too many accidents and surgeries that required anti-inflammatories,which did their damage, whilst doing their good. 
I also must admit that it crossed my mind; "Yay, I won't have to make coffee tonight". 
When I have finished my work for the day and driven home, taken care of the dog, made dinner etc. I like to relax at the table. I have a glass of wine. I feel as though I'm done. I hope that TSO will get distracted and not remember the espresso phase of the evening. It seems so much work for an inch and a half of black coffee. Grinding the beans, cleaning out the old residue, filling the water, not too little, not too much, and then waiting. The interminable wait for the bubbling, hissing gurgle that turns into a happy trickle. It's not long enough to be able to do anything else whilst I wait but it prevents me from sitting and relaxing. So, horrible person that I am, I did consider that we had a possible case of a "Silver Linings" on our hands.
I have also been wondering if the stomach ache caused the bad temper or if the opposite might not be true. I have held my tongue on that, for now. A discussion for a day when my opponent (oops, husband), is at full strength.


  1. I really enjoyed this, does that make me a tad bad?

    Several, I think a disproportionate number of the blogs I read deal with French men or France.

    It makes me wonder where my life might have gone had I taken those butt pinches and invitations for "coffeeee coffeeee" seriously, oh so many years ago in Nice.

    Undeniably, just another ex. as my habits border on "hermit-hood" and I disgust myself at times.

  2. These moments accent for me how not being married does have some benefits. At least the only grumpy being in the house doesn't have to answer to anyone but herself. *l*

    I suppose a good hug wouldn't help? (Hope his stomach is OK.....)

  3. Darest I speak ? "Short shrift and slammed doors"... what a lovely image. While reading this it occurred to me to wonder if perhaps TSO is missing his roots ? Maybe a return to the source is in order? When la Framericaine gets back, maybe you can ask her ? (where is she anyway ??? Fell off the edge of the known world, hope we'll hear from her soon) Funny, my wife la grenouille has family living in Lyon. As an "étranger" I'm below the herding pigs together level, I'm just pig sausage... Well, that' not entirely true, sometimes I think they almost like me... :-D

    Hope you'll get back down to 4 to 5 again rather than 9 soon. Amicalement...

  4. Love this, you should write a book! I'd buy it.

  5. Tell himto get stuffed and make his own coffee.

    If he's inclined to be grumpy anyway, you've nothing to lose.

    Go for it!


  6. Now, this is why I love this blog millarky! Where else could you read someone's diary written in such a witty and entertaining way?
    I would be inclined to say something along the lines of Not Waving But Drowning... but then, Owen has a point also.... Hope it all gets sorted anyway.. cheers!

  7. Thanks for the comments. I take a "Big Picture" approach to all this nonsense. It's not the hill I want to die on. There are reasons I keep him around. He walked the dog, once!
    Owen, He absolutely refuses to consider going back to France. La Fra' will be back soon, but that won't help with this guy. She'd of shot him long ago and the feeling is mutual. Her hubby is docile and house trained.
    Finally: I just had my hour of Horse-Therapy so all is good in my world. Happy sigh,,,

  8. Hm, looking at it from all sides, upside down and backwards forwards ......... it's marriage, isn't it. All the same, it does sound as if you spoil him just a bit?
    Keep your sense of humour and your sense of perspective. I enjoy your blog very much.

  9. Well if he walked the dog once he can't be all bad then ! I'm glad to see that in the face of overwhelming adversity you have maintained you ability to smile...