Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Jodie and I disagree on one big point. Jodie believes we should try to assist Starr Ann during her special days each month. I believe we should stick with what has worked in the past, which is sending Starr Ann off for a few quiet days alone in one of her bunkers.

This morning, Starr Ann snapped at me about ten times over absolutely nothing. I had just started getting her clothes ready and framing how I'd suggest that she go underground, when Jodie showed up.

All Jodie said was, "Starr Ann, honey, can I give you a hand moving that stove?"

Here I should note that one of Starr Ann's PMS peculiarities is rearranging appliances. Major appliances. No idea where this comes from.

So Starr Ann set the hand truck upright, real gentle like so as not to damage the stove, and said, "What do I look like? A wimp?"

The alarm on Jodie's face made me want to laugh, but I knew I shouldn't. I said, "Jodie, come help me pick out a CD, will you?"

Once we were out of Starr Ann's earshot, I told Jodie, "All we need to do is finish packing this little bag for her and make a mild suggestion. She always takes the hint and goes to one of the shelters."

"Margo, that's cruel. How can you banish someone you love for, for...how long does she usually stay gone?"

I said, "Depends. Let me do a little recon."

Back in the kitchen, I offered, "Starr Ann, the refrigerator looks nice there in front of the windows and all, but there's no place to plug it in."

Starr Ann threw her hands in the air and let them smack back down on her thighs real loud. "Well, great. Maybe you've got a better idea where to put it."

I walked over and held Starr Ann's hand for a few seconds, all understanding like, meanwhile checking on the degree of puffiness. "It's all right, we can run an extension cord." Then I opened the refrigerator and pretended to search its dark interior for the milk. I let a few choice words slip out of my mouth. "General Musharraf." No irate response from Starr Ann. "Arundhati Roy." No look of admiration tinged with lust from Starr Ann. "Dick Cheney." Starr Ann did not gag. I closed the fridge and followed Starr Ann into the laundry room where she was unhooking the dryer. "Gonna need the pipe wrench for the washer connection?"

With utter disgust, she said, "Do I look like a complete idiot?"

I kissed her on the cheek and went to give Jodie the report. "Okay, Jodie, here's the deal. She's a major chemical spill. Almost no functioning of the neocortex. Responds to neither positive nor negative idealistic stimulus. However, there is exaggerated response to trivial suggestions concerning the appliances. From the feel of her fingers, water weight buildup is about as bad as it gets." I put a consoling hand on Jodie's shoulder. "We have to let her go. And to answer your question, I'd say we're looking at three days, minimum."

"Well, that's just not acceptable, Margo. Three days every month adds up to thirty-six days a year. One entire month every year that we just hustle her off so we don't have to put up with her behavior."

Right then Bates, our puppy who dedicates his life to being contrary and unyielding, scooted from the utility room with his tail between his legs and burrowed under the sofa.

In the most humble, rest-my-case manner I could muster, I said, "She's even scaring the animals. We must keep her away from the horses."

Jodie folded her arms and that was about the final straw for me. Much as I hated to do it, I suggested, "Maybe Starr Ann should stay at your house for a few days. That way, you could take real good care of her. Make her comfortable during these difficulties. As soon as her period cuts loose, send her on home. Hmmmm? Does that sound like the loving thing to do?"

Heh. They left about an hour ago. If Jodie's half the woman I think she is, it'll take her one, maybe two, days to come around to my way of thinking and haul Starr Ann off to a shelter. In the meantime, as soon as I get this last ceiling fan put back up, I've got the house and lots of leisure time all to myself.