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Nobody Knows

Back when I was in high school, I had the questionable honor of attending a then-boyfriend’s play.  To this day, I’m not sure which is more dubious: the boyfriend or the play.  For the sake of argument, this time I’m gonna say the play.

I had one boyfriend from the time I was fourteen until just shy of my 18th birthday.  My parents hated him and I can certainly understand why.  He was from our church, only in the sense that he attended semi-regularly.  We were close to the same age.  And to this day I can’t see the long-haired singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers without thinking of Joel.

Oh yeah – rocker all the way.  Funny thing was, I didn’t go for the bad boy type.  I didn’t think of him as a bad boy, for that matter, though he was.  (In fact, it was because of his bad boy ways that I finally broke it off.  I was definitely not attracted to that part of him.)  But we were together for eons and I’m positive my parents breathed a sigh of relief when I called things off.

Back to the play…

My boyfriend might have looked like the singer from RHCP, but he couldn’t have carried a tune if you welded it to his back.  The play was a musical, specifically Finian’s Rainbow.  I later saw the movie on TV and was struck that it wasn’t entirely the kids’ fault that the stage show reeked.  So did the movie, even with the talents of Fred Astaire and Petula Clark.

The one and only thing that stuck with me about the show was the song called “Necessity”.  The lyrics boiled down to Necessity being the mother of invention, but nobody knew the father of Necessity.  We all know what that makes Necessity.

Our Necessity of the week is the water heater I didn’t count on replacing.  Not the end of the world – no real damage, just an extra few hundred bucks that needed to go to other things.  I’m grateful to have arrived just minutes after the gusher erupted from the front wall of the water heater, before flooding or electricity could create a genuine crisis.  I’m glad G had the presence of mind to ask a neighbor when we couldn’t find the water connection to turn it off.  And I’m glad we are both pragmatic enough to know that while it’s a nuisance to do without for a few days,we will survive just fine when everything’s said and done.

This afternoon was one of my increasingly rare light bulb moments.  My laptop has gotten so bad about overheating that it crashed an average of five minutes into surfing.  Five minutes is pretty generous on that estimate, too.  I had hoped to buy a replacement computer soon but that, along with some other ambitious plans, got kicked to the curb for the foreseeable future.  Finally while I had to make a stop at Wally World anyway, it dawned on me that I didn’t necessarily have to replace the computer at the moment – just my burned out external laptop fan.  $14 for a fan I could (and did) do.

Several hours later without a crash, I’d say it was a good investment.

Small victories.  I’ll take ’em.

As we prep for G’s sister and niece to visit from the Netherlands, G and I have been talking about little snippets of his family history.  I realized, apparently in a more profound way than G did, that his parents lived through Hitler’s invasion of their country.  That realization punched me in the breadbasket.  Images flashed before my eyes, bombs rumbled underfoot and blood sent up a metallic stench that reached across the decades to burn my nostrils.  It was beyond eerie to realize had the war gone differently, G would not be here with me now.

G’s parents later lived through seeing their home burn to the ground. There was no insurance, and they were told they couldn’t rebuild a house on the property.  G’s dad built a storage shed on the land and they moved in shortly after.

Necessity again, with a twist.

A while back, G’s sister sent me some of her mother’s jewelry, two massive pieces of sculpted silver, a very wide bracelet and a necklace.  They weren’t a rich family by any stretch, but the quality and quantity of the silver in the pieces suggests they were also not in the same dirt-poor class where I grew up, either.  I was overwhelmed and asked G’s sister why she didn’t keep the pieces for her daughters and granddaughters; I was told they each got something of her mother’s and as G’s wife I had every bit as much right as they did to have something from her estate.

The logical part of me says that’s true.  That didn’t stop the gesture from bringing tears to my eyes.

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