Life in the Boomer Lane is continually amused by the glut of articles she sees about the inability that many men have to commit to relationships. Her own experience is that men commit more fully than women do. The difference is that, while women have relationships with people, men have relationships with inanimate objects.
Then Husband broke all records for his stay in the Marines (a matter of several days,) before he was awarded an honorable discharge and several sets of underwear stamped “USMC” in large stenciled letters. Years later, he still sported his bright gold tee shirts and boxer shorts festooned with USMC.
Now Husband has deep and meaningful relationships with many inanimate objects. Although he graduated from college decades ago, his sweatshirt has yet to procure its degree and go elsewhere. He has a collection of desk lamps that have survived since college. He uses a Zenith transister radio.
The latest relationship called to LBL’s attention was NH’s bed pillow. NH and LBL have separate finances, separate toothbrushes, and an understanding that their pillow choice is unique to each of them. For that reason, LBL hadn’t noticed the pillow that is normally mere inches away from her head at night. But recently, LBL decided to replace her own pillow, one that was purchased several years ago and never came up to the high standards LBL set for herself. When she mentioned this impending purchase to NH, he responded with, “Oh, I guess I should get a new pillow, as well.”
It was only then that LBL took a hard look at NH’s pillow. For the sake of those readers with delicate constitutions, she will not describe it in detail. She will only say that the pillow had no tag on it warning of the illegality of removal. Apparently, it had been manufactured before the advent of the Federal Bed Pillow and Mattress Law in the early 20th century.
Like any relationship we choose to let go, we sometimes then dwell on only the best that the relationship had to offer. NH was no exception. Having decided to replace his pillow, he reminded himself of all the good times he had with it over the years and all the positive characteristics it possessed. It was foam. (LBL wasn’t aware that foam pillows were even made after the advent of polyester.) It could be folded over for reading and would retain the folded shape. (LBL wasn’t aware that this would be a positive characteristic for either human skin or for bed pillows.)
The next day, LBL and NH went off to Macy’s, where a pillow sale was in progress. LBL immediately found the pillow she was looking for. NH had to examine each pillow and to finally ask the salesperson where the foam pillows were. To LBL’s surprise, there was actually one foam pillow available. It had to be special-ordered.
When NH’s pillow arrived, LBL noticed that the box stayed intact in the living room. It took a couple days of reminding NH to open the box, that he finally did. After that, the new pillow stayed on the floor between NH’s side of the bed and the wall. NH explained that he had to get used to the fact of it for a few days. Finally, one day, LBL noticed that NH was using the new pillow. She was elated. Her elation lasted only a moment, when she noticed that the old pillow was now in the exact same place that the new pillow had been, on the floor in the space between the bed and the wall.
LBL asked NH why the old pillow was still there. NH explained, “I need it to throw at the cat when she starts scratching at the comforter in the middle of the night.”
Some relationships die hard.