I love the company of men.  Just came off the tennis court with three of them after winning the tiebreaker.  The two who lost weren’t thrilled but they were gracious losers and even complimented me on being, “one helluva retriever.”  Men play at sports and life, with an enthusiastic, ‘come what may’ attitude that I am still trying to master.  They don’t get wound up in the pettiness of everyday nothings, which drives us women nuts when we want to TALK about them!

For example, if I walk into the sauna and it’s filled with guys I am greeted by hearty “Hello’s,” football stories and political debates.  If there are only women. . .silence abounds.  Today, for example there were 6 guys and 3 women sitting elbow to elbow.  Since it was too crowded to move, I suggested that, “we all do toe exercises!”  The guys thought it was a fun idea and immediately began taking off their sandals.  The women left.

Now don’t get me wrong, men still drive me crazy.  I have been married to one for 30 years who STILL cannot find the ketchup in the refrigerator!!  Even my teenage daughters are non-plussed by his scarce recognition of how things work in his own home.  (He once called me in front of them to ask, ‘Honey?  Which one is the washer?’)  Oh, yes he did.

This Valentine’s Day, I gave the girls stuffed ladybugs with chocolates inside.  My husband gave us miniature, mechanical robots and took great delight watching them run across the floor and crash into things.  He’s the fun one.  Not me.  I just replace the batteries.

Growing up, I always longed to be a boy.  They just seemed to have more fun.  But my grandmother always said, “You’ll change your mind someday, Dear.  Men and women are different for a REASON.”  She was right.  I have finally figured out that reason.  We are here to show them where the ketchup is.  They are here to finish it up and turn it into a sprayer for the dog.

Oh, something else happened this Valentine’s Day:   Someone sent me a dozen roses!  It was NOT my husband.  We are both mystified as to the sender because there was no card.  But my guess?  It was a guy!!!  (Helen Hudson is the author of, “Kissing Tomatoes,” a memoir of her grandmother’s years with Alzheimer’s.



     The day I told Granny I was going to marry a young man I had met at a bus stop, she didn’t balk and exclaim, ‘You met him WHERE?’  She didn’t ask me what he did for a living.  She didn’t even ask me what he looked like.  She really only gave me ONE piece of advice:  “Remember, Dear, never expect a man to fill all of your needs.” * ‘Sure thing,’ I thought to myself.  That’s simple enough.  Right?  Wrong. 

     Though I didn’t know it then, I was walking into wedded bliss with a slew of needs that I didn’t even know I had!  It started with the toilet seat.  I needed it to be down when I stumbled into the bathroom in the dead of night and had to go.  I did not expect to suddenly be submerged in a porcelain basin filled with cold water!  I needed to be able to walk into the closet and not smell dirty socks.  I needed to know when I looked in the refrigerator that the carton of milk sitting brightly on the shelf actually had enough milk inside to pour a whole glass, not a measly, few, tiny drops.  The same went for the cereal in the cupboard.  For some reason, it never occurred to my new husband to put his dirty socks in the hamper or simply eat that last cracker and throw the box away.  He never even considered writing down a shopping list if he used up something.  In fact, of the hundreds of lists I have made over the years, he may actually have only taken a few of them with him when he’s gone shopping. 

     Last week we celebrated our 30th anniversary–not because we don’t still argue over stupid little things–not because we agree on everything–not even because we still love each other.  Last week we celebrated our 30 years together because we really know what it means to not expect the other guy to fill all of our needs.  That was the advice given by my grandmother, the one with Alzheimer’s, who lived with us for 13 of those 30 years.  (*Excerpt from, “Kissing Tomatoes,”


     Exactly two weeks ago today, I began this blog having no idea what to expect.  Imagine both my shock and pleasure having just discovered this afternoon that 450 of you have actually CLICKED on my little page of thoughts!  I am both pleased and certainly humbled.  When one writes, it is always alone in a room with the hope that someday, somewhere, someone might actually read it and find something of value. 

     My Granny Jo, whom I wrote about in, “Kissing Tomatoes,” and I had a little ‘thing’ we did upon kissing each others cheek:  ‘I’m gonna kiss your tomatoes,’ one of us would say.  Ultimately, of course, it led to, “I’m gonna kiss your peaches.”  And then, when she grew old and her cheeks were wrinkly, I often said, “I’m gonna kiss your little apricots.”  Silly stuff–and yet it found its way to the title.  

     When I think about it, though, it really is the ‘little things’ in life that often make the deepest impressions on us.  For the last few years, when my husband gets up before I do (which is often), he makes me a cup of coffee and leaves it on the counter.  Even though he has done this at least a hundred times, I am always touched when I see it there.  As I pick it up, I can tell how long he has been up from the temperature of the coffee.  If it is still quite hot, he has just gone to work.  If it is quite cold, I know I am too late arising!!  

     I have so come to count on this ‘little’ thing that several weeks ago when I went into the kitchen and it wasn’t there, I actually had a quiet little panic inside.  ‘Is he all right?’ I worried.  ‘Has something happened?’ I wondered.  Turns out the machine was just out of water and in his rush to work, he hadn’t had time to fill it.  So, thank you for taking a little moment of your day to share a piece of mine.  I am presently savoring the 450 little cups of coffee you ‘clicked’ upon my counter.   (