“I used to have a lot of close connections. But they lived in Connecticut so I cut them off. Get it? Connect-I-Cut?”
Noooo! If I EVER hear that stale old line uttered again, I may have to pour grated parmesan over the head of the speaker, because that’s how cheesy I find it.
Unfortunately the speaker was my 1st husband. This was a husband who told the exact same jokes and one-liners for the entire decade of our marriage and expressed great disappointment that I didn’t giggle just as heartily after hearing them the millionth time as I did when we were first dating. But I was the dutiful wife and thus we had an agreement — at any get-together, party, or date-night out with another couple, I’d laugh hysterically at his stuff, dab my eyes with a napkin, pretending to catch my breath so I could sputter, “Ohhhh. Isn’t he hilarious? Such a card!”
This set him up for his next line which was, “Yeah, but instead of the Jack of Spades, I’m the Jack of all Trades!” And he’d launch into his many talents and skills. Pleeeease!
“Look, either get some exciting new material or get a new audience,” I’d say, stifling a yawn once we were home together alone in our bed. (Note: I may or may NOT have been referring to his comedy routine.)
He chose the latter option. We divorced.
My second husband and I were together for many years and like any couple we developed our own routines and distinctive little ways of relating to one another that I called, MMM (“Memorable Marriage Minutia.”)
Examples would be a) Taking a Selfie of ourselves with our eyes closed while each person held up a number of fingers behind the other person’s head. When we’d look at the photo, if we each had the same number of fingers we “won” and rewarded ourself with a nice dinner out or a picnic on the beach. b) If there was just one piece of our favorite food left on a plate, we’d split in half, in half, in half and so on until there was the tiniest of crumbs too infinitesimal to split in half — and then we’d play rock/paper/scissors to see who got it. c) I’d write messages to him on the outside of his banana peel in his lunch.
(Hey! I didn’t say these were sane rituals, just OURS.)
Fast forward to our breakup and I’m walking down our same favorite sandy shoreline exactly one year later (What? It’s not like he was awarded the entire beach in our divorce agreement!) when I spot two people taking a Selfie by their picnic basket. Wait! Are they actually holding their fingers up behind each other? As I suspiciously head closer, they sprawl out on their blanket and a lively game of rock/paper/scissors ensues. Really??? I wait until my ex loses (he always picks “paper!”) and run up to them shouting, “Noooo! That’s mine. I copyrighted that. What do you need, a patent? A registered trademark? You can’t steal that!” I am (of course!) pointing to the banana with the Sharpie scribbled writing that’s grasped in her hand as they look incredulously at me.
Sheesh. C’mon folks! Don’t recycle. Can nothing be reinvented for the new person in your life? Maybe I should teach a class called, “How to Have an Original New Relationship!” I’ll walk around during test days and chastise, “Don’t look at each other’s papers, ya bunch of copycat romantic wannabes!”
Fittingly, last night I was dining in a quiet Italian restaurant at a secluded booth with a date of my own (trying to create a new fun little tradition between us regarding the bill the waitress had just set on the table!) when what familiar snatch of dialogue should I hear floating through the air?
“Did I ever tell you about my close connections in Connecticut?”
That was it! I couldn’t help myself. As my 1st ex-husband’s latest girlfriend stared with astonishment, I proceeded to dump powdered parmesan cheese all over his head. She burst out laughing and said, “Ugh. Thank you for finally silencing the “Jack of all Trades.”
I have a feeling I just laid the groundwork for their own future unique ritual — albeit a remarkably cheesy one.
READERS: Do you have secret little rites or actions you do with someone special in your life? Don’t share them in the comments section….someone will surely refurbish, revamp, and reclaim them as their own! 🙂
I’d imagine it would be the adventure of a lifetime trying to stay freshly up to speed with you. Amazing new ideas supplanting previously unheard of treasures of wit and opportunity. The heads of other couples spinning unable to keep up. You Just Keep’n it playful. All that said – the banana thing is priceless.
I really don’t understand how people can read your posts and not comment. Where is the fun in that? My question is how do you know which cutesy romanticisms your new friend is recycling from her or his past relationships? I mean, I know when I do that, although I try not to, but it seems everyone does it, mostly unintentionally. There are always those that do it intentionally, because, well, it worked with someone else, so why should I reinvent the wheel? But every person is different, with different sensibilities–what is darling to one is BOR-RING to the next.
Ah, well, who is to know, except the bitch in the next booth who heard them all before! Do you think he learned anything from being covered in parmasan, or did he just lick it off, ’cause he is a jerk of all tirades?