(Introretrospective) Weekend!


Maribou is a voracious reader who also likes to watch, stare at, and listen to stuff. Occasionally he makes stuff, too. They work in a small liberal arts college library, and share a house in Colorado with their husband Jaybird, three cats, and what looms ever closer to ten thousand books. She is identifiable as genderfluid, trans, farm-raised, citified, and bisexual, among a plethora of other adjectives.

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65 Responses

  1. Burt Likko says:

    Ah, what a story! I’ve a similar one. She was a classmate in high school and college and law school. Smarter than me, and unfailingly kind to me. We did many things together socially, consulted one another on our academic, romantic, and professional struggles. For a time, I was quite infatuated. But she was out of my league and I’d yet to summon the self-confidence to assert my more amorous interests for much of that time. So I never made a move. Instead, pursued others, and told myself she had never been for me.

    Fast forward fifteen years. She and her husband invited my wife and I to dinner. We’d each had our shares of success. They’d had two smart and quirky kids, and a gorgeous home. How pleased I was for her!

    And after several glasses of wine had been consumed all around, she says that she would have wanted to date me and why didn’t I ever ask her out on those terms? Or even “go for it” on those many not-quite-sober nights we’d been alone in her apartment? Hadn’t I found her attractive?

    In that moment, I felt precisely the way you felt when you met up with The Girl and her girlfriend. Not in the least bit not in love with my wife or unhappy to have married her. Nor a moments consideration of changing things, and sincerely happy for my friend at her successful and happy life. But… Damn it!

    Ah, mais c’est la vie.Report

  2. Fish says:

    Fantastic story, Maribou!

    Twenty years ago I was still in the Air Force, preparing to leave England and the woman I was convinced was The One for a short tour in Australia. What I didn’t know is that I was about a year or so away from making my own “best stupid decision I would ever make,” which would lead me to meeting The Actual One, whom I’ve now been married to for nearly 17 years.Report

  3. Roland Dodds says:

    “She played guitar – of course she played guitar –”

    I laughed out loud at that! Very fine narrative Maribou. It is one a number of friends I know could find similarities with.Report

  4. Kazzy says:

    Little Marcus Allen (who I’m debating re-naming Baby Rodney Dangerfield for reasons I’ll explain in a bit) turns 1 tomorrow. Can’t frickin’ believe it!!! People always say, “They grow up so fast!” and “Blink and it’s over!” AND THEY’RE RIGHT! And that is even more true for the second one, since you are almost by definition more distracted during all the growing up and milestone happening and magical momenting. Even leaving aside everything else I’ve had going on in the personal life, I feel like I’ve missed so many moments from the little dude’s life. I can’t say what they are, which leads me to believe this is more in my head than real… but still! People I know with older kids say that you get that time back with the second one down the road… maybe I couldn’t fully indulge his first year of life because Mayo was too busy clobbering the shit out of me… but eventually Mayo will remove himself from the picture be it to be a too-cool-for-parents tween or normal teenager or just moves the F out and then I can indulge LMA/BRD’s 10th or 14th or 16th year in a way I won’t be able for Mayo… but that feels FOREVER a way. And while I’m sure each of those ages provides remarkable moments, baby moments are really something special.

    Thankfully, I have been present for most of them. But was I really present-present? :-/…

    Anyway, where was I? Oh. So Little Marcus Allen turns 1 tomorrow. And we have the big family-and-some-friends party scheduled for Saturday. So what happens? He’s sent home from school today with a fever, likely caused by an ear infection. This after having loose poopies and the subsequent destroyed outfits for the past week and a half as the stomach-bug-that-will-not-die continues to plague him. The poor guy is a little brother who spends 87% of his life getting ruthlessly pounded on by his adoring brother and he can’t even be in good health on the one way we look Mayo on the balcony and actually focus on whatever-his-name is. No respect! Hence, Baby Rodney Dangerfield.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Kazzy says:


      Poor little guy. I hope he feels better soon.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Maribou says:

        Thanks! Fever broke today and he was mostly happy but he has not one but TWO ear infections. Seriously, man, who’d this kid piss off in a past life?

        I really shouldn’t complain. Yes, this is now his 3rd or 4th ear infection and he had coxsackie and a couple of stomach bugs, all of which have been generally miserable for everyone involved. But if that is the worst life throws at him year one, I suppose things could have been more challenging.

        At least his brother had the decency to wait until he was two to have his seizures. KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!Report

        • Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

          22% hearing damage from an adult ear infection. Permanent.
          …yup, could really be worse.Report

        • Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:


          I had never heard of this, and now have something new to worry about. At least it has a comical-sounding name.

          The Boy has been home from school two days now because he has a really, really bad ear infection. We just started the antibiotics last night so hopefully by tonight things should start improving. It’s been a rough, rough winter around here.Report

          • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

            Ugh. First, I’m never coming near either your kids or Kazzy’s, ’cause they seem to be just little disease vectors (to be fair, all kids are basically just little disease vectors)! Second, I hope everyone feels better soon and that everyone gets at least a few months respite.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:


            It is also known as foot-and-mouth or hand-foot-and-mouth disease because you get blisters in those places. Also, blisters everywhere else, too.

            We should write a letter about disease names. Anyone have Doc’s address?Report

    • Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

      Happy birthday Little Rodney Dangerfield!Report

  5. Chris says:

    Thank you for that, Maribou.Report

  6. Vikram Bath says:

    I don’t think you can tell such an beautiful, wonderful story and then just pretend you didn’t by asking what’s on our docket this weekend.

    I have a couple of songs that have been intractably linked to heartache for me. I listened to them on repeat while feeling depressed. They are popular though, so I can’t really avoid them. I do mentally numb my hearing when they come on so I’m not tearing up when I’m busy trying to buy groceries or get an oil change.

    • Glyph in reply to Vikram Bath says:

      I’m an old man so I repeat myself, but this song isn’t linked to heartache for me.

      Which is lucky, because this is one that still stuns me, all these years after I first heard it as a high-schooler. I still think it’s absolutely remarkable that someone made a pop song that’s as catchy as this one is, with no chorus – the “chorus” is that indelible shimmering, descending riff, which stopped me dead in my tracks then and still does, if I let it. For all that the Cure may have become a punchline in their Stoneslike old age, Robert Smith is one of the premier pop songwriters of my time; for a while there he was just touched by genius, capable of penning hooks upon hooks.Report

      • Vikram Bath in reply to Glyph says:

        [Everything you said, but a said much awkwardly.]

        I didn’t know the Cure became a punchline. Well, I think there was a South Park episode where one of them says “Disintegration” was their best album, but what’s the standing joke?

        I did learn to play the song on the guitar, using the loosest standards possible. I was just playing the background chords and not the descending riff. I played it once for someone who wasn’t really into music, but even she couldn’t help but be disappointed by its absence.Report

        • Glyph in reply to Vikram Bath says:

          I think that South Park is actually pretty complimentary. But I got grief back then due to their (perceived) “woe-is-me”/fright-hair image; an even some fans such as myself think they’ve basically been treading water for two decades now, just staying in their comfort zone and churning out more of the same for tours and the diehards. Hence my Stones comparison.

          And like the Stones, had the Cure hung it up after their best days were clearly behind them, no jokes would be made, and their legendary status would be unquestioned, IMO.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Glyph says:

            Bloodflowers was not that bad, all things considered, but it’s a “put it on and turn the stereo volume to 3 when you have company over for supper” album rather than the “okay, we’re going to alter our consciousnesses and listen to this album” experience that was Disintegration.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

            Hmm. How much did this contribute to the continuing belovedness of the Beatles?Report

            • Glyph in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              Well, I hate to touch that rail because of how beloved they are, but…yeah. Better to burn out and leave a good-looking corpse and all.

              Stick around and sooner or later you inevitably start to disappoint people, and that unfairly downgrades in people’s minds even your earlier, stellar work.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

                Which for them gets shunted into “Yeah, their solo work just isn’t as good”.

                Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven went out on top (musically). Haydn’s rep does suffer a bit from “110 symphonies? They can’t all be good”, even though some of the late ones are still awesome.Report

              • Glyph in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Yeah, but solo stuff (or even starting a different band) allows people to mentally separate the stuff. Morrissey’s solo career has had its ups and downs, not to mention a few non-musical kerfuffles; but short of the revelation of some sort of Cosby-like serious crime, none of that can really taint the incredibly good work the Smiths did. That work and reputation remain perfectly-preserved.Report

          • greginak in reply to Glyph says:

            Morrisey seems the gold standard for “woe is me” sufferfest.Report

          • Vikram Bath in reply to Glyph says:

            Let me dig into Wikipedia. Wild Mood Swings was released in 1996, and contrary to critics claims, it’s awesome, and I think it holds up really well, and it certainly wasn’t it what I would describe their comfort zone. I actually haven’t heard the entirety of Bloodflowers (2000). This was the first track they released for radio, and if I recall it didn’t to do all that well.

            But there’s another track on Bloodflowers that is hauntingly awesome:

            Apparently in 2004, they released their 12th album, titled The Cure, and in 2008, their 13th album. I didn’t notice either one. What was I doing 2004-2008 anyway? Were these albums bad? Were they fan service?

            On the other hand, their page describes a bunch of touring, some of which was recorded and released, which definitely counts as fan service.

            So, at least as of 1996, they were releasing new and original stuff, contrary to your claim that “they’ve basically been treading water for two decades now.”

            Oh, shit. How long ago was 1996 again?Report

    • Maribou in reply to Vikram Bath says:

      Yeah, there was a little bit of “look over there” to that, huh?

      But also I just really value our Weekend! threads and didn’t want to displace or divert attention from this weekend’s one.

      This song is one I listened to a lot too, but I associate it with Jaybird, since he’s the one who really drove me to get interested in The Cure, so I tend to get excited rather than numb.

      Maybe someday I”ll be brave enough to talk about the songs that I have to numb out, but today isn’t it.Report

  7. Glyph says:

    Very, very nicely-done, Maribou. Thank you.Report

  8. Mike Dwyer says:

    I was lucky enough to date a lot of interesting girls in my single days, although none of them were 100% right for me. I had even more crushes on girls where the timing was off. It’s interesting for me to play the ‘what if’ game in my head, especially now that Facebook allows me to reconnect with them so easily. As I play out how things would have gone I always assume we would have fizzled eventually but the things that upsets me more is when I consider that if I was dating that girl at that time, I might not have been in the right place to meet my wife…and that literally makes my heart hurt. So when you said this:

    “Well,” I said. “Maybe if I’d realized, you and I would never have met. So I guess things worked out for the best.”

    …I really identified with this and how it speaks to a romantic butterfly affect and how sometimes (hopefully) the universe puts the right person in front of us at the right time.

    Oh, and I really enjoyed this post.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Yeah, there are a few romantic what-ifs about which I feel more relief than anything, not because the person wasn’t marvelous, but just because I cannot imagine my life without Jaybird in it.

      This one is more of a … huh… would I even have met Jaybird? And how could all of that have possibly worked out?

      I’m glad you liked it. I love your more personal posts (about hunting, cooking, or anything else you’ve turned your voice to).Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    Maribou already knows all of my stories.

    The ghosts that haunt me mostly revolve around my complete and total social ineptitude in high school mixed with nigh-crippling introversion and the whole “raised in a weird Christian sub-culture thrown into a group of secular folks” thing that result in such things as “HOLY CRAP, SHE WAS FLIRTING WITH YOU” realizations that hit me about 20ish to 30ish years after the fact.

    Though there was the “golly, I’m glad I got dumped by *THAT* bullet!” lynchpin girlfriend (who periodically asks for candy crush turns on the facebook) but she’s not a “what could have been?” as much as a “how much would my life be screwed up now?” thought.

    But, sometimes, I wonder what life would have been like if I hadn’t been socially inept, or introverted, or weird.

    And then I dismiss those thoughts.Report

  10. Burt Likko says:

    I’ve updated the “Musical Selection” feature on the sidebar in honor of this poignant post.Report

  11. Jaybird says:

    OH YEAH! This weekend!

    My spouse is going to Paris and I did all of my social stuff last weekend what with gaming and birthdays and people visiting friends from out of town and whatnot…

    And we did the laundry on Wednesday and Thursday night so we could have packing done by Friday night…

    So after a Friday evening of running out to the grocery store to pick up the right airplane snacks and make sure that we have the right travel toothpaste and whatnot, and dropping off Maribou at the airport tomorrow morning…

    Saturday night, it will just be me and the cats.


  12. Chris says:

    Teenager is going to be at his mom’s house for the first time this year (long story). I came into two season passes to Six Flags, and gave him one on the condition that he take his brother, so the two of them are going with his mom. And it just happens to be the first weekend of SXSW, so I’m going to party like it’s 1999, except that in 1999, except that in 1999 I was 23, and could party a lot more than I can now.

    We are going to shows all day and night tomorrow and during the day Sunday. Then I’m going to sleep for two days, followed by two days of taking the teenager to his first SXSW shows, and two more days of going to the 21 and over stuff.Report

  13. Joe Sal says:

    I got bit young. The One knocked my socks off in kindergarten. It is hard to hold detailed memories for me, most are gone or grow blurry with time. She had big brown eyes and long straight dark hair. A tug on my hand and we were off on a tour of the room as she detailed what and where everything was. There was never a time she didn’t know my feelings for her.

    Over the next several years her indoctrination into conservatism meant a divide would grow between us, not that either of us knew anything about the intimacy of the sins we were supposedly being spared from. From there I did exactly the wrong thing. I sat down in the dead end of a maze I didn’t understand.

    My parents divorced long before this, and I settled into a life of drifting between my fathers stability, and moms nomadic lifestyle. It was either wheat fields and red canyons or the streets of a boom town that went bust five years ago.

    Along the way I heard this song:

    It captures the pain of the drifting years. Most guys talk about dodging bullets, hell most days I tried to figure out if it was a mortal wound.

    Amy pulled me out of that dead end. Pretty eyed, pirates smile, hair of gold and copper.

    Thanks for sharing Maribou, I usually am reluctant to open up about this part of my past, and haven’t told anyone of it.Report

  14. Michael Cain says:

    With little advance notice, my 2.5-year-old granddaughter will be here tomorrow. What can I let her do that I should have let her mother do? My car is really dirty — I’m thinking we’ll start with a trip through the fancy carwash, and while she has to stay in the car seat on the drive there, she sits up front with me while we go through.Report

  15. Jaybird says:

    Just got back from dropping ‘bou off at the airport. Just checked the messages and she’s past security and enjoying breakfast in the little airport café that makes a surprisingly decent breakfast sandwich.


    • Maribou in reply to Jaybird says:


      FYI to any limited mobility travelers out there, I just had incredibly good service from the air canada phone service desk guy. It took like 5 minutes from dialing the number to everything being all set for my Toronto layover (on the way back next weekend).Report

  16. Jaybird says:

    She’s safe and sound at her first connection.

    Just one more connection to go!!!Report