By Gordon Robinson
The Old Ball and Chain (BC) takes plenty flak in these columns. How do I know? Lerner/Loewe warns:
... Let a woman in your life,
and your sabbatical is through.
In a line that never ends
come an army of her friends;
come to jabber and to chatter,
and to tell her what the matter is with you!
I have my sources.
Recent events made me reflect. SputNick, her 'Baby', barged into the bedroom interrupting my beached-whale impression.
"Daddy, I went downstairs for supper. Mummy wasn't home!" Distress turned to inspiration, "I remember. She's taken Grandma to doctor."
I looked puzzled. He reasoned, "She'll be tired and hungry. If we just wait, she'll bring something home."
SputNick, a college student, won't make himself a sandwich. Instead, Mummy, despite running herself ragged doing family errands and single-handedly attending to her 86-year-old mother, is expected to "bring something home". After further review, I recognised this testament to her greatness as wife and mother.
So this story of her journey from birth to butt of my public humour is meant to set the record straight. It began circa 1960 when my family moved to 16 Gardenia Avenue, Mona Heights. The McLeans ('Daddy Mac', a ham radio enthusiast; his Finnish wife, whom he married in England; and their children, Michael and Susan) lived at No. 17. Michael and I became friends. Susan was a necessary nuisance (I was six; she a girl). Within a year, Karen (another girl, hence an intolerable nuisance to us older boys) was born.
Soon the McLeans moved. Upsetter, a lifelong friend, moved into No. 17. I forgot about the McLeans. Eventually, my parents divorced. When my mother remarried, I lived with her initially on Aralia Drive. I was 16 when we moved to Anthurium Drive, only to discover the McLeans lived across the road.
Obviously, nine-year-old Karen was stalking me.
I was born on 'the Rock';
had a childhood sweetheart.
We were always hand in hand.
She was still annoying but had her uses. When I locked myself out, I pushed the skinny 10-year-old through metal louvres to open the door. She says she negotiated a fee which I never paid. I don't recall.
I wore hightop shoes and shirt tails;
Karen was in pig tails,
I know I loved her even then.
She hounded me relentlessly. Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. As a teenager, she ordered pizza as our wedding cake. I thought she was joking. She's a huge Steveland Morris fan (apologies for 'adjusting' that genius' lyrics) and regularly gave me Stevie Wonder albums at Christmas. That I liked.
TIED THE KNOT
Finally, when she turned 20, she wore me down. We tied the knot (around my neck).
Here I am baby
Signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours.
She was warned I wouldn't amount to anything.
You know my papa disapproved it.
My mama boohooed it.
But I told them time and time again,
'Don't you know I was made to love her?
Built a world all around her?'
Hey, hey, hey.
Old BC proved them wrong. She was the bigger earner. I was happily a 'kept' man. After 13 months, The Computer Whiz joined the family. She made every arrangement to buy a town house in a new development. I first saw it on moving in.
She's been my inspiration;
for the love I gave her through the years.
When The Ampersand arrived, she stopped 'work' to focus on her children, forcing me to learn work ethic.
I know that my baby loves me.
My baby needs me.
That's why we made it through the years.
Since these columns began, she's been a self-appointed first-instance editor. Normally, she vets/approves every word. But I slipped today's column past her. On seeing this, she'll blow several gaskets.
To the thousands wondering how'd she find herself in this pickle, it's elementary. I caught her early before she could experience better. Ignorance translated into marital bliss.
All through thick and thin
our love just won't end,
'cause I love my baby, love my baby ...
Old BC's the cornerstone around which the family's built. She educated three lazy sons with little help from the formal system. Her 30-hour days involve doing all administrative family functions; driving hither, thither and yon; entertaining magnificently at a moment's notice; and protecting her idle, antisocial husband from personal contact. She's Superwoman.
My baby loves me;
my baby needs me;
and I know I ain't going nowhere ...
Peace and love.
Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to email@example.com.