Thursday, March 02, 2017

Guest Blogger



Today, MY HUSBAND is 60 years old. There---I’ve admitted it, I’m a cradle robber. [ (That is if two year olds can go around robbing cradles—but I digress.) (That’s one of the things we have in common, btw)].

I asked him the other day if he would like a card for his birthday, or the $6.99 plus tax it was going to cost to buy one. I love him, and he’s worth $6.99 plus tax, but c’mon, for a card? There is one other thing though. Did you ever notice when buying a “Spouse” birthday card, that all the good things it can say about the recipient is who they are in relationship to you?

“You’ve been there for ME”

 “You always support ME”

 “All the things you do for OUR family”,

 or the trite, “You help ME out with the cooking”

 What the What? I don’t even want to know I have a kitchen in my house. If there is one, I want to pretend it’s Hazel Burke behind that closed door.

Even cards to “My Son/Grandson” say something along the line of how proud they are of the Man you’ve become. A standalone person, not just a spawn. But try finding a “To my Husband” card with the same sentiment.

Growing up Catholic, there is a tradition, (Well there are many traditions, but I digr.....you get it) ahem, there’s a tradition where, whenever you visit a Catholic Church you’ve never been to before.(This is where Jim would write “Wow, I didn’t even know there is a Saint Ralph, did he get canonized for his bus driving or his bowling?) As I said, when you go to a Catholic church you’ve never been to before, you get three wishes. All my adult life, they’ve been the same three. “Find a good job, lose weight, have a boyfriend”. The last one we can scratch off, the 1st two are eternal.

Throughout my tearful late 20’s early 30’s I had a very specific list of qualifications for said boyfriend. The inspiration was from the little know prelude to the song, “Smoke gets in your eyes” from my 2nd favorite movie “Roberta:

                Lovely to look at, delightful to know, and Heaven to kiss,
                The combination of this, is a most impossible scheme come true, imagine
                Finding a dream like you”

And to this I added that he had to be a “good man”.

A Good Man, in Yiddish, is a Mensch.  Jim is a Mensch. (Not to be confused with his little chum Fred who is a Goodman, but also a Mensch.)  Anyone who has ever played in a Softball team with him, knows Jim is fiercely Loyal. It would take A LOT for him to miss a game. I often equate him to Charlie Brown, standing on the mound in the pouring rain, mitt in hand, saying “It’s not that bad”. The current M Street commissioner lives out of town part of the year and leaves it up to statistician Sully to decide if a game should be called. Mark, you’d have better luck making the call from Florida.

Jim isn’t a “phone” person, and don’t even mention texting or tweeting to him. So, apart from Facebook, he doesn’t communicate with friends and family members much. That doesn’t mean he is any less of a good relation. He just doesn’t do the daily triad reporting I do with my siblings. An only child, if there are any faults, Jim believes Compromise is “just a word for letting the other fella get his way”. But if you ask him to do you a favor, he’ll be there with bells on (insert wisecrack imagery).  He is NOT a fan of Hospitals, yet when his 2nd, or 3rd Cousin Dorothy was in a Nursing home, and had no other relatives, Jim visited with her, making the 30 minute each way ride every week. He also made sure the feral cats she had been feeding were taken care of.

He likes animals---but doesn’t think baby animals are cute---unless on Youtube doing some dumb kitten learning to be cat thing. He won’t kill bugs or mice, rather releasing them outside, even after HIS WIFE got cellulitis around her eye from a spider bite. –CUE SECONDARY YIDDISH EXPRESSION.

I refer to our home a “Luftmensch Manor”.  From what I can gather, a Luftmensch is still a good man, but somewhat of a “penniless fool”. His desire to good exceeds his common sense or his ability to do so.

The 1st time this example was shown to me, was about a month after we met, I was going to Ireland for a week to visit my brother at University there. He offered me a ride to the airport---no one had ever done that---what a mensch---but when my flight home got switched to an evening arrival, he picked me up even though his car did not have working headlights. He couldn’t afford to get them fixed because he spent his check on a Vet’s bill for an abandoned cat he found. Ahhh…Luftmensch—he’s endangering my life, but he helped that cat he found!!!

He is also a loyal die hard Boston sports fan, at least in between games, while watching them, he can tend to be a little, shall we say, bossy, towards our television, most notably a recent football game.
He rarely gets angry at people, and if he takes his anger out, it’s usually on inanimate objects, like punching a door off its hinges because he had a tooth ache. Or, when the new Selectric typewriter I bought him wouldn’t cooperate and I found the pieces of a kitchen chair in the back yard.

“Why’d you break the chair?”

“Because I was mad at the typewriter”

“So, why’d you break the chair?”

“Because the typewriter is new”.


 One day I came home and saw some chocolate cake bits on the floor. It was July 1st. With a wife’s intuition, I asked, “Did you kick a cake? ”….sheepishly he admitted he did, and pointed to the Canada Day cake he had made and flung out into the yard after beating it up. But he’s a Luftmensch, he had already made another cake, using cups of powdered Slim Fast when he ran out of cocoa. (man, that cake was good, if not very very fattening).

He doesn’t fancy babies much, because they can’t talk and therefore he can’t reason with them. When they are older, he comes right down to their level and he loves to play with them and they love to play with him. May I repeat, he comes right down to their level. Never leave your children alone when playing with Jim Sullivan. Pleas of “Uncle Jim, can I have some sugar?” may result in a 5-pound bag being handed to your 4 year old.

Jim is also very very smart. How do I know this? He came in second place on a Game Show on PBS, and PBS doesn’t even have a national game show!! (any more). He’s tried out for the Original “Who wants to be a millionaire” and if our phone button didn’t stick, he’d be on the show when the 1st million was won. He tried out for the daytime Millionaire in NYC and did great, except for the personality part, after which he was sent home. Buy hey, we’re not talking personality, we’re talking smart. He has tried out for Jeopardy a few times, and he will get there someday if he can conquer their odd  online testing system. Meanwhile, he’ll just answer most of the questions on TV, yelling at them when they don’t make the right bet going into finally Jeopardy. “Not everyone can do math in their head” I tell him. “Grrrr” he responds. Able to Count Cards, yet not doing it in Vegas for fear of getting caught, it’s not illegal, but very frowned upon, so he would be embarrassed if he got caught. See, Luftmensch.

He’s a talented, witty writer. But you know that. I am blessed that through him I have been able to get to know you, some in person, some in warm spirit. He was even asked by the daughter of a blogfriend from across the pond, whom he had never met, to write an obituary because the mother always enjoyed the way he wrote.

I could go on, about his deep spiritual beliefs, that he doesn’t bite his nails, he only smokes in one room of the house and the car, that the cashiers at the Stop N Shop love to flirt with him at 6 AM on a Saturday morning, how he once, when cashed strapped used a Credit card to send some kids to the Circus with the Jimmy Fund. Luftmensch. Good Man.

He may want to add some more stuff, because he’ll have to edit this. I have no idea how to get this from a word document into a Blogspot. I know one thing, next time, with more better stuff, because it will be written by MY husband.

13 comments:

Hilary said...

What a sweet, loving tribute to YOUR HUSBAND! I immediately thought of Dorothy when I began reading that very paragraph. YOUR HUSBAND brought her cat-loving soul to life for us.

And he made a Canada Day cake (or two)?? Be still my Canukian heart. :)

Happy 60th Birthday, Suldog. Wishing you everything you wish for yourself. But it sounds like you've already got the very best of that. <3

Barbara said...

This was a joy to read! None of this comes as much of a surprise to me, after reading Jim's blog for several years now. But what I love most is that he found someone who was the perfect partner for him, who recognized what a good man he is. We all know what a good person and partner you are for him, from all of his posts, of course. Happy 60th birthday, Jim!

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

If I remember correctly, you have to be careful when you say nice things about the Suldog... or is it only when presenting him awards?

I already made my wish for a happy birthday over at f/b.

This post gets BACON

Jackie said...

I couldn't wait to get here to read this!
It is wonderfully written with an insight about a guy we all know and love and a lovely insight into the woman behind the man. You two are perfect for each other....soul mates, for sure.
As I was reading, I could picture that kitchen chair being hurled across the yard. I smile. It's the typewriter's fault for being new...yet flawed. And, the game-show-loving and expert-playing Sully buzzing in ahead of the contestants ...astounded that answers from the TV weren't forthcoming.... I smile again. There are so many reasons we as his blogging friends love him. Among them is that he is honest and kind in each and every thing he says and does. We can count on him to be the real deal...no filters, yet his words are guided by love. He found the perfect soul mate, and I am so happy to call you my friends. I hope to meet you both one day.
Wonderful Blogpost, His Dear Wife. You are the smile in his eyes.
Happy birthday , Jim.
Hugs to you both.
Love,
Jackie

LuluRN said...

You are such a good writer too JIM'S WIFE! Love you both! Made for each other♡♡

Craig said...

Oh, my goodness (which, I admit, is not always all that I'd wish it were). . . this is wonderful. Thank you, Sully's WIFE, for this delightful peek behind the curtain.

I've got to say, that any conversation that begins with, "Did you kick a cake?" is pure bloggity gold. . .

Happy 60th to the Birthday Boy, and many happy returns of the day to all the denizens of Luftmensch Manor (you think that's gonna just fade quietly away, don't you? Hahahahahahahahahaha. . .)

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday my dear dear son. I wish I had the way with words both of you do. You definitely didn't get that talent from me. I love you both dearly and hope to see you soon to celebrate in person. The eclairs ar bought and waiting!!!!!!!

silly rabbit said...

Happy birthday Jim! I love this post. I can see further proof of why you two are meant for each other. I must say too, that as your WIFE gets to know some of us, we also get to know HER. Well done! Much enjoyed!

It's.a.crazy.world said...

Happy birthday! What a wonderful tribute....loved reading it! The both of you are blessed to have found each other....hugs

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Beautifully written and a wonderful account of a man we all enjoy knowing from this blog. Many best wishes to you both. :)

messymimi said...

A wonderful tribute, and i wish him many happy returns of the day.

Absolut Ruiness said...

Hey there Jim's WIFE! Well-written by you and well-deserved by HIM of course.
I can see what he loved in you and vice versa. Happy 60th to him!

Daryl said...

having spent time with you, i can actually hear you saying these things and i am going to forward this to Ray who adores you and only pretends to like your husband in order to spend time with you .. ooops i didnt mean to write that or did i ...