Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Frank Sinatra Can Kiss My Rosy Red Ass

Once upon a time there was a young woman who fell in love with a young man who liked Frank Sinatra in a hipster-ish "oh look at me, how clever and anachronistic I am" kind of way.  She loved him and he loved Frank Sinatra, so she saved up her money and scalped some tickets to surprise the young man for his birthday.  They went to see Frank Sinatra put on a show with a bunch of aging femme fatales wearing mink stoles and bright red lipstick and their husbands wearing tasseled loafers and English Leather.  

And it was all very ironic and adorable.  And time passed.  Periodically during the twenty years that passed, the young man would get out his Frank Sinatra CDs and wax nostalgic about a time before he was born.  And the young woman would murmur and nod uncertainly at the young man's range of musical appreciation.  From the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Dvorak and back.  Via Frank Sinatra.

And then the years of drinking that the young man had done turned him in to an old man.  An old man who put Frank Sinatra on his iPad and lay in bed for hours at night with the music so loud you could hear it across the room leaking from the earbuds.  With his eyes closed and a beatific smile on his face, bobbing his head up and down. So happy.  And so pathetic in his sappy happiness.

The young woman, now a "mature" woman, lay down next to the old man tripping out on Frank Sinatra and tapped him on the shoulder to tell him that the music was too loud.   Adding to the lengthening list of things she is dislikes about him, he is growing deaf.  He is gradually and inexorably descending into geezerhood.  He snores, he farts, he wears his bathrobe all day, then grows chilly and jacks up the heat rather than getting dressed.   He makes endless cups of tea that he lets get cold while he lies on the couch and lets the chaos of the household swirl around him unnoticed.

The mature woman calls to the old man.  "Honey?  Honey?"  He continues to lead the Nelson Riddle arrangement of the strings that accompany Ol' Blue Eyes.  She shakes his shoulder.  "The music's too loud, I can hear it across the room,  you should turn it down, you're going to hurt your ears."  She speaks to him as though speaking to a child.  As so many people do, he is becoming more childlike as he ages.  And more childish, too, it seems, because at her touch he sits bolt upright and yanks the earbuds away.  "What do you want?"  he growls.  He sets the iPad down on the bedside table.  He is clearly quite angry.  "I'm sorry," she says, as she always does.  "It's just that the music was so loud, I thought it must be hurting your eardrums."  She can see she has completely fucked up.  Of course he was enjoying himself, having a moment, transported in his nostalgia to a place and time before he was born.  And now she has ruined it.  

She tries to placate him.  "Go ahead, put it back on, I didn't mean you had to stop listening."  And as always, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," in an endless apologetic litany.  "No," he says. "Never mind.  Forget it."  He gets out his puzzle book.  He won't exonerate her by resuming his private concert.    She turns away, gets out her book and begins to read.  She stares past the words on the page, lost in bewilderment.  When had her life become like this, how did her marriage grow so diseased?  The years pass, and like lava, the discontent seeps, then spreads.  She is married to an old man she doesn't respect because he likes Frank Sinatra, not ironically, not as a hipster, but for real.  

The message she hears when he listens to his music is this:   This is who I am, this is who I have become, someone you don't like and didn't sign on for and can't understand how you came to be saddled with.  And you are trapped. 

And in reply the message she thinks is this:    Fuck that noise.  Fuck you  and your iPad and your earbuds and your pouting and your drinking and your denial.   Kiss my rosy red ass.  You and Frank Sinatra both.


  1. you got it klonnie. fuck that shit. get on with your young, beautiful life.

    *cue some black keys*

  2. Well said, Klonnie. My suggestions, FWTW: hie thy ass to AlAnon; make a plan (admittedly, this is easy to say/write, but not so easy to actually do); visualize what the solutions might look like and and how they may become reality; set up a secret bank account, if you haven't already; trust your gut. Ya hear me? Trust your gut.

  3. Wow! Just, wow! Please let me know when you are going to write the selfhelp book for women trapped in a marriage just like that.

  4. ugh. So beautiful and devastating. THIS is your gift and your power to be writing like this, about this.

  5. Okay, shit. You're making me remember some things that I don't want to remember and I am simply amazed that you are still with this man after all these years. You are a far stronger woman than I was, and will probably ever be. I married "one of those" only didn't realize it until I was pregnant, I only lasted 5 years (and 2 kids) with him. He's been to prison twice for DUI's (Nevada is a bitch about that).

    Anyhow, I don't want this comment published, cuz that's not what it's for - only to let you know that I can commiserate on so many levels with what you say so often and to let you know that you are most defiantly not alone.

    I think I've finally solved my whole internet MPD BTW - LOL


  6. Even when writing of the saddest things, you are the loveliest writer.

  7. Ok girl LYLAS but seriously...GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HEAD!!! OMG this is my life! The hubs goes through the same range of music (his is Dave Matthews to Ol' Blue Eyes and Dean Martin to Rusted Root to Montgomery Gentry...) and will rationalize his drinking (a response to a previous blog entry of yours) to "I need to calm my nerves" instead of getting his ass to the doctor and get some sort of therapy going on (he has missed probably 2 dozen + appointments in the last 12 months and will reschedule just to appease me) and his anger is OH.MY.GOD.OUT.OF.FUCKING.CONTROL but he attributes it to being "half Italian" (his mother is Italian and is the most mild mannered person I know).

    I used to do the apologizing for "pissing him off" but he will immediately come back with "you know I love you but..." blah blah blah bullshit. I've learned after 14 years that the words I say are a lie and his response to my lie is also a lie. I just have to convince myself that my apologies to him aren't warranted and he needs help--help I cannot give him. Does this mean the "D" word? Maybe. This post didn't bring that out. It's been there for a while. One thing after another has lead to me wanting to do that but knowing financially I cannot live on my own on less than $1000 a month in Social Security disability.

    I'm way off track...thank you for sharing your most private thoughts (that's the way they seem to me) and your life. I've got more reading to do so I'll be back :)

  8. You are a magical wordsmith! Nothing worse than the old, "no, nevermind" from their mouths. Bah.

  9. Really. I have grown into the woman that I couldnt believe could live like that. I am, as we speak, counting down til it comes barrel assing in, slobbering all over me, repeating the same story he told me yesterday, and asking the same questions I answered yesterday. THEN, the countdown til he passes out and I can clean up starts. Tomorrow I will wake up and do it again.

  10. Wow. A glimpse at my life. My hubby will drink and then turn on the desktop and play his music as loud as he wants. He does this without any regard for what myself or the children are doing at that moment. I have always hated that about him. I have recently realized that we are not what we once were...and never will be. We will argue about it...he will apologize the next day..."won't happen again"....blah..blah...blah..

  11. Oh my it sounds like the situation I was in. What started out as the 'perfect couple' & 'gee, you two look like brother & sister, so perfect together' quickly unraveled due to his prescription drug abuse. At least he had the courtesy to die on the family room couch. Almost 7 years have passed & I still can't believe what I put up with and WHY. Left me alone with our 3 kids. Alone was, and still is, preferable to living that fucking nightmare.