Tire Update

6:00 a.m. Wednesday. Morning. The phone rings.

Hubby: Hello?
MIL: Well, it’s flat now.
MIL: I just went out to get in the car and the tire is completely flat.
Hubby: Oh.
MIL: Are you coming over to fix it?
Hubby: Well, I suppose so. Can I get up first?
MIL: I have to get to coffee with the girls
Hubby: Now?
MIL: No, not until 9:00
Hubby: So, I can get up and maybe get dressed and have my coffee before I come over?
MIL: It’s flat now. I can’t go anywhere. I have to get to coffee.
Hubby: …

Me: I’ll call Sindy. She knows how to bury bodies.

The Human Zoo State Fair

We went to the Iowa State Fair yesterday afternoon. If you’ve never been to a fair, it’s quite the experience. We tend to do the swoop method, as opposed to the lolly-gag method, although, to be honest, we have done the lolly-gag in years past, so we do know how that goes.

It was “Older Iowans” day at the fair. This means small wrinkly smelly slow 60-year-olds could get in cheaper. As we parked our vehicle in the nearby neighborhood, we began the four-block walk to the fairgrounds. Entering the grounds, there were park bench after park bench lined up along the path with shriveled up raisenettes old people sitting on them. Lots of wrap-around black sunglasses, large sun hats, and white oxide nose sun block.

As we moved further into the fairgrounds, it is like coming home. All the smells and sounds are familiar. Every possible food has been fried and put on a stick. Hubby must go directly without passing GO to the beef tent where they serve roast beef, steak and hamburgers. (Normally, we don’t eat for 24 hours before attending the fair to give your stomach the maximum amount of room to fill with fair food.) Then we must search out dessert. Wonder Bars! That works. It is a huge cube of icecream on a stick dipped in chocolate and nuts. Hubby and daughter work on it together as I try and figure out what I want next. I turn and look back at the line for the Wonder Bar booth. There are five women in line, not one of them under 400lbs. Yep. Just what they need. A Wonder Bar.

The fair is where you will see more fat people than you’ve ever seen in your life. Not just moderately heavy, but F-A-T. Now, I’m not Twiggy and never will claim to be. I could stand to lose some weight. But I’m telling you, these people are on the obese order. How they can even walk all over the fairgrounds is amazing to me! Besides the F-A-T people, there are way too many examples of inbreeding. You can tell. Trust me.

I could swear I saw this girl at the fair. She may have even been cloned, as I could have sworn I saw her more than once.

There are lots of things to do and see at the fair. For you citified people who have never attended, here are a few of the things you have missed:

  • The biggest hog
  • The biggest steer
  • The butter cow (this is a cow sculpted out of butter)
  • The Tiger Woods butter sculpture with his pet tiger butter sculpture (changes yearly)
  • The biggest pumpkin
  • The Honey Queen (Daughter and I felt she probably should have been the Pork Queen.. )
  • The story of corn
  • The hog-calling contest
  • The husband-calling contest
  • The rolling-pin throwing contest
  • The horse/hog/beef/sheep/chicken/small animal barns
  • The big slide
  • The Flea Market
  • Snakes Alive!
  • The quilts and sewing and crafts and needlework displays
  • The farm equipment
  • The livestock equipment (automatic waterer, anyone?)
  • The Hall of Flame (as pleasant as it sounds – run by the Iowa Highway Patrol – do YOU wear your seatbelt? Hmmm?)
  • The Varied Industries building – (think infommercial on crack)
  • The Cultural Center – photos, paintings, other art – my favorite place of all
  • Funnel cakes, chicken on a stick, chinese food, corn dogs, watermelon in a cup, homemade potato chips, pork chops on a stick, gyros, deep-fried twinkies, grilled turkey legs, fresh lemonade, sweet potato fries, giant cinnamon rolls, salt-water taffy, cotton candy, real ice cream, apple slices, the beer tent
  • The tractor pull
  • The live concerts that are free throughout the fair
  • The live concerts that are not free at the Grandstand almost every night
  • The Bill Riley talent sprouts contest
  • The Blue Grass rides run by people from “Carnivale

These are just a few of the things that are highlights of the fair. As we left the fairgrounds, we passed bus after bus after bus lined up to take the senior citizens back to where they came from – in time for dinner at The Home, most likely. As I say, the people by far are the best. I just wish I’d remembered my camera!

The Other Side

I know a lot of women who have been treated badly by a spouse or boyfriend, myself included. I’ve often said, “You can’t truly know what is going on in a relationship unless you are one of the people involved.” I generally stick by that rule. In the interest of fairness, today I am presenting The Other Side.

Brad (name has been changed to protect the innocent) started working three days after I did. For at least two weeks I thought his name was something else because his last name is like another first name, and he speaks so quietly I thought his last name was his first name. He’s a good looking younger man who is fresh off the farm. Gullibility should not be punished.

I don’t know how they met, but a couple of years after he’d been working here, he met a woman. A big city woman. She was drop-dead gorgeous. She was a working woman, a sophisticated woman. A nice woman. So we all thought.

They dated for a year. They seemed to get along great! She would come into the office and joke with the other guys, and they had married young couples they would hang around with and go out with that were stable and good influences. All seemed right with the world. He proposed. She accepted.

She moved out of the big city and changed jobs to be closer.

Her mother was 3x divorced and didn’t have a lot of money, so the youngsters saved and scrimped and basically paid for the wedding themselves. It was beautiful and she was beautiful and he was so handsome and the angels smiled.

The year was going by in a whirlwind. They came to the office Christmas party at our house. They played pool, drank, ate and laughed. Whenever I saw them, they were smiling and hugging and touching and kissing. They’d been married 10 months.*

In December they bought a little house in the country and began thinking of fixing it up. In February they celebrated their anniversary with laughter and travel – she and their best friends ‘kidnapped’ him from work and drove to Kansas City for the weekend. Reports were that fun was had by all.

By April she was complaining. They didn’t have enough money. He was working two jobs. She was working one. She got a little dog that he went home every noon to let out. The guys at work teased him. I thought it was sweet. He hated the dog – then grew to like it a lot.

By May she was hard to live with. He was sleeping on the couch more than he was in the bed.

By June she decided she wanted a trial separation. She left to stay with a girlfriend.

Last weekend she moved out for good. He’s turned in his notice at work. They’re selling the house. He’s moving back home to the farm. She’s moved back to the big city. She took the dog, the furniture, and everything else that wasn’t nailed down. He just watched her go.

I’ve watched this guy go from a quiet, shy, happy kid (shut up…he’s 20-years my junior, so, yes, he’s a kid) to a guy who thought he was on top of the world with the girl of his dreams, back to the quiet, shy, unhappy guy of today. He just couldn’t give her what she wanted. She thought she was getting some guy to take care of her, and found out she had champagne taste on a beer budget. She’d been raised on her momma’s knee that she was a princess and by golly, should be treated like one – at least financially. She drove him into debt, then ran off and left him holding the bag along with his heart.

I know there are a lot of you women out there who have been left holding that bag by a man. I just want to remind you….there sometimes is another side.

*I found out later this spring that she ended up pissing off several of my co-workers that night while I was upstairs setting out food. After that night, they didn’t have much time for her. They never told Brad, so it wasn’t influencing him and they didn’t want him to feel badly that they didn’t like her anymore, but I just wonder if she was already plotting her escape…