Saturday, August 7, 2010

Golden Years

An old man mows the lawn as his frail wife slowly picks up sticks that might be in his way.  He sweats in the hot sun and she brings him a glass of cold water. He drinks it, hands her the empty glass and returns to his work without words.

At the grocery he pushes the cart and she collects items from the shelves.  He pauses when they come to the soup section.  She doesn't need to tell him that they are out of tomato soup.  At the meat counter he stops to admire some steaks.  She keeps walking and picks up a package of chicken breasts.  He silently puts the steaks back and pushes the cart along.  They hold on to each other as they take their purchases to their car.

Ah, isn't that sweet?  Cute little ol' couple. They've been married so long they don't even need to talk.  She knows when he is thirsty.  They work together.  She is concerned about his cholesterol.  A gentleman, he takes the heavier part. They hold on to each other because they're so much in love.

Well, maybe.

Or maybe they met a few years ago on  Maybe she picks up the sticks because she knows it's the only way he'll get the grass cut.  Maybe she brings him water because she doesn't want him  getting sick and laying around all week.  Maybe he hates chicken and tomato soup, but it seems to be the only damn thing she knows how to cook. Maybe he pushes the mower and the cart because he doesn't trust her driving. Maybe they hold on to each other because they're both so full of gin they're in danger of falling. And maybe they don't talk because he's sick and tired of hearing her nag and she's sick and tired of him not listening.

You just never know.


  1. For every action there is a reaction. You make your point interestingly simple, but with just the right amount of pathos. A nice touch.

  2. As a confirmed Romantic, I choose your first scenario—it is beautifully written and touching, Fay.

    I reject the second scenario just because I can.

  3. thanks.
    Charlie, my dear, I respect your right to reject any scenario you want.
    Neither scenario is right or wrong - I'm just sayin'. You never know by lookin'.

  4. i liked this post .. its sweet, touching and funny ...