Thursday, July 11, 2013

Of Operculi & Buttermilk

Dear John,
What a strange day! I feel like I've been scaled, gutted, and filleted. And my head cut off right behind the operculum.
I know you remember that! We went to Myrtle Beach for a vacation a couple of years after we were married, and I took you to Conway to meet Al and Aunt Bonnie. You and Al were outside cleaning fish for dinner while Aunt Bonnie and I were in the kitchen. My parents had taught you to fish the summer before we were married, but you'd never cleaned them. Al told you to cut the head off, and you weren't sure where to cut. You were nervous about meeting yet more of my family, and couldn't for the life of you remember the word "gill." Being you, you could, of course, remember the zoological term. So you asked him if you should cut right behind the operculum. Al gave you that great look he had and drawled as slow as he could, whether you meant gill. He loved that so much, and never let any of us forget it. You sealed your place in his heart with that word.
It's been one of those days.
Remember when I said I'd feel physically and emotionally better? It was overly optimistic. I feel like I've been trampled by a herd of wild boars and I've been teary all day. I cried most of the way home, and it's my own fault because I decided to listen to the radio instead of a CD. But who knew the oldies station was going to play Don't Fear the Reaper? I heard it this time as if you were speaking to me. It started a couple of miles west of Millersburg, and I cried until Buttermilk Corner. (How would any of us around here communicate if a tanker truck full of buttermilk hadn't overturned there? They even named the power station "Buttermilk Substation." Officially. About fifteen years ago a tanker full of shampoo overturned there - harder to clean up than buttermilk, but not nearly as poetic. Anyway.)
I just had an hour-long adventure with Macy's. Your account was closed after your death, and I have my own Macy's card now. I tried to set up an online account, but it wouldn't let me because my email address was connected with your account. I tried to go into your old account and change your email address, but it wouldn't let me in. So I called the Customer Service number. And that's when the fun started.
They had no path to talk to a person, so I had to argue with the computer voice until it gave up and passed me on to "Michael," who passed me on to "Robin," who were in India and there was a language barrier. You should have heard me trying to explain that my husband had a card, and he died, and his account was closed, and I have a card, and tried to set up an online account, and couldn't because my email was tied up in his account, so I needed the email address released . . .   They finally passed me on to somebody in the Department for Deceased Person's Accounts. Yes, there is such a thing. I was still in India, but this was a geek and her English was better. She told me to set up my Profile with a fake email account, then immediately change the email, and it worked. Sneaking in the computer's back door - I needed a geek for that advice. So I'm finally set up.
We do manage to have adventures, don't we? I will go to bed exhausted and should sleep well. And I hope for a boring day tomorrow, but that's most unlikely.
Love you, adore you, worship the ground you walk on,

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