There Ain’t No God!

That’s possibly my favorite movie line of all time, from The Goddess. Kim Stanley’s character shrieks this bon mot at her born-again mother.

I always suspected there ain’t no god, even as a kid. Sunday school, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services – it all sounded like overripe goobledegook to me. I flat out refused to participate in Bat Mitzvah or confirmation hoopla. Just couldn’t stand up there and spout that nonsense.

My doubts as to the existence of a heavenly being were confirmed when the doctors’ okayed my invalid father in law to fly cross country. To our home. With his spouse. Come on. That was the longest two weeks of my life, installing the animals who raised the Lord & Master in my bedroom. I made what I call the Ultimate Sacrifice and slept downstairs in the basement with my bigger half.

At least his folks came with the saintly Patricia, who took care of my father in law. The tales of his rages are legendary, but by the time I came onto the scene, he was in a wheelchair. But still vital, as evidenced by his ability to physically fight with his unbeloved from his metal confines.

I don’t think my f.i.l. actually knew my name. As the L&M’s third wife, he kept it simple and called me Doll. I was fine with that.

A preschool Sassafrass had a classmate over for play time. During their visit, I actually heard my f.i.l. tell the little boy, “Beat it, kid. Go home.” Charming.

The L&M conducted a business meeting in the living room while his folks screamed at top volume, at each other, two rooms away. Nonstop. Delightful.

The L&M’s mother carried on about his basement digs, as if he were sleeping atop the car inhaling exhaust fumes, when, in fact, he chose the lower half of the house for his bedroom and office chambers so he wouldn’t have to climb any stairs.  Her snide kvetching was the muzak of their trip. Enchanting.

I do remember waving and smiling maniacally as their car back to the airport pulled away from our street. Free at last.

The one unexpected legacy of their visit was the L&M’s discovery of his father’s plastic urinal bucket, which rested jauntily on the side of his wheelchair. My sweetheart thought this was the most spectacular bauble he’d even laid eyes upon. Next thing I knew, he’d invested in a trio of ’em – one for his boudior, one for the home office and one to take to work. He’s even pulled over on the highway and made an instant stall between the two car doors. I can almost (but not quite) understand using this contraption at night, so he doesn’t have to dismantle his sleep apnea face mask, but during the day? The hike to his prized powder room is a matter of steps. Why’d he bother with that Dream Loo if he prefers living outhouse style inside our home?

All in all, I’m grateful that my husband resembles his awful parents only in this one little weird quirk.


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