Blogs by Linda Lange
THE CHAPTER MY HUSBAND MUSTN'T READ
6/17/2012 9:30:17 AM
Please don't tell my husband about this!
(An Excerpt from Incomplete Passes)
A few days ago, my husband, Scott, went out to our mailbox. He was dismayed that the carrier had left the day’s mail, but had not picked up the outgoing mail Scott had left in the box. “I’m calling the post office,” he said.
“They’ll just ask you why the flag wasn’t up,” I told him.
“I never put the flag up, and you know why,” he replied. And he called the post office.
A few seconds later I could hear him explaining to a USPS representative that raising the flag broadcasts to the world there is outgoing mail in the box. The mail—and perhaps our identity—could easily be stolen. He went on to say that mailboxes shouldn’t even have flags because of the security issue.
Scott does have a point. But now that you know how he feels about security, you’ll understand why I won’t let him read the following chapter from my memoir, Incomplete Passes. You can read it, if you promise not to tell.
Sunday morning, September 23, 2007. The sky is blue; the sun is bright. The air is full of crispness and promise and probably a bit of paper-mill effluvium, since we are, after all, in Green Bay. The Packers are 2−0, and they play the San Diego Chargers this afternoon. Nobody really expects them to have an undefeated season, but it is still mathematically possible, so all of fandom is in a good mood. There was a parade
yesterday, to honor the fiftieth anniversary of Lambeau Field. It was a clunky, but charming, little home-grown parade with vintage cars and vintage players, including Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, and Max McGee. It had high-school bands, cheerleading students from a local academy, and (I think) a couple of the original Golden Girls cheerleaders from the sixties. It was totally Green Bay. It was totally perfect.
Pam and I come out of the Days Inn−Lambeau Field at about quarter to eight in the morning. As is our custom, I’m driving her to Mass before the game. As I locate my car, I recall that I had a spot of trouble parking it last night. The lot was almost full. As I attempted to pull out and re-enter at the far end of the lot, I almost hit a sawhorse that was blocking the exit. I hadn’t had much to drink and my night vision is still fair, but the sawhorse was painted Packer green and was difficult to see in the dark. Another sawhorse was sitting in a perfectly good parking space. Del and Carla jumped out of the car and removed the obstruction so I could park. A group of revelers, sitting on the ground in the corner of the lot, were yelling at me, but I ignored them. I had my Days Inn parking pass on my dashboard, so I had a right to be there.
As I approach my car in the morning light, my first impression is that someone is playing a practical joke on me. A figure is draped over my steering wheel, a small man in a plaid shirt. I suddenly realize that ohmigod, this is not a dummy, this is a real man, and in all the confusion I obviously forgot to lock my car last night. I rap on the window and the man raises his head. I am so relieved that he is not dead that I don’t scream, I don’t call 911, I simply open the door and announce, “This is my car.”
“Oh, okay,” he says politely. He climbs out and strolls away. I check the car. Nothing has been taken and nothing extraneous left behind except a pervasive odor of alcohol.
Pam and I roll down the windows and continue on to Nativity of Our Lord Church on Oneida Street. It is Game Day Morning, and all is right with the world.
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