kRIS Krankle / guest columnist
founder of M.I.L.D.E.W.
Men with Intimacy and Learning Disorders Experiencing Women
Can a Marriage Survive a Quarantine?
April 24, 2020
I attended a social distance group at M.I.L.D.E.W. recently and it helped me deal with how the wife and I will approach the next few months of lock-up. And actually, that’s the first thing I learned at group – not to call being sequestered with the wife by the term ‘lock-up’.
I learned a lot at group that day especially from Reggie who’s always been pretty much different than the rest of us. He attends group because he wants to find a way to teach his wife to be a better communicator. When I first heard him say that, I told him right to his face – “It sounds like she’s the guy and you’re the chick”. I received a group demerit for that.
So Reggie explained that it wasn’t going well in self-quarantine. Actually, that wasn’t true. Reggie’s wife was doing just fine, but Reggie himself was depressed. That is, Reggie was more depressed than his usual somewhat depressed. The group leader, a very fine-looking woman, Dr. Honeydew, asked him why? Reggie was quick to reply.
“It’s hard to explain. It’s a global crisis, right? We’re quarantined. And Peggy, she already has scheduling conflicts … it’s like nothing’s changed for her – she zooms and Facetimes and I just seem to get lost in the shuffle like it’s always been. I thought maybe this might be a time when, you know, when we could get closer or something. When we could communicate.”
- Dr. Honeydew who most agree is pretty hot, asked Reggie, “What do you want to communicate about?” Reggie responded, “About our feelings.”
I almost lost my lunch … meanwhile, everyone else looked at the floor and rolled their eyes. I thought to myself, here we go, another round of poor Reggie, sensitive Reggie, I-want-to-grow Reggie … Nancytime.
Dr. Honeydew then asked, “Reggie, when you do connect, what do you enjoy talking about?” That sort of struck a chord with me. And it made Reggie pause. He had to search his marriage inventory. So many closets, so few light bulbs.
“I don’t know, we hate politicians I guess … we sort of hate them together. And lawyers, definitely lawyers. Our mutual disgust with lawyers brings us closer. Meter maids. I’m not sure anyone likes meter maids.” The doctor shook her head in a circular motion strategically signaling both yes and no, a graduate school move to make the client feel that the therapist understands.
“An’ I guess how stupid people seem to be,” Reggie confessed “that seems to bring both of us comfort. We definitely like that a lot.” How stupid everyone else is. Classic. I’d seen this before in group. This was red meat for the doctor. ”What do you mean how stupid people seem to be? Explain that to me, Reggie.” Due to the doctor’s major cleavage, no one saw Reggie shrugging his shoulders.
“I don’t know … it’s like a lotta people are way more stupid than we imagined … it’s probably always been that way. I just didn’t notice it so much. I guess it’s just with the pandemic and everything, I’ve realized Peggy doesn’t need me, like at all. She’s totally self-sufficient. She might miss me in the beginning if I go down with the virus, but if push came shove … she really likes being by herself.” Reggie ended there.
In the beginning, looking at Reggie the whole time I’m thinking to myself – crimony, get a pair of huevos will ya? Yet as Reggie droned on as only Reggie can, I began to realize it was like some tune you couldn’t get out of your head … like Neil Sedaka or something, and as the group went on, I began to ask myself that same stupid question over and over again – does the wife need me or not? It was weird because it was a question I’d never asked before.
Of course, the science nerd of the group, Chad, raised his hand and par for the course, he told us something no one wanted to hear. He began with “In crisis, for humanity to survive, it’s best if the females totally outnumber the males.
“Theoretically you only need maybe five males to inseminate the world. You need far more females. Otherwise, repopulating would be way too slow and peter out.” I thought to myself, peter out, well-played Chad.
Sure, I could go deep and ask myself does the wife really need me … I could if I wanted. Unfortunately, she earns more than I do, so I do admit asking that question is a little intimidating from a guy point of view.
I could answer she needs me in a dark alley, you know, for protection. Most men are good for protection – it’s a property issue. But does she need me in the way Reggie is saying?
Sure, just like Reggie’s wife, she’d miss me if I wasn’t around, you know like to watch chick movies on Netflix with her, but she’s one of those women who always has things to do and places to go. The only place I have to go is pretty much to the john and sometimes when I’m in a rush to get there, she’s in the way.
So as it turned out, the moral of the story and that group is I must admit I have to give Reggie credit for making us all think that day. And leave it to the good doctor to sum it up for the peanut gallery – she’s really good at knowing when an hour is over.
“Reggie, it’s o.k. to be vulnerable, to want to be needed or to need someone else yourself. All people need to be needed and that vulnerability is the raw material and glue that binds us all.” When I got home from group, the wife explained what all that meant. Good for Reggie.
Question from reporter Agnes Killjoy
“Walmart reports that there have been five phases of panic-buying in their stores – hand sanitizers, then toilet paper, followed by spiral hams, baking yeast, and currently a run on hair dye. Would you care to comment on the issue of panic-buying?
The Pence Response
Vice President Mike Pence in a soft-spoken voice to the media – “I am here to tell you that no president has done more for the perception of good hair than this president. He could wear a hat, sure he could. But that’s not Donald Trump.
“I am proud to serve this man and will do so as long as it remains in my power to bend over and receive his blessing. I want to encourage the American people – there’s no need to panic. Heed your President. He wants the best for you. Think of it this way – what is the worst thing that can happen? You get the virus, you succumb to it, and you go to Heaven, a place where there is no rent, no lines, no blame, and no abortions.
“And as far as ‘panic-buying’ goes, let me assure you the president stands by his word – like he said for the world to hear, ‘I do give a crap about toilet paper’. And similar to the virus tests, I can assure you that we have more than enough toilet paper to go around, and plenty of gentle lubricant I may add.
“And what’s the harm having fun, going out and t’p’ing your neighbor’s house once and awhile? It takes the edge off of being celibate. You’re in good hands with our blessed leader, a leader for the ages, a leader with sterile hands, big hands.” The Vice-President bows his head to his staff’s applause. Only the health care officials remain on stage as the Vice-President leaves the podium.
Follow-up question / Ms. Killjoy
“Dr. Fauci – is it true that the President is dissatisfied with you at this point in the crisis?”
Dr. Anthony Fauci proceeds to the microphone
“He’s gone right? Both of them, they’re not here. Pence and Trump? … You have no idea. Look, I want to tell all of you who have come to this briefing session, that I am being held against my will. I know you think this can’t happen in America, but it is happening right here in front of you, to me.
“The man in charge is a raving lunatic. Whatever I say into his left ear comes out the right ear like prime rib processed into baloney. Regarding this whole pandemic, all of us are far more over our heads than anyone could imagine. And from all that I can tell – this pandemic will not go away after just one round. Or a second round. I need to tell you that.
- And if you don’t see me again
- … follow the money.”
Amy’s Guide to Staying In
|The Kind Worth |
|Dead to Me|
|Kid Detective||Huge in France|
|The Last Cruise|
|When They See Us|
|The Dutch House|
|I Care a Lot|
|The Night Circus|
Cody & Mary’s
Lemon Ginger Kombucha
*** Ingredients ***
- 1 Scoby
- 1 gallon fermenting jar
- Medium saucepan
- 8 cups filtered water
- 1-1 ¼ cup sugar
- 10-12 tea bags of black tea (to taste)
- Coffee filter or cheesecloth
- Rubber band
- 2-4 teaspoons ginger to taste (or any juice)
- (10) lemons to taste (or any juice)
- (6) 16 0z bottles
- [Optional) tea steeper (for ginger)
Boil 8 cups of water in saucepan. Add tea (10) teabags or (2) 2 ½ tablespoons of loose black tea to taste). Must have mostly black tea, other teas can be added for flavor, but culture needs black tea to ferment. Steep tea to desired taste or recommended on teabag. Stir in sugar.
Reduce sweetened tea to 80 degrees or to room temperature. Pour sweetened tea into fermenting jar. Add filtered water to tea mixture to top of jar.
Pour SCOBY with starter liquid on top of cooled tea (liquid must be below 80 degrees or SCOBY will die).
Put coffee filter over top of jar and secure with rubber band and put in a cool dark place to ferment. Fermenting can last 7-20+ days, ferment to taste; over time the kombucha will taste more sour and eventually turn into vinegar.
Taste after 7 days and every other day until desired flavor is reached.
Once the Kombucha has reached optimal taste, it is time to bottle. With clean hands, put the SCOBY and baby SCOBY (separately) into glass jars with 2 cups of the tea, they can both be used for future batches.
It is now time add juice to the Kombucha for flavor and to add carbonation. Rule of thumb is 15-20% juice to 85-80% Kombucha.
For lemon ginger tea, put 2-4 teaspoons of ginger into teabags or tea steeper and put into 1 cup of hot water. Add juice of 8-10 lemons to taste. Use funnel to pour lemon-ginger mix into each of the 6 bottles to 15-20% of the bottle.
Use funnel to pour Kombucha to 1-2 inches before top of bottle. Secure top and store for 7-30 days until desired carbonation is reached.n