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February 2009

Dear Madrone,

I have a serious problem. My husband, god bless him, has joined one of those computer lists where you find out what happened to everyone you went to high school with. This after 35 years of not caring. In fact, I went to the same high school and I know that it was filled, to put it mildly, with a bunch of palookas. Yeah, yeah, I know that people grow up and seriously I wouldn't want anyone to go by what I was like in those days (Thank god they have statute of limitations on teasing hair, there could be serious jailtime) But whatever, we lived through it all and have been living very nicely some hundreds of miles away. But my problem is this. Dear hubby is on the line every night reading and writing to girls who never gave him the time of day back when he had both hair and a waist. Well, maybe in his mind they're girls, I'm much kinder now than I was then, so I will leave it at that, not mentioning fat asses, prodigious wrinkles or cheap hair dye. There's one in particular that's way too friendly for my taste. She had her nose so high up in the air, it was registered at air traffic control. Now it's all remember the good times this and how much she admires that. I know because he shows it to me, like a proud baby. I smile and say of course she'd write to you, who wouldn't? (Did I mention he's doing QUITE well?) But what I'd like to do is take a tire iron and show the tramp the door which she'd take because she knows I'd use it. Any suggestions as how not to commit capital murder?

Itchy trigger finger, Wellsley Island.

Dear Itchy,

You are right to be concerned. Your husband is suffering from a dangerous syndrome called "Wish I was young, but I'm not. I'm old,, heck I'll pretend that I'm back in HS with someone who can pretend with me, and we'll both pretend that being in high school didn't suck," People get it confused with mid life crisis, but It's not the same. Mid life crisis means you actually know how old you are, and that you better have fun before you croak, so you proceed to have some, no matter how idiotic you look in a muscle car with a girl both of whom are meant for someone half their age, which you aren't and you know it.

WIWYBINIOHIPTIBIHSWSWCPWMAWBPTBIHSDS syndrome is much more serious. The sufferer actually believes that by knowing someone who knew them when they are a particular age, they BECOME that age. Now, you say, HEY! What gives, I knew him when. But you have been on the scene, and you know all the nooks and crannies, and there's no use pretending you don't. Mild cases can be dealt with by dialing down on the sarcasm and dialing up the admiration for the present day version. But a serious case, there is no known cure., What happens then is the sufferers (most serious cases happen in pairs,) actually run off together, and they realize they've run off with an old person, whether or not they have money, it's a shock.. I have to say, sometimes it works out, but most of the time it does not end well. Now as to your question. There's not much you can do, except check out how things are going at "home" If your "home" is neglected and dusty, you can bet that he'll be on the lookout for another "housekeeper."

God bless, Donna


WIWYBINIOHIPTIBIHSWSWCPWMAWBPTBIHSDS is something most people don't treat until it's too late. Symptoms include

a. Not wanting to look at the pictures on the who we are now page of the reunion bulletin board, just match names to yearbook picture.

b. Hours spent emailing back and forth about the homework assignments in English 11 instead of reading bed time stories to your grandchild.

c. Pointing a video camera out the passenger side of your car while you drive up and down the street in front of your old HS and live streaming it to Flicker.

d. Multiple memberships to and, and using Facebook even though you have no idea what it is.

It's not pretty. And there's for spouses and family of sufferers there's WIWYBINIOHIPTIBIHSWSWCPWMAWBPTBIHSDS-A-Teen


Don't hesitate to call the national organization for a chapter near you.

1-800- WIWYBINIOHIPTIBIHSWSWCPWMAWBPTBIHSD (9499924646447842447979279629278244737)

God bless, Donna


Just be sure to keep on your pantsy, and you'll be fine.




Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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