If I could invent anything at all I would create a ninny meter. The ninny meter would be a tasteful ring that would be given to all married couples on their wedding day. It would have various indicators that would perhaps change color appropriately to indicate when one person is being a ninny . There should probably be a gradation from ninny to total jerk - perhaps total jerk should be say .. pulsating red? The ninny meter would be a big time saver, especially in long marriages like ours. Over the course of 41 plus years there were lots of opportunities for being a ninny and a jerk. You can not put two strong personalities together for a life time and not have that be the case. Leave it to Beaver is a myth. The advantage to the ninny meter is that it would be a short cut over the rough and stupid spots. Spots that in retrospect were so idiotic you almost can't believe you cared.
I thought about it today quite a bit . As Tom's illness grew more intense we abandoned the small stuff to savor our time together. I saved his voice mail messages so I won't forget the sound of his voice. His pictures are everywhere. What brought all this to mind is the top of his bureau. Tom was not a super tidy guy. Every night he emptied his pockets and put all of it on the top of his dresser until it practically toppled over. His dresser cost 60 bucks and belonged to a college student. We bought it in grad school. Tom was a simple ( but complicated) man. In any case at one point i was desperate to clean up the top of his bureau and get a new one. One that was maybe in Vermont, would look lovely in our room. He said.. Birdie leave it alone - i like the one i have. My ninny meter would have started to glow, but then he was alive and here and present. Now his dresser sits just as he left it - cluttered with nails, receipts , tooth picks and matches. It reproaches me for my need to clean it up and it will probably stay just like it is for a long while yet. The ninny meter would have gathered that time up and spent it better.