I didn’t know if I could explain it even one more time! It all seems like such a bad dream. Could it be only one week since he said it to me for the last time? But, it was my time to speak, so I braced myself, took a deep breath and began…again.
“Greg and I got married in August 1973.” I took another deep breath and I launched into the story. “Greg was a good husband and a wonderful provider, but he did things that drove me crazy. First it was little things – like leaving his whiskers in the bathroom sink after shaving and leaving the toilet seat up. He grew up in a house full of boys and his Dad was a single parent. I think I know why his Mother left…heh… Sorry… I didn’t mean to get off track. I tried to ignore his bad habits, but they were like a snowball rolling down hill. The older he got, the more bad habits he picked up. I had to deal with the cigarettes and the beer. He had a spittoon in our living room for when he chewed tobacco or dipped snuff. Did you ever have to empty and rinse a spittoon? Sorry… I didn’t mean to get off track again. Well… ‘round about three years into our marriage, he began hanging around with some hippy types… Remember, it was the 70’s. Next thing I knew, he had a marijuana habit. He didn’t do anything harder than weed. I’ll give him that.”
“I tried to be a good wife, but his bad habits were really taking a toll on me and my nerves. I asked him to quit all that bad stuff, but he always told me to “drop it”. So, I did because I really didn’t want to fight with him, you know? When the kids started coming along, I didn’t like him being such a bad example for the children. And, I certainly didn’t want the children to think everything their Dad did was okay. So, maybe I nagged him a little too much. I dunno… I just couldn’t ignore all that...you know? That is when he started his most maddening habit of all...using metaphors! If I brought up something where he really needed to correct himself, he would say “Lois…drop it like a rock!” I hated that about the tenth time he said it in one day. As time went on, he added other metaphors. It was “drop it like a hot potato” or “drop it like the left shoe”. There were other “drop it” expressions that he used and abused – in my opinion.”
“Well, the kids are grown now. I had 3 boys. They all turned out just like their Dad. They are all good kids and hard workers, but they have such bad habits that none of them have been able to keep a wife. In fact, Frankie’s wife ran off and left him with his son. She just up and left after little Junior asked her to pull his finger. I know that is a nasty habit, but boys will be boys. Plus, I don’t think a 3 year old boy knew any better. But, his Momma up and ran out screaming and Frankie hasn’t heard from her since. She tried to correct him from teaching her boy to pull his finger, fart, then laugh. When Patsy tried to correct him, he told her to “drop it”. It was all too much for a gentle woman. Well…now I’m raising Junior while his Daddy works and Junior’s habits are getting worst.”
“I told Greg about my concerns for Frankie and Junior, but Greg told me to drop it like a bad habit… That’s his latest metaphor. Lord save me from metaphors…”
“Sorry…I know I keep going back to the “drop it” thing, but it does factor in here. I’m getting to it…”
“Last week, Greg asked me to go with him for target practice. I was already aggravated with him over his new bad habit. Now that he is retired, he stays up all night and sleeps all day. I try to keep Junior quiet in the daytime because the damn old fool wouldn’t go to bed like he is supposed to. I said as much to him and he said “Lois, drop it like a bad habit”! My vision went all red and the rest is pretty much a blur. I never intended to shoot him, your honor.”