top of page

Married for the First Time at Fifty (Week 7)

WEEK 7 (Mar 31, 2018):

Dean and Sally Friscea's wedding photo on the beach in front of a pavilion
PHOTO by Joe Guarine, Photographer

Saturday, my favorite day of the week, quickly turned into my least favorite. I like to take my time waking up on the one day I don’t have to set an alarm. I’m also aware I don’t exactly look my best.

When I lived with my mother, it didn’t matter if my makeup made me look like a football player at the end of a tough game. Now it matters. I have to at least wipe the wandering mascara and eyeliner, so I don’t scare Dean.

But with my new husband around, I started feeling like a slug sitting there too long in my jammies and yesterday’s makeup. Often Dean is in the office printing out listing information for a real estate showing that day, or tinkering about the house and yard.

This particular Saturday I found a coupon Dean would like—not that he’s ever met a coupon he didn’t like—so I printed it out. I couldn’t find the black/white button, but decided on just the first page to save on ink.

He said, “I don’t want it to run out of colored ink at the wrong time, making it necessary for me to run to the real estate office to print for clients.”

I took it as, “You’re doing it wrong.” Again.

When I suggested that he keep extra ink cartridges on hand, he said he does.

I fumed. “Then what does it matter?!?!”

It wasn’t quite as bad as that first hormonal Saturday during our second week of marriage, but it wasn’t good either.

There were tears this Saturday, too.

Lots of tears.

“Perhaps you could do better in finding the right setting.” I shoved my laptop at him.

Only later did he realized my computer didn’t offer a black and white option on his printer and he apologized.


He also thanked me for the coupon.

I gladly accepted his apology and forgave him—I’m working hard on not storing the hurts and disappointments. (And hoping he’s doing the same!)

Not that there’s a lot of them. (His … or mine.)


*           *           *

Friscea wedding photo with mothers

(At our wedding reception, photo by Keith Roberto)

Sunday was our first Easter together as a married couple. Last year he and his mother Jean came to the house I shared with my mother Charlotte. This year we spent a lot of time on the road driving Jean over to Dean’s brother’s house in Orlando.

“Can’t we just meet them half way?” I asked.

Dean chuckled. “What do you want us to do, pass my ninety-year-old mother off on the side of the highway?”

He was right. There really is no good halfway point.

After spending a few hours at my mother’s house, we made the fifty-minute drive again. My mother wasn’t happy about our limited time together.

She’s not used to sharing me yet.

*           *           *

Curam, Sally's silky terrier lying on a beige blanket staring at the camera

Curam after she had her two front teeth pulled. Nothing to keep her tongue in

That Thursday I took my twelve-year old silky terrier Curam with me to work to get the cranky ole bitty groomed at the veterinarian’s office. I thought she was doing better not biting the technician, but Curam wouldn’t even let her do her head this time. She looked like a mess, and they told me that they’d have to tranquilize her next time.

When we got back to the office she peed on her ottoman. Having never done that before, I decided the time had arrived. If I stopped to think about it, I’d back out. And if I called the vet, she’d just talk me into urinary tract infections treatment again.

Curam’s short life was filled with seizures, UTI’s and bad teeth. Her eyes had been fading since she was nine years old.

Curam, Sally's silky terrier looking out from under a beige blanket

Curam, Sally's silky terrier, standing on the arm of a couch

The vet had been talking me down from that ledge for over two years.

Not this time.

I called Dean and then my mother. Both asked if I needed someone with me. I didn’t.

Dean expressed he wanted more time with her since their last interaction was him scolding her for pooping on the floor in his office … right in front of him. She was a terrier and brazen since the first day I brought her home.

I told him I couldn’t delay or I’d never do it. He said he understood.

I made an appointment for an hour later at the SPCA. The doctor even told me in the little time she’d spent with Curam, she could tell the dog had neurological issues. That reassured me that I was making the right decision.

Curam, Sally's silky terrier sleeping on a couch arm

They had to sedate her to get the drug catheter inserted. So when they brought her back into the examination room, she was pretty out of it. Her tongue hung out the side of her mouth. They placed her on some towels and left us alone for a while. I stroked her little head and then realized it had been a couple of years since she let me do that.

Then it dawned on me: pain.

Of course.

But this time she didn’t fight me.

I stayed with her until the end, and ordered a keepsake kit for her ashes.

Curam the silky terrier standing on the cat tower

Curam the silky terrier standing up begging for food on a try in front of her

I missed her bad breath and toothless growl.

*           *           *

During the following days I consoled myself by using the wedding gift cards to buy towels, shower rods, curtains, and rugs to get the bathrooms livable in preparation of having anyone to the house, let alone Mom in two weeks.

Boxes of wedding presents sitting on a floor


Small steps so as to not freak out the new husband.

I was reminded of a time during our dating period when Dean finally allowed me into his house. In his defense, he had an old friend staying at the house for a few months and Dean wasn’t quite sure I wasn’t completely crazy—Dean is convinced that every woman is crazy, and it’s only a matter of to what extent.

When I used the restroom I noticed the lack of shower curtain in the guest bathroom and commented on it.

He assured me what was in there was indeed a shower curtain.

I replied to the bachelor, “That is a shower curtain L-I-N-E-R, not a shower curtain.”

“Yes it is.”

“No, it’s a $3 liner. It’s not even a $20 decorative liner you can hang alone.”

I asked him to show me what was in the master bathroom. It was a typical Florida shower curtain with a palm tree print and opaque plastic liner behind it. I explained to the man that had been single his whole life the difference between a decorative outer layer known as a curtain, and the plastic layer between the shower and curtain known as a shower curtain liner, which keeps the curtain dry.

*           *           *

Dean napping on top of a made bed with Tucker the tuxedo cat peeking out from a throw blanket on Dean.

Dean enjoying a nap with Tucker napping in the foot tent on the manly bedspread.

This week I was finally able to talk Dean into using a bedspread.  I kept using a small throw blanket on my side because the AC hits too hard, like an arctic blast. Talk about a man-spread! Black and gray plaid. You don’t get manlier than that, except for not using one at all.

Decorative pillows will come later.

Baby steps.

Besides, I put it in our fake vows that I would never require more than three decorative pillows on the bed.

Ecc 3:1—To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (KJV)

FOOTNOTE: New Roof Day 30: the roof failed County inspection because the frame was not built according to the structural engineer’s plans. So roofers were back out to fix it. They’ll have to remove siding to show the inspector the hurricane tie down straps #Ugh

a house with repairs being done to the roof over the garage


bottom of page