I slept in this morning, till a late late 8:10, then bounded out of bed, fed everyone, and commenced working at 8:30. I’m “at lunch” now, and by “at lunch” I mean I’m talking to you rather than copy editing something.
Yesterday was my 23-year anniversary of being a copy editor. Twenty-three years ago yesterday, I showed up for work at a textbook publishing company outside of Los Angeles. I got the job because Marvin, who had signed up to be my husband and eventually erased his name from the board, saw an ad in the paper for a proofreader at a textbook publishing agency. Remember when we looked at ads in the paper, then printed our resume and cover letter and mailed them and waited for a call? Good gravy.
“You should be a proofreader,” said Marvin, who later said, “You should write a blog.”
Had Marvin stuck around, perhaps he could have thought of a new thing for me to do. Instead I’m over here in suspended animation, being a copy editor for 23 years and a blogger for 14 because Marvin’s not here with the next suggestion.
I can’t recall which job I got that named me a lofty “copy editor” instead of a “proofreader,” but the difference is a copy editor can change words around. A proofreader just looks for spelling and grammar and punctuation, and please stop assuming anything wrong with the language counts as “grammar.”
“I hate to be the grammar police, but that needs a question mark.”
That isn’t grammar, you damp ham.
Anyway, that’s how I became a copy editor, and now I’m a SENIOR copy editor, which means I get Meals on Wheels. And free Pond’s Cold Cream for life. So, a jar of Pond’s Cold Cream.
Get it? That was a senior joke. There’s my next career: Senior jokes, by June.
So other than celebrating my anniversary with a nice batch of things to edit, life has pretty much gone on the same as the day before, and the day before that, dating all the way back to February 17 of this year, which was the last normal day I had before my surgery.
Oh. It’s possible I didn’t mention I had surgery in February. I enjoy keeping things under wraps.
That last day, February 17, I had a good day at work. Things were going well on some writing I was doing—sometimes at work they let me write and not copy edit. I was feeling better physically than I had, which was probably oh hang on neighbors are yelling…
OK, false alarm. The people across the street sometimes just speak loudly and other times they’re legit mad at each other and either way I Gladys Kravitz my way over there or hover on my Ring doorbell to get a load of what’s going on. This was just “I’m yelling from the porch cause it’s raining,” not actual anger words.
Anyway, on February 17, I left work thinking I’d be back in two weeks. I felt so bereft when I left, and I was all, What’s yer problem? You aren’t leaving forever. And here I am, 8 months later, still not back. It’s like somehow I knew.
Have you ever had one of those? Like, somehow you knew but there was no way you could have known? Usually I DON’T know, and I think back on things and think, That was the last time I ever saw that person but I didn’t know it and I was way casual about it.
Not to be obsessed with Marvin, who signed up to be my husband and then erased his name from the board, did I mention? When we separated, he lived fairly near, so every once in awhile he’d come to my house with food and we’d have lunch together. I always go home for lunch. I mean, now of course I STAY home for lunch, but back when I left the house I always came home for lunch, allegedly to let the dog out, a dog who holds it like a camel, and whom you have to force outside and practically milk to get him to pee.
Anyway, one day, and I have no idea the date or the year, but Ima guess 2014, early, Marvin came over for lunch and he of course got my order wrong because that’s what he did. Once when we were married I sent him to Boston Market for turkey and dressing and
I’M LYIN I’M DYIN
he came back with a plate of turkey and a container of French dressing.
Anyway. Whatever day that was, we had our lunch, I’m sure I groused about my wrong order, he left and I never saw Marvin again. Now he lives in Atlanta and is married and a few years back I was IN Atlanta and said, “Hey, we should meet up” and he said no so I will never ask again and odds are I will never see Marvin for as long as I live. And that last time I was just, See ya except I didn’t.
I just had no idea. So that time, I didn’t know.
The day I left work to go have surgery, I somehow knew. I was wistful and couldn’t place why. “It’s only two weeks, you damp ham” I told myself, and damp hams are very big with me today.
The weekend before my surgery, Ned and I went shopping. We got…I can’t remember what we got. But something surgical-preppy, I’d assume. Loose pants or something. But what I remember is we got coffee, and sat in his car outside of Old Navy, drinking our coffee and watching the crowds, and I got one of those weird flashes of happy. You ever get those?
I had no idea why I felt happy. But it was the last time I was in a crowd or a store, so maybe I sort of knew that, as well. I knew it’d be a long time before I was out in a crowd, shopping, with my ex.
I gotta go. I spent the first 30 minutes of my “lunch hour” talking to you, and I want to spend the next 30 showering and dressing. Not French dressing in a container, though.