the cow creamer by parenthesized

7 Feb

After they bought their cozy yellow house, Lindsay’s husband had convinced her she should host a housewarming party, that it was the appropriate action for two not quite so newlyweds just come into a home.  She agreeably acquiesced, and so he invited his work colleagues and the neighbors, and she invited her own friends.  At the time, her friends were far more varied.  There existed an eclectic mix of personalities and opinions and ideas at any of their gatherings.  Of course, as often happens even in the strongest relationships, little cracks appear and the links slowly collapse until the group is no more.

By then they, for the most part, were all still friends, though, some of the connections were beginning to slip.  The friend of the cow creamer was among those.  Karen seemed to be losing the thread of the group.  Her conversation was awkward and abrupt, disrupting the exchange of ideas with not exactly ridiculous, but not exactly plausible propositions.  (Who in the world bothered to iron their socks?)  She, in essence, was fading from their lives, and neither side made a successful effort to reattach her.  This unfortunate circumstance was seen in the gift choices of the little group.  They had chosen to be practical and simple in their gift-giving, offering Lindsay and her husband a touch of elegance now that they seemed to be settling—there was much emphasis on the settling—into a new stage of life beyond her writing “fits.”

Karen had not received the memo.

Her laughter had bubbled forth moments before the gift was unearthed.   While she had clearly expected delighted laughter at the sight of the black and white cow emblazoned with MOO, the group failed to deliver more than forced chuckles.  Rose, Aunt Margaret’s daughter had reached that stage of disdain and arrogance one often finds in the wives of society men, and the sniff from her upturned nose served as punctuation to the awkward silence.  She remembers the society wife’s lips; she could tell they yearned to say, “For goodness’ sake the udders!  Why should we have to use udders to pour cream?  Are we not civilized women?”  Of course, her ladylike bearing and regality forbid any such outburst from escaping.

Lindsay remembers observing Rose consternation with a smile, but the woman did have a point after all.  The cow was something for the dormitory or the first apartment after college, not for the first home.  She and her husband were beyond mammalian milk dispensers.   They both had given up pieces of the past to attain their lifestyle in the yellow house.  He caught her eye, and she knew immediately that they were of one mind on the matter of the cow creamer, and that she would be the one to find the place to store it.  How quickly she comprehended him in those early days.   How ably she could navigate the confines of his mind. Lindsay used to be sure of her marriage in that before time.


4 Responses to “the cow creamer by parenthesized”

  1. jadamthwaite February 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    I can really imagine that cow! And I like the way Lindsay and her husband have the conversation together in just one glance. It’s nice to have a glimpse into their life before the Lindsay story.

  2. ingridfnl February 7, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    Me too! The tension is beautifully drawn out… as is her feeling of disjoint from the relationship. Moo indeed. 😉

  3. phoenix.writing February 21, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    The cow is indeed a very strong visual. I feel a bit sorry for everyone–they seem to be placed awkwardly as connections crumble around them. I liked how you captured both the strength of Lindsay and her husband’s relationship–the easy communication–and the fact that this no longer existed.


  1. two of a kind by parenthesized « the character project - April 18, 2010

    […] We met Hammond previously in hammond.  We met Lindsay in embers and learned more about her in the cow creamer. […]

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