Neighbor Friday: The Awesome Mary Lee

February 10, 2011

Hi Readers! If you’ve never heard of the lovely Won’t You Be My Neighbor program, created by Amy at The Never-True Tales, I suggest you pop over and pay her a visit! And if you’re so inclined, why don’t you join us? Because it’s such fun, and dangit, wouldn’t it be great if we could, in real life, choose our neighbors?

I’d love that. I’d certainly get rid of the guy who lets his Schnauzer relieve himself on my lawn. That guy’s an asshat.

One person I’d welcome to my hood, with open arms, would be Mary Lee. I love her irreverence, her sly wit, and her energy. Plus, she posts about poop, evil squirrels, and butt-sniffing dogs. If you haven’t been to Merrilymarylee’s  Weblog, you should. You’ll love her.  And, you lucky devils, I’m sharing her with you today! Please welcome her–I’m honored to have her in my space today.


Never did I imagine I’d be sitting in the catbird seat here in the Witch’s kitchen.   She’s such a dear to invite me.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t do so for my cooking talents,  so if you came in search of a recipe, we’re both cooked.

Being older than the charming KW, we write about different subjects.  Generally, I rattle on about the pithy subjects germane to my own world, like constipation and dog poots.  I’ll restrain myself today.   My  goal is to go through life without seeing one of my children talking to Dr. Phil about being raised by a couple of num-nuts.  I can talk about that crap on my own blog–they don’t read it.   Here, I’ll tread carefully.

I love the internet.  The blog world allows me to visit really nice people without putting on a bra or even changing  out of my pajamas.  I call them “lounging outfits” with a straight face so that I can wear them long after my husband has emerged from the bedroom,  showered, shaved, and dressed.   He might be wearing a college sweatshirt or a cashmere sweater.   I’m in elastic-waisted cotton knit jammies.

He has every closet full of still-in-perfect-condition clothing that he is finally culling.  I need only one closet.  My wardrobe is scant because if I don’t outgrow something,  I accidentally shrink it.  Every item seems to bear bleach spots or food stains.  His clothes have stories of where he’s been; mine bear menus of what I’ve eaten.

Periodically, out of the blue, he will ask about some article of clothing I wore thirty or forty years ago.

“Where’s that little tennis skirt you used to wear?”

Huh?  Why in the world would he ask that?  Neither us has played tennis in decades.  I haven’t even owned a tennis racket in over 30 years and the one I had looked brand new from underuse.  Is he thinking that I just stuck the skirt in the wrong drawer?  Even if I still owned it, I’d have to wear it as a collar.   The Army Corp of engineers couldn’t get it over these hips.  Had I known he was going to ask 30 years later, I’d have had the darned thing bronzed.

Maddeningly but endearingly, my husband really believes that  if I lost a few pounds, I could still slip into that skirt… or my slinky black number… or zip the studded leather boots I wore the first time we met.  He still waxes eloquently about those boots. (Now those, I saved.   My magic get-a-husband leather boots are, alas, now several sizes too small, but if anything deserves bronzing…!)

We are in different worlds when it comes to clothing.   He keeps them because he never outgrows them.  He still wears some sweaters he had before we married.  Seams don’t pull on his shirts, pants don’t get rump-sprung.   An occasional  hole in a sock is about as destructive as he gets.

When we go to the beach he sometimes wears a still unstained  t-shirt that says Martha for Town Council. My friend Martha won that election–in 1996.  When I told her (now retired)  that he was still wearing that  shirt, she said she thought she had a few shirts left and he could have one, but not to get her any write-in votes.  It’s a small town and you never know.

She said that I should tell him,If elected, I will not serve.”

That’s how I feel about tennis.  Even if outfitted, I would not serve.

Or volley.


Author’s Note: Isn’t she great? I knew you’d get a kick out of her! And hey, I’ll be happy to keep Neighbor Friday going for as long as people will have me, so if you’d like to guest post here, shoot me a line! I’d love it.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia February 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Ooh! I love meeting new internets people!

And, you were right, Mary Lee is very funny, which is why I laughed out loud, which made my husband stare at me and then shake his head.


Heather February 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm

She was just the ray of sunshine I needed today! Glad you shared her :) I’m heading over to bookmark her now!


Kelly February 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Mary – your husband reminds me of my dad. He still pulls out his mid-90s Tevas to wear with his early 80s London Fog jacket. Same size, same haircut, same cologne. He’s a walking testament to the decades.

Great post!


TheKitchenWitch February 11, 2011 at 6:40 am

Thanks for guest posting, Mary Lee! Still laughing about the skirt as a collar!


elizabeth February 11, 2011 at 6:53 am

“His clothes have stories of where he’s been; mine bear menus of what I’ve eaten.”

This made me almost laugh out loud, and I had to check myself because we had a guest sleeping in the next room and I already probably bugged him when I was looking for my purse this morning and was using my cell phone as a flashlight.

Nice to meet you!


Gibby February 11, 2011 at 7:31 am

My dad is the same way! When I was a kid he had an air-show t-shirt that he wore ALL the time for YEARS. No stains, no rips, nothing. But he wore it and washed it so often that it was almost like tissue paper. One day it just disappeared. We’re pretty sure it just disintegrated in the dryer.


Jenna February 11, 2011 at 9:04 am

What a great writing style! I love meeting new bloggers with such a strong voice. “Rump sprung” and “get-a-husband boots” had me laughing over here!


Christine @ Coffees & Commutes February 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

So great to meet you Mary! Thank you Kitch for having her by. I needed this chuckle today. Our husbands are cut from the same cloth. It drives me mad how he hasn’t gain a pound or changed shape in more than 10 years. Damn him!


Contemporary Troubadour February 11, 2011 at 9:46 am

I have to agree with Jenna — “rump-sprung” is the best word combo I’ve seen in ages!


blueviolet @ A Nut in a Nutshell February 11, 2011 at 10:12 am

That man is dreaming big dreams, isn’t he? And I agree with you…who’d even want to wear that old stuff even if we could fit into it?

Hey wait, you said he is…does he look ridiculous?


Cathy February 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

Nice to meet you Mary. I happen to be in my “lounge outfit” right now.


Justine February 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

You’re right about the Awesome part, Kitch. So glad to meet your new neighbor here, and what a voice! And that wit. I can totally see why you guys click. Great to meet you Mary Lee.


TKW February 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I’m totally in agreement, Justine–it’s that voice! Doesn’t it just sparkle? I think Miss Mary Lee doesn’t even know what she’s got.


TexasTrailerParkTrash February 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

I hung onto my high school songleader’s costume from 1965. It’s been with me through two marriages and numerous moves, kind of like a traveling religious relic. Every few years I haul it out like the Shroud of Turin and worship what I used to be able to fit into. Then I put it back into the far reaches of the closet and go have some chocolate.

I love Mary’s posts. She’s my favorite blogger (and she didn’t pay me to say that.)


TKW February 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm

And just for that hilarious comment about the Shroud of Turin, I think I have another kindred spirit to follow.


Amy @ Never-True Tales February 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Ha ha…if elected, I will not serve. Can I use that as a general disclaimer in life? Because I’m going to. Very good to ‘meet’ you here at TKW! Now go put on some clothes!


Mary Lee February 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Oh my gosh, this is the most fun! Thank you all so much the nice words. I look forward to visiting you. I’d love for you to come and chat with me. Maybe I’ll serve a Kitchen Witch recipe. Definitely a Shrink My Ass one.

Amy, you were so clever to think of this idea and Kitchen Witch, thank you for inviting me over to meet your friends and neighbors. Nice people… and I’m not a bit surprised.


Belinda February 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Wow, Mary Lee, I could read you for hours. Love your humor! Thanks for the intro TKW!

My husband is the same way. His clothes always fit and remain in good condition while my cute little sundresses and tops shrink after several rounds in the washer.


Katybeth February 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm

As usual I can complete relate. I grew up with a dad who retired from IBM and won’t go out into the backyard without his hair combed. My mother, as far as I know has never spilled anything on herself and her white tennis shoes never have a mark. Did I mention she is a dog trainer. Fast forward…my dearly departed husband once wore a pair of pants with a BIG hole in the seat because he said, “Whats the big deal, my shirt covers it.” As for me, my shoes are scuffed but I never go out with a hole in the seat of my pants.
Mary Lee, its nice to see you when ever and where ever you show up.


A Canadian Foodie February 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm

What fun! I have a similar post on my site today – except it is called Invite a Blogger to your Table – and I cooked with two of my favourite friends in the blogosphere and we all posted it today. I really appreciate this kind of initiative. There’s a little love for you in the post today, too – not individually, but heartfelt, anyway!
I’m heading over to check out all your friends.


bryan February 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Great Post, thanks for inviting your friend over! and very nice to meet you Mary Lee,


Barbara February 12, 2011 at 8:45 am

Super new blog friend, Kitch. Great sense of humor (which is why she matches you so well) and fun to read. Definitely won’t miss her posts from now on. The two of you can write like mad and make any experience funny!
Nice to meet you Mary Lee!

(You broke me up with your comment today. The teens were just one g-normous series of embarrassments. It’s a wonder we made it through.)


subWOW February 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Bravo! ” His clothes have stories of where he’s been; mine bear menus of what I’ve eaten.” This is gold! And your husband is a darling, I am so glad (as I know you are) that your magic get-a-husband boots worked their charm. ;-) Now we will start demanding pictures of you in those boots. Hey, at least I did not ask for pictures of you in the tennis skirt. Or should I?


TKW February 13, 2011 at 3:22 pm

subWOW–I thought the same thing: is it too rude to demand photos of the boots? I think I need the visual.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri February 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm

KW, thanks for the intro. Mary Lee, a pleasure to meet you. I needed a deep belly laugh and you certainly gave me one. Thanks so much and I look forward to reading more.


velva February 17, 2011 at 8:10 am

Marylee, you crack me up! I have been pondering as to why my husband can be 30 lbs heavier since we were married many years ago but, still manages to wear the same size pants (laugh). My husband irons, presses an creases all his clothes. Me? I could live in pajamas and sweatpants.

Great post!



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