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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  Me, My Wife & Irene
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Tuesday, November 1,2011

Me, My Wife & Irene

Life Lessons from a Hurricane

By Cary Bayer  


In the 2000 Farrelly Brothers comedy, Me, Myself & Irene, with a running time of 116 minutes, Jim Carrey plays the proverbial good cop with an anything-but-proverbial dissociative identity disorder. He finds himself protecting Renee Zellwegger’s character, Irene, who’s on the run from a corrupt ex-lover and his bad guy buddies.

In the summer of 2011, Mother Nature brought out a remake that I like to call, "Me, My Wife & Irene".

In this drama, whose running time was many hours more than 116 minutes, the protagonist was – take your pick– Aeolus of Greek mythology, Vayu of Hindu mythology, or Venti (renamed Anemoi of Roman mythology), all rulers of the wind.

This was film or theater was viewed by many as the most devastating of tragedies–not so much as Greek on the Mediterranean, but northeast on the Atlantic. But there were many silver linings in the thick clouds that accompanied her 70 mileper-hour antics that taught me some wonderful lessons. Let me count the ways:

1. Losing your electricity is not losing your power.

Your power is a source that’s within you and is available on what we colloquially call a 24/7 basis. It has nothing to do with the activities of your local utility and their roundthe-clock repair crews. It has everything to do with your connection to the Infinite within you.

2. Respect Nature

A hurricane is an awesome force of Nature. Respect it, and don’t fool with Mother Nature. If you do, you become the fool. When you watch her torrential rains, hear her howling winds, and watch them uproot huge trees, you’d have to be virtually unconscious not to respect the intelligence that creates a hurricane. It’s the same intelligence that creates a baby. Have awe for Nature’s Intelligence, have awe for Nature’s beauty. Have awe period.

3. Dinner by candlelight is not only romantic at times, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary.

This happens to be true even if the dinner turns out to be Chef Boyardee’s new whole-wheat lasagna. And it’s eaten directly out of the can at a temperature that can only be described as cold.

4. Listening to a battery-powered radio can be surprisingly delightful when it’s your only contact with the outside world.

I consider this a fact even when you’re not hearing up-to-the-minute disaster news. Then, each song that a disc jockey spins, if a disc jockey actually could spin, can be highly entertaining. You might even discover–as my wife and I did–a frequency in your area that you never knew about that plays the kind of music that you really like. Discovering new frequencies in whatever form they may take is part of what makes life such an exciting learning experience.

5. You can read a book.

A “book” is defined as a bound volume of words on something called a page that you take down from your library shelf rather than download from the worldwide web. Reading such a “book” can rekindle an old romance with paper, an ancient substance that has been eliminated from many modern offices.

6. You can have a conversation.

This is loosely defined as an oldfashioned form of texting, except the person who you communicate with is actually right in front of you. (In my case, that happened to be my wife.) A “conversation” is also different than emailing, because, in my case, I get to look her in her beautiful brown eyes and see the dress she’s wearing instead of eyeing a message to send to her email address.

It’s a pleasure to see what her browns can do for me. It’s quite a delight to talk with your wife without any outside noise getting in the way.

7. It’s nice to get to know your neighbor.

It’s also nice to help out your neighbor, especially if she has four feet of water in her basement and garage, and her five cats are pretty finicky about having to swim for their lives. Go figure! Who knows… you might even get to love your neighbor.

8. Buckets of water are heaven sent.

An ordinary metal pail can be a container of water that’s not so much life saving for its gushing, but as olfactory-saving for flushing.

Me, Myself & Irene was two hours of comic dumbing.

Me, My Wife & Irene was many days of rudimentary plumbing.

I’m not suggesting that Irene–or any hurricane, for that matter–is a day at the beach. Hardly. But the lessons she can teach us can be ones that, like the Energizer bunny, keep on going and going and going.


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