The Rubber Band Theory Part II

Read “The Rubber Band Theory Part I” here:

Stan used to tell me his rubber band theory. He believed that everyone had a lifeline made of a rubber band. Some people had strong ones that stretched forever without snapping while others had rubber bands hanging on by a thread. Some people get tied together, and some get lost in the criss-crosses of all the other rubber bands in the world. There are people who try to cut other people’s rubber bands, and there are some who succeed. Some pop, some twist, some split. It’s just the luck of the draw.

He said that when people got tied together that the smartest thing to do was to stay close together so that the rubber band wasn’t exposed to threats of the outside world. Then, he asked me to marry him.

“Do you honestly expect me to believe all that?” I asked.

“No, but I think that if you do then I don’t see why we shouldn’t try to make it through this world together.”


I started praying again last night. For the longest time, I had followed the philosophy of a man that I had heard about from a friend. The guy, instead of having one concentrated conversation with God, would talk to Him fleetingly throughout the day. He’d say thank you for his Fruit Loops and sorry for making his daughter late to school and ask to be forgiven for flipping off the guy that cut him off on the way to work. Simple things. Only at the end of the day, right before he fell asleep, would he say Amen. He thought that it was pointless ending a conversation with a person, or in this case God, because you never know when you’ll want to tell them something that pops into your brain.

I thought I would start there. Something easy. I stopped after I married Stan. Praying that is. Back then, I thought that I had everything I needed. Stan gave me happiness and rose colored glasses that I put on every morning when I woke up. I didn’t need to ask God for anything. But now I need insurance. Or assurance. I can’t tell one from the other right now.

What I also needed was a hamburger, maybe even some french fries on the side. I didn’t eat breakfast. My stomach was growling like the old, wrinkled tiger it was. Despite sitting at the bus stop, I peered through the top of my shirt to have a private moment with my belly. It still had one belly button, but other than that it had changed greatly over the years because of the two loves in my life: my food and my babies. Have you ever noticed that not one card for expecting mothers congratulates you for your stretch marks to come? Or the fact that in less than a year you’ll have skin like a dog, the kind that sticks to the body but doesn’t mind stretching if you pull it. It’s like having a doughy pizza crust for skin.

“Anything good in there?”

I didn’t bother looking up. I just grabbed my things and left. Even though I’m known to go along with some of the crazy things that men say, I wasn’t about to have that conversation with a random stranger.

The nearest place to take refuge was the grocery store that sold Italian cookies on Thursdays, and it was Wednesday. That meant Stan wouldn’t be there. I always hated seeing him every day when he started getting sick. You never know how you’ll react to his new reactions. One day he’ll love you and remember you and the next he could be kicking you out. I just needed time to collect myself. So despite the fact that I love Italian cookies, I’m thankful there aren’t any today. Stan likes them too, and that’s one of the things he never forgot, along with what day it was and what day they’re baked in the store oven.

Thank you. 







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