Better Homes & Gardens


You know those annoying subscription cards that fall out of magazines? The ones that are all over the floor at Barnes & Noble and on the magazine table at the doctor’s office? When I was little, I used to love filling them in. I would always check the ‘Mrs.’ box and then I’d fill in the name of my favorite celebrity at the time.  “Mrs. Roger Moore”…”Mrs. Alan Alda”…”Mrs. Johnny Carson.” Yes, my choices in future husbands were a little odd for a nine year old in the 1970’s. Man, young Roger Moore though. Hubba.

And then I grew up. Up and out and through and over boyfriends until I landed on my final name on the subscription card. I used a pen to fill in Mrs. Hal Landis. Our address wasn’t a farm in Montana like where I used to dream Alan Alda and I would set up housekeeping. It’s been five different apartments, so far. All still in New Jersey.

Mr. Hal Landis  wasn’t a movie star or a suit ‘n tie guy. I didn’t wear an apron while making everything from scratch and tending to the children who would bring me dandelion bouquets that I would put in shabby chic vases by the kitchen sink. We haven’t had weekly Saturday Date Nights out to dinner with fabulous friends while our 2.5 children tormented a babysitter and we came home slightly tipsy and in love all over again.

We both work retail schedules. We both feel beaten by the universe sometimes. We enjoy totally different things on TV. We interrupt each other when we’re telling a story and get annoyed. We both say the wrong thing sometimes and say the right thing too late. We eat too much. We’re short on time and temper sometimes. We have no idea how we’re going to make ends meet financially oftentimes. We don’t know how we will ever make it to Disneyworld one day with Miriam. But we will. We know that for sure.

Once a year, Mr. Hal Landis has to go out of state for his corporate convention. We break it down to each other in how many days and nights it is away from home.

“Well it’s really only two full days,” I console myself and Hal. “It’ll go fast. You’ll have fun. We’ll text and talk all the time.”

Mr. Hal Landis made a big pot of soup for me last night. And he’s outside right now checking the oil on my car. I used my four weeks of experience working at The Gap in the early 90’s expertly folding his shirts for wrinkle free travel.

And most importantly, we hide notes and cards for each other to find while we’re apart. I hid two simple notes in his luggage. One from me. One from Miriam. There’s not too much to say that hasn’t been said already. But I say it anyway. In case he ever doubts that I’m his ‘Mrs.’ and he’s my ‘Mr.’ on the subscription card. It’s a lifetime subscription of my favorite magazine.





2 thoughts on “Better Homes & Gardens

  1. I love this. Some parts reminded me of Robert and I, like interrupting each other when we speak and not finishing the story and getting annoyed! At the end of the day we take care of each other and we are best friends. I go away and make sure I leave from stocked up with food and clean clothing and he takes care of all the arrangements for flying and time frames, and things to do. It just works. I love you Erica Landis💖😘

    Liked by 1 person

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