i'm not doing this right

A quirk that I associate with Cooterville is the 39 year old grandparent. They crap 'em out young here, and they think nothing of it. I, myself, think something of it. Specifically, I think "Yeah, I guess my life would suck ass too if I'd tried to have babies as a teenager."

Inger's mother is exactly my age. Normally this would creep me out, but see above. Ain't my fault generations of babies had babies. But Inger is 1) visibly younger than me and 2) visibly at my house all the time. She threw herself into my shoulder situation with gusto. First, she brought pizza to my hotel room on the evening of surgery. The next morning it was doughnuts. It really hasn't stopped. She unpacked most of my stuff. And she'll be bringing me doughnuts this morning when she comes over to paint. Normally I wouldn't allow her or anyone else to baby me like this, but times being what they are...

My new neighbors have noticed. If they haven't referred my wife outright, they simply ask if she's my wife.

Inger is a single mother of three. She's had two heart attacks and a stroke, stemming from an onslaught of medical issues that include kidney failure and, most recently, cancer. Thanks to chemotherapy, she's been vomiting between unpacking boxes. She is a spectacular mess.

"So is that girl your wife?" asked a new neighbor yesterday.

"Yeah. She's my participation trophy wife."