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Saturday, July 11, 2009


I made my husband miserable today, which was a relief, because he’d gone about his business in relative calm for several days, and I was afraid he would think I wasn’t taking my job as a wife seriously. Nothing says "I Care" like a sticky note telling him to cut the grass before I braid it.

Several times a week I like to remind him of household projects he’s neglected or impending gift-giving occasions he should prepare for. That way he knows I’m showing interest in his personal obligations.

I have a theory that it doesn’t show proper personal attention to receive an orchid bedecked greeting card that has, “In sympathy for the loss of your pet” scratched through with a black marker and “Happy Anniversary, Honey” scribbled in its place. Advance planning can go a long way toward creating a Hallmark moment that doesn’t conclude with projectiles launched by an offended party and an emergency room visit.

It’s also important not to let his schedule get too lax or he’ll wind up in mischief of some sort and before you know it, he’ll start pulling out power tools, and it will take forever to restore order. The last time the electric sander saw the light of day, the cat lost his eyebrows. A responsible man would have told me that the black button meant ON.

This time, however, my job was easy. All I had to do was say, “Honey, why don’t you see the doctor about that toe?”

After years of marriage, I've come to understand that the word "doctor" transforms the male pschye into something resembling a castoff retread. He regarded me with the same loving gaze I’d seen the time he refused to buy a Poodle so I suggested we attempt a home perm on the Labrador and put bows in his ears.

“Why don’t you buy clothes that fit instead of pants that you have to lose five pounds to wear?”

I love the man, but honestly, sometimes he says things that just don’t make sense.

The offending toe was swollen and sore and gave him the charming, easy gait of Quasimodo thumping through the streets of Paris. It seemed that we were hovering on the brink of something serious, such as me having to take a look at it, so I suggested the unthinkable.

“You could go to the doctor tomorrow on your day off.” Call me crazy, but I thought days off were there to take care of these things. In truth, days off were created so you could cut your grass in time to make your neighbor’s lawn look like Don King’s hair by comparison. Then you whiled away your time in the hammock reading last year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

I could see he needed some understanding and encouragement. “There’s no need to be afraid.”

Here’s a clue for newlywed brides. If you want your marriage to last longer than it took to eat the wedding cake, don’t suggest he’s afraid of anything. Especially doctors or other naturally frightening things.

“I’m not afraid,” he said, staggering along beside me. “I just don’t need to go. I’m fine.”

“The last time you were fine it required a course of industrial strength painkillers and a week’s worth of muscle relaxers. I had to do the fireman’s carry whenever you had to go to the bathroom.”

“That was different. That was my back.”

“The only reason I got you to the doctor that time was your muscles spasmed and you couldn’t put up a fight. Son One, the Incredible Hulk, carried you into Urgent Care like you were a statue. You’re just lucky it was too early in the day for the pigeons to be out.”

“Very funny. I’m fine.”

A light breeze came along and he winced at the pressure on his foot. I could see this was going to get ugly if I didn’t pull a clever idea out of the 98% humidified air.

“I guess we won’t need those tickets to STOMP I got for our anniversary.”

“You got tickets to STOMP? They’re always sold out.”

“Yep. A stage full of guys abusing every day items with sticks, all in the name of rhythm. I’ve heard the best part is the finale.”

“I know. They strap trash cans to their feet and don’t even get in trouble with their wives for digging divots out of the linoleum. It’s the best show ever. I guess since you went to all the trouble to get the tickets, I’ll go to the doctor.”

“Good for you. While you’re gone, I’ll go shopping for something to wear.”

He raised one eyebrow. I hate it when he does that. It means he already knows what I’d rather not say.

“Well, I’d have to lose five pounds to wear anything I have now.”

Happy Anniversary, Honey!


Dawn said...

Happy Anniversary! I saw Stomp two years ago--WONDERFUL performance!! LOVED It!Enjoy. :)

JLC said...

Happy Anniversary!

I can't seem to get mine to a dentist. Even one that does sedation. :)

the Bag Lady said...

Happy Anniversary!

Hope his toe heals up in good time!