Tuesday, May 04, 2010
So, it’s Saturday morning at about 8:45. The phone rings. I can’t get to it in time to pick it up, so the answering machine kicks in.
(Most of you are probably thinking, “Get to it? You don’t have a cell phone? And an ‘answering machine’? Where do you live? Bedrock?” All I can say in my defense is that I’m 53, I prefer to live in the past, and having a telephone AT ALL is a concession to modernity that I’d forgo completely if the few people I care about would learn to use carrier pigeons.)
I listen to the message being left. It’s a female voice.
“We have YOUR WIFE, and if you ever want to see her alive again, you’ll meet us for breakfast, and...”
Since I just finished scarfing down a barbecue chicken pizza, this sounds like a bad scenario for MY WIFE. I pick up the phone and plead for her safety.
“I just ate. What else can I do to get her back?”
My sister-in-law the kidnapper, unnerved by me interrupting her, stammers, “We… Uh… Oh, here’s YOUR WIFE…” and, as she hands the phone off, she says to her, "He already ate.”
She who is usually capitalized comes on the line and says, “Oh, that’s right. I forgot. You have your routine.”
She’s right. Every Saturday I do more-or-less the same thing. I get up early, go do grocery shopping, and then eat something horrible for me while watching Dollar Bill. I usually do the eating and watching in the company of MY WIFE, but she had spent the evening at her sister’s place following some sort of Save Our Boobs fundraiser they both attended.
“Hello!” I said in a real friendly way while wiping a bit of barbecue sauce off of my hand and onto my shirt. “If I had known women wanted to invite me to breakfast, I would have skipped the pizza.”
“Oh, well. I’ll just take the train home then.”
“I could come pick you up someplace. It’s no problem.”
“No, you just continue on with your routine – read The Herald, then take a nap.”
She knows me far too well. As the phone was ringing – and as I was just about to wipe off the barbecue sauce on my hand with an actual napkin, thanks – I was settling in to read the newspaper. I would have done so, finishing up with the funnies and then doing the sudoku puzzle, prior to taking a short nap before the Bruins game at noontime.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to meet you someplace for a ride home?”
“No, Luann might drive me home. We might go [undefined] first.”
I should explain that parenthetical, I guess. She said something about driving someplace where Luann could get a glimpse of someone she had a crush on in high school, or something like that. The reason I forget the details is because what followed was way more interesting to remember.
“Maybe we’ll go visit my aunt. My grandmother used to drive her to another town 30 minutes away just so they could drive by the house of someone she liked.”
Luann is heard giggling in the background.
I inquire, “Just so they could DRIVE BY a house where someone lived that your aunt had a crush on?”
“Yes. My grandmother used to drive by the prison just so she could wave at the boys inside. She used to go to the gas station in her pajamas. She was a very classy lady. You would have liked her.”
Now, I know I’m not getting this word for word. She’ll read this and say, “I didn’t say THAT! THIS is what I SAID…” and then she’ll recap the conversation exactly as it happened. She has a knack for recalling to the letter whatever was said, even if nobody actually said it the way she recalls it.
(That’s unfair. She’s actually quite good at remembering conversations and I’m foggy at best. However, I’m sometimes more believable because I’m really excellent at making stuff up and then swearing it’s true.)
Anyway, it was finally decided that she would get a ride, someplace, from Luann, while I would go back to reading the paper.
“But remember,” she said, “The Bruins are playing this afternoon, so you’ll have to take a really short nap. I assume she left already?”
This was in reference to a standing joke we have. Whenever MY WIFE goes away for a night or two, I tell her I’m going to have a whore in and we’re going to spend the night doing crack.
At this point, for some unknown reason, Luann interjected, in the background, that Betty White was hosting Saturday Night Live next week.
“Excellent!” I said.
MY WIFE asked, “Why do you say ‘excellent’?”
The real reason I said ‘excellent!’ is because I adore old broads who talk dirty, but this is what I told MY WIFE…
“Because next week I don’t have softball on Sunday, but this week I do.”
“Oh, so you have to get to sleep early tonight? Don’t forget – the Celtics are playing.”
“Yeah, I figure I’ll take my nap between the Bruins and the Celtics.”
“Whatever you decide is fine, as long as you stay out of my way,” she said, chuckling.
“OK, I’ll save my sudoku until you get home. Bye.”
And thus ended the phone call.
This is a prime example of one of the two good reasons why we are married. We understand each other, even when nobody else possibly could. It might sound snide and uncaring to some, but we understand it for what it is – snide and uncaring LOVE.
The other good reason we’re married to each other? So YOU don’t have to be. You’re welcome.
(I realize there may be one or two misguided souls among you who think you might like to be married to one or the other of us – or maybe both – but you haven’t a clue, believe me. It’s nice that you’re so delusional, and we appreciate it, but you’re better off where you are. Really.)
Soon, with more better stuff.