Tuesday, May 04, 2010

So You Don't Have To Be

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.


Brian Miller said...

smiles. i hear the love in those words.

Cricket said...

Hilarious... my wife, not to be confused with YOUR WIFE, and I have the same hooker joke. Whenever she calls to tell me she's on the way home, I yell out to the hookers that they have to finish up the cocaine and get out.

That is, if the children aren't within earshot.

Word veri: ressee... why am I suddenly craving candy?

Thumbelina said...

I hear the love too.
You deserve each other. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Jazz said...

I think you and I are probably the only people in the universe without cell phones. More power to us!

Matt Conlon said...

I haven't had a decent barbecue chicken pizza in a long time... Thanks or the memories pal.

I tried to make that hooker joke with my wife, but she is fully aware that we're completely broke. Besides, she knows I don't like dealing with real people if I don't have to. It'd be more believable if I told her I was going to go talk to you imaginary people who live in my monitor.

Michelle H. said...

That is something. Routine is the spice of life, and love - in your case.

lime said...

the two of you crack me up. i can totally hear that conversation occurring.

The Good Cook said...

You two old married people sound like us - another set of old married people. I hear the love, I understand the love, I LOVE the LOVE - even if nobody else gets us!

Maggie May said...

We can't get calls on a cell phone as we are in a *dip* but we can text.
I think you & you wife sound very well suited!

Nuts in May

Karen said...

I'm eating potato salad for breakfast and I'm thinking it might be good with a slice of BBQ chicken pizza.

TechnoBabe said...

Married couple speech. We all have our own language. Doesn't matter if anyone else can "hear" it or understand it. Ain't love grand?

IT said...

Isn't it ironic about change?
Everyone seems to be all for it until it affects their routine.

Land of shimp said...

Heh, whereas I have my own shorthand communication with my husband, many inside jokes and even will say that he married me to take the bullet for the rest of the male population, the cocaine joke is one I have with my son.

I'll be about to run an errand, let him know when I'll be back and say, "So make sure you hide the porn mags and crack pipe before I get back."

"I always do, mom, I always do."

Yes, that's the upstanding citizen I raised, and then am planning on releasing into the wild. Whee!

I think it's good that you have a routine, by the way. Keeps you out from under foot. (verbatim what I sometimes say to MY HUSBAND, WHO PUTS UP WITH ME, GOD KNOWS WHY)

slommler said...

This is really scary! I was able to follow your train of thought with no problem. I totally "got" your relationship with you wife too! And I think it sounds marvelous!!
Love is grand!!!

Anonymous said...

If this is the way you talk with your wife then I'm scared to hear how you talk with your crack whore.

Dollar Bill. I learned something today.

Craig said...

(*sniff. . .whimper*)

I'm sorry; that is just. . . so touching. . .

All kidding aside, I really do get the love in all of this. . . And God bless you both.

Jen has a few friends who, when I answer the phone, will ask for my 'lovely wife', and I will turn away from the phone and say, "OK, now which one of you is the Lovely One?"

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

"Excellent at making stuff up and then swearing that it's true."

Now there's a marketable skill if I've ever heard one.

And she HELPS you build your day around sporting events? She's definitely a keeper, Jim, but you knew that already. Actually, Theresa is very good at working with my sports obsession too.

Jewels said...

HA! This fits my sense of humor exactly. My hubby doesn't always get it yet... but he's working on it.

Anonymous said...

I heard a lot of JP and me in that banter. What a gem YOUR WIFE is.

Pizza for breakfast!?@"*!*&

Jeni said...

Loved the bit here about how you say your wife is excellent about remembering things word for word but you are excellent in making things up and even making them sound believable too! Great post and good waker-upper for me cause it had me giggling -out loud -as I read it. That kind of stimulation is just what I need right now since I just ate a bit of lunch and within a half-hour to 90 minutes, I will probably get really groggy and be in dire need of yes, a nap! Kind of like your routine there, isn't it?

Daryl said...

Ah yes, YOUR WIFE and I are of the same school of remembering .. I always tell ToonMan IF I was listening I will have remembered every word, every nuance. He just nods and goes back to the Times Crossword ... he naps while we watch previously recorded television with the remote in his hand so I need to FF (fast forward) through the commercials I must wake him or excuse me he wasnt sleeping he was looking down .. AND ... whenever I call to say I am on my way home from wherever he always says I already sent the dancing girls home.

Except for the blind date stuff YOUR WIFE, you, ToonMan and I would be indistinguishable from one another....

i beati said...

Routine huh I never would have guessed - joking..How was Tony Bennett?

Buck said...

Well, this post rang a few bells. (sigh)

And... How 'bout them BRUINS!?! I was expecting another OT game last night, but they pulled it out in regulation.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

This is a PRIME example of a very comfortable, secure and successful marriage! I applaud you both! Sometimes, we eat dinner at crazy hours...Last night, I ate chili at 11:35 pm. Guess that almost counts as breakfast since morning was just 1/2 hour away ;-) Missed you yesterday! So glad you're back and posting today! Hugs, Janine

P.S. We have an ordinary answering machine as well!

Teacher's Pet said...

I, too, was able to follow every word....understood, nodded, smiled, and laughed. Didn't have to re-read or think,"Huh?" about a single word you wrote.
Soooo, I'm now worried about myself, and going to take my temp when I hit 'Publish your Comment' (after the word verification)...but before I do I want to tell you that I love you and your wife's love...an absolutely tremendous testimony to 'the real thing.'
Many warm smiles to you, Jim.

LuluRN said...

It wasn't my aunt who had the crush and drove by it was me! My grandmother drove down strange streets (small dirt roads even) on the chance that I glimpse a sight of who ever was my crush at the time. She was a great old lady!

Jenn said...

It is nice to read how much LOVE there is between you and YOUR WIFE. Routine is never a bad thing, especially because you two are so good at mixing it up so often with surprise date night & other stuff like that.

Funny, I have a cell phone but no home phone. Of course I barely ever pick up my phone which is why one of them had to go. My cell is for business.

Ananda girl said...

Hahahaha... I would have loved your wife's grandmother!

As for you too... what a perfect match!

Hilary said...

You two are wonderful.. perfect for one another.

I'm Jane said...

Saturday night...Betty White and Jay-Z, baby!

You do, um, know who Jay-Z is, right?

Shrinky said...

Woohoo, someone else who doesn't have a cell phone!! My answer phone ALWAYS picks up, too - that's the way I happen to like it..

Sounds like you and YOUR WIFE have got it pretty sussed, it's not snide and uncaring love at all, it's loving each other and being secure enough together to allow each other their own little spaces - giving without neediness is the best kind of love of all!

Suldog said...

Lulu - Well, see? There you go. I told you I didn't have the conversation word-for-word, and I was right! :-)

Eva Gallant said...

Funny, hubby and I have similar jokes. I always tell him to make sure all the wild women are gone before I get home, and he always tells me to make sure my boyfriend leaves before he (hubby) arrives.

Eva Gallant said...

Funny, hubby and I have similar jokes. I always tell him to make sure all the wild women are gone before I get home, and he always tells me to make sure my boyfriend leaves before he (hubby) arrives.