I was a widower when I met my present wife, Maxine. And we have been married for 15 years now…or is it 13…no, it may be 16. Oh well, my wife keeps track of such things. My only job is to not forget the exact date we were married. In my lifetime I have heard many horror stories of life and death experiences; being stranded on a mountain ledge, surrounded my starving wolves, and blood and guts war stories to just name a few. But I’m sorry, they all pale in comparison to the truly life-threatening perils of forgetting a wife’s birthday or anniversary. Anyway, we have been married for quite some time.
All our children are grown and gone, and we have settled into the daily living of retired life. And it has all become a comfortable ritual, only interrupted from time to time when I do something lame-brained at which time my wife attempts to chew as much off of my ass as is possible before I can escape. The other day was a fine example.
I always do the vacuuming. My wife had back surgery, so during her rehabilitation I took over the duties. That was some eight years ago. She is either still in rehabilitation or I’ve secured the job through seniority. I am prone to believe the latter. Whatever the case, vacuuming is now one of my chores. Anyway, while the wife was upstairs cleaning bathrooms I vacuumed downstairs. It was then that I spotted a small stain on the carpet. Though outside of my job title, I decided I would be a nice guy and clean it up. I looked under the kitchen sink and found a spray bottle of carpet cleaner and took care of the stain. A few moments later I spotted a cluster of three more stains. I went back to the kitchen sink and retrieved the spray bottle, gave the spots a good spraying and vigorous rub. After finishing vacuuming I returned to check out my cleaning job. I gasped in horror! Where the stains had been now were three large white circles on the robin-egg blue carpet. I frantically rubbed the spots. Nothing changed. I went back to the kitchen sink and looked at the spray bottle I had grabbed the second time. It wasn’t the same spray bottle. I had picked up a spray bottle of bleach. Just like Denim jeans, I had stone washed our carpet.
Beads of sweat appeared like popcorn on my forehead. I was in deep deep shit! My first thought was to cover them up. But there was no way it could be done without the eagle eye of my wife noticing. For the first time in my life I wished our grandkids were visiting. I would have blamed it on them. Yes, it would have been a despicable thing to do. I admit that. But when it comes to saving my ass from my wife’s snapping jaws, I would not have hesitated. Walking up the stairs was like walking to the gallows. There was no getting around it. I had given my wife a wonderful reason to go ballistic. And she didn’t disappoint.
When her eyes fell upon the site they began widening, while at the same time taking on an animalistic glare. Her complexion changed to a flourescent red glow. And then she spoke. At first all she could sputter out were half sentences. “How did you…How could anyone…What were you think….” But finally she got on a role. And if our minister would have heard the words that rolled so easily from her mouth she would have been banned from our church, and not allowed to return until she agreed to an exorcism. Finally she ended her tirade with, “You’re going to take care of this problem, not me.” And I did.
I found a carpet repairman who, for $200.00, did a fine job of matching and patching the area with the remnant we had out in the garage. Now life is back to our normal rituals until the next time I find a fine way to screw up. And I will. It’s a man thing. I have no control over it. In fact is was only a couple of days later….
I wrapped an arm around Maxine’s shoulders while in the kitchen. “Honey,” I said, “you’re not still angry about that carpet thing the other day, are you?’
“No,” she replied, her eyes beginning to narrow in suspicion.”Why, what did you do now?”
“Nothing, nothing” I replied. “It just looked like you were scowling. Ya know you should work on relaxing that pretty face of yours a little. One day those facial lines will be perminent.”
“They are perminent, you nincompoop! This is my normal face!”
I just couldn’t leave well enough alone….