Sunday, February 6, 2011


Nothing says love like going behind your wife’s back. Trust me. I speak with authority on this topic. If you can go behind her back with solid faith that it won’t all blow up in your face . . . that’s love, baby!

In 2006 Kristin went out of town for a couple of weeks. Something about visiting her parents in Las Vegas. I don’t know. I wasn’t really listening. All I know was she was gone and she wasn’t back for dinner. Nor the next dinner. I kept cooking and putting it on the table, and eventually she was there to enjoy it. She said, “Thanks!” and told me about her trip.

I was smart enough not to say, “Oh, were you gone?”

Walking into the garage for the first time since her return, Kristin was startled to see a motorcycle. I had one when our matrimonial union was sanctified by good ol’ Reverend Scotty of the First United Methodist Church of Campbell (he who soon after left town with a new wife of his own) and Kristin and I had spent a goodly amount of time on it. Even made it to Canada in 1986, where I learned I could no longer apply for Conscientious Objector status.

We’d sold the bike, however, in the mid-90s. It was no longer practical with three small children needing constant chauffeur service. I was willing to take them on the bike but their feet didn’t reach the back footrests and their tiny heads just banged around inside the large helmet.

Now I had gone out and purchased a new one without any discussion with She Who Should Be Involved In All Major Decision-Making (she gave me that title to use for her, I didn’t make it up). Surprise! It could have ruined the mood of her homecoming, if only I wasn’t so clever in my surprise-making. There are many women, I am sure, who would browbeat their husbands if they brought home a motorcycle.

My wife is great. She said, “Let’s go for a ride!”

Of course, this was to be expected. She had dealt with other surprises over the past twenty-five years similarly. When I said, “Surprise! Let’s have Kyle’s six month picture taken in the same dress as his sisters when they were the same age,” Kristin went along with it. When I said, “Surprise! I hung up a dart board in the family room,” she just made sure to duck every time she entered the room.

Back in the garage, she was admiring the sleek lines and the shiny parts of the new motorcycle and I waited for the other shoe to drop. Because the motorcycle was the first shoe, and there was another shoe in the garage. Not the ones that were on our feet. And this mysterious second shoe was about to drop. Am I making the metaphor painful to read?

Well, then, let’s move on . . .

Turning to go back into the house she realized there was something to her right. A large something, and yet the Mazda was in the driveway. She looked and the next half-second stretched out in slow motion. Then she screamed.

The new Subaru scared her. Surprise again!

So yeah, I bought a new motorcycle while my wife was out of town, but the day before that I bought a new car. No input or advice or opinion from the spouse. And she didn’t kill me, which means I still stand in good stead. I am the kind of husband who can pull this kind of thing off and live to tell the tale. Many men are jealous of that fact.

This is no testament to the wonderment of Matt, however, it is the beneficence of Kristin that allows us to survive in a relationship where clearly one of us cares little for the feelings of others. I’ll leave you to figure out who I am talking about.

Of course, Kristin moves the household furniture around all the time without consulting me, which is sort of the same thing. Unless you consider how easy it is to move a couch from one wall to another and how easy it is for me to move it back after I stop yelling.

It is slightly more difficult to deal with a 4000-pound behemoth—not that Kristin was ever going to return the car once she found it had seat warmers.

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes! The ever popular "seat warmers." I remember in 2001 when we purchased our Volkswagen Jetta Wagen (that's the German spelling)which came with seat warmers. The comment from my distinctly more practical wife was something like, "That is ridiculous to pay for seat warmers. Who would ever use them". My pleas for acceptance, which included the fact that they came in the accessory package that included the sun roof, were not roundly agreed to. (She thought the sun roof was unnecessary also.)

    Actually, at the time, there were few of these cars available at the dealerships, and they all included that accessory package.

    But the real kicker is the fact that the seat warmers are now among her most favorite features of the car, since they sooth her aging and ailing back.

    This all goes to prove the wisdom of the mechanically sophisticated mind of the adult male.