Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Is What Marriage Is All About

*** continued from previous post ***

"I have a question for you," Mom said and I wanted to bang my head against the wall because have you ever noticed that when someone says "I have a question" they say that for one of two reasons: One, they are preparing you for some kind of bombshell, as in "I have a question for you. Has the baby always been on fire?" Or two, they are not really asking you a question. What they are doing is establishing a logic framework in order to make an accusation, as in "I have a question for you. Where were you on the night of February 4th between the hours of 7 PM and 9 PM, and were you aware that not only were you being tracked by LoJack, but we have sequential security camera footage of you on your little adventure with the Camel and the Nuns and the AK-47 badly disguised as a doll?

Guess which line of questioning your Mother was pursuing.

"Oh good. Had a bit of time to ponder the day whilst I was showering, have we?"

She ignored my question, but narrowed her eyes all snake-like. If she were John Wayne I would have been staring down the barrel of a peace-maker and the lead would have been about to fly. She smiled, ever so slightly. There was not a hint of love nor kindness nor femininity in that smile.

"Did you pick up on the fact that this is more of a 'Bed and Breakfast' type place rather than a 'What would you like from the menu?' type place?" And of course she knew the answer to that, but as I said, that's not what this particular conversation was about.

My blood ran cold. For some reason, I had hoped that the powers-that-be would have taken pity on me after the gauntlet of our day and let this one rest. Just for tonight. Silly me and my silly expectations.

As you know, your Mother has many, many, many, many, (is she still reading over my shoulder?), many, MANY wonderful qualities and attributes. Being thrust into social situations with large groups of strangers is not among that pantheon. I can clearly recall having a discussion on this exact subject some . . . oh, I don't know . . . 7 or 8 thousand times in our life.

Phrases like 'I never want to stay in a Bed and Breakfast.", and "I can think of nothing more unpleasant than trying to make idle conversation with strangers first thing in the morning." and "If you ever book us in something like that there will be Hell to pay." sprang to mind.

I have one hope. I will play dumb.

"Really?" I say, and open my eyes all puppy like. "I didn't know that. Hmmmmm . . . Well, I guess we will just have to make the best of it."

I prepared myself for a lecture. I would have welcomed a harsh word, possibly some cursing. Slight physical punishment was not out of the question. But it was worse. Mom just shook her head and sighed.

"Let's get this over with," she said, and slipped damp tennis shoes on her pruney little feet. "If this is like the rest of our day they'll probably douse us with acid before dessert."

Great. Not only have I almost killed my love countless times on this trip, now I have disappointed her as well. This day just keeps getting better and better and better. Well played, Good Sir. Well played. I had been successful in inflicting the maximum emotional damage possible in the shortest amount of time while expending the least amount of energy. That, my young daughter, is what marriage is all about.

I slipped on my boots over my sore feet - my other shoes were very, very wet - and we made the short journey out the door, through the dark, and into the Lodge.

*** the journey continues ***


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