32 years of marriage.
We can rely on the integrity of my portioning of responsibility for the tenor of the marriage or you can call on the Children, those coming from her womb…still tethered…but, come on, you can’t really count on them to be objective, right?
Or, you can come to your own conclusion.
There are ground rules, rails, that permit the Holy Union to remain One for more than 30 years. There are simple rules that follow a grueling day: 1) no requests to share the day’s highlights and 2) the maintenance of a strict quiet zone for 10-15 minutes. That’s it.
So, when simple rules are broken, the Union is tested.
It’s 6:45 pm. It’s the tail end of a long day. I’m sitting alone at the kitchen table. The fork hovers over meatloaf, mashed potatoes and a generous river of brown gravy. Susan sits in the family room (respecting the quiet zone). The Nightly News offers background noise with gaps filled with commercials for Viagra, Depends and Bradshaw pitching remedies for Shingles. The irritation level ratchets up from high to Red Zone. Network idiots feeding me this crap during the dinner hour. Are there no boundaries?
I scan the NY Times Opinion pages. I turn the page and the bubble is popped. I lift my head slowly from the paper. I hear words but cannot decipher.
Have you thought about trying Rogaine?
Have you thought about not cutting your hair so short?
I stare at her.
She stares back at me.
I’m teetering, on the edge of a tipping point here.
I drop my head down, re-grip my fork and get back at the meatloaf.
“Holy Crap, how DID I get so lucky?”
Wait for someone who says, “Holy crap, how did I get so lucky?” when you walk in the door, absolutely exhausted from work at 6pm after being married for 30 years. Wait for that, it’s more than worth it.
Notes: Photography – baldingmen.com (really)