|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Jul. 01, 2011 - 12:39 p.m.
Yesterday NewWifey(tm) and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.
It was a tough sell at first. We come from very different backgrounds: she's Methodist, from a small midwestern town, and I'm an asshole. But somehow we made it work.
Sure there've been some bumps along the way, but our shared oral sex fixation got us through most of the rough patches. We also learned (often the hard way) to develop other skills for when that strategy wasn't appropriate (bail hearings, tv appearances). And when all else failed, there was always alcohol. Sweet, love affirming alcohol.
But really, all successful couples do that. NewWifey(tm) doesn't deserve special recognition just because she knows when to strap on the knee pads. No, if that had been her entire saving grace these past 10 years she would have just gotten a card and a loving pat on the head as she was bobbing up and down last night.
Instead, she got diamonds.
Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds, to be exact. Her favorite. (I'm a Wasabi and Soy Sauce Flavor man, myself.)
It was really sweet, the way it played out. I knew she wanted diamonds, having dropped 40 or 50 hints per hour to that effect for the past 3 years. But I also knew she knew we couldn't afford real diamonds after the crash of '08, which saw us relying on government cheese for a while. Still, come to think of it.
I figured the almonds were the perfect choice. It had the word "Diamond" in the name, which meant I was sensitive enough to remember which anniversary this was. It wasn't a sex toy, so ditto on the sensitivity scale. And they provide needed calories, something she was always pining for.
So on my way home from work Wednesday I popped into WalMart and got a dented 3.5 oz. can on the Clearance Rack for $2.99, and also decided to spring for a card I found that read: "Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of the smartest decision you ever made!" Professional card writers really can capture your feelings better than you can, sometimes.
Back at Dangerhouse I took great pains to perfectly wrap the cylindrical container in some leftover Christmas paper we had in the closet (crossing out the words "Merry Christmas!" and writing over it "A Decade, Bitch!". Details count.)
I was all set. After dinner I unscrewed a nice bottle of wine, set out a platter of Kraft cheese slices and Gummy Bears (recall she's from the midwest) and lit a cattle scented candle. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils were belting out "Chicken Train" on the stereo. It was perfect.
I presented, with great a flourish, her gift.
"I know, great, right? Look - it's got the word "Diamond" right there on the label, for our 10th! I even remembered 'Smokehouse' is your favorite flavor. And did you see the wrapping pa-"
The door slammed behind her. I watched out the window, stunned, as she ran down the front steps to her Ford Escape, started it, and peeled out down the driveway, gravel flying. Still holding the almonds.
She didn't even stop to put on pants.
I had to see what she was up to, and fast. Even though Stanley the Mighty WRX could far out-pace NewWifey(tm)'s little SUV, she still had a good head start. And a very heavy right foot.
I decided myself to throw on a pair of shorts as I hopped down the stairs, but that brief delay still almost cost me the game. I turned the key on Stanley, threw him into gear and gunned it. At the top of our neighborhood hill I just caught NewWifey(tm)'s brake lights in the distance, but they were fading fast. I dropped Stanley down a gear and gave it everything he had.
Fortunately the road NewWifey(tm) chose to blast down was a long, winding mountain pass with no turnoffs for several miles. It's the natural environment of a rally-bred Subaru WRX, but not so much for a small econo-box domestic SUV with worn snow tires and a bad connector rod.
Still, insane people have the speed of 10 men it is said. I had Stanley's tach buried in the red, slid him sideways through every turn, and even caught air over a couple of rises. But NewWifey(tm) still beat me to the beach.
I knew that's where she was going. It's the only feature on that road, other than road. We belong to a little 'Lake Community', and during the summer NewWifey(tm) likes to lay out there and work on her burn (Irish = no tan). It's not large, but considering this is New Jersey it's the best anyone could hope for.
I pulled in to the parking lot and figured that was that. I'd hop into her passenger seat, listen to her rant about whatever was causing this particular meltdown, no matter how nonsensical, maybe fend off a few blows, and when she felt better we'd go home. Where the bobbing would commence. It's a familiar pattern.
However, instead, she hopped out into knee high water, leaned back as far as she could with that 3.5 oz. can of Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds in her right fist, and hurled it as far as she could into the middle of the lake.
"NOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo!!" I screamed.
I couldn't believe it! The anniversary present I'd just spent so much time wrapping! I almost rather she'd done the Susan Smith thing instead.
Without really thinking I jumped out of Stanley and did a white Usain Bolt across the sand. At the water's edge I kicked my bunny slippers off (um, they were the fastest thing to put on when I left the house) and dove in. It was dark, the water was probably 19% pee, and there were sharks (I think). But I had to get those almonds.
"Honey!" I yelled from about 20 yards out, "Stay there! If I'm not back in half an hour, call 911!"
Too late. I watched the Escape kick up a filthy wall of spray and sand as she dropped it into reverse with the throttle pinned. In 10 seconds she was gone.
Alright. I have swum these waters many times in the past decade, although usually not fully clothed and usually not without my noodle. I knew it didn't really get deep until you were a good 100 yards from shore, and NewWifey(tm), even in her most hormonally enhanced rages, could rarely heave anything more than 70. I should be alright, if I took it slow.
About 40 yards out I had to shed my clothes. You wouldn't believe how much a 100% cotton Yellow Power Ranger t-shirt and matching shorts weigh fully saturated. Off they came, along with my beloved "Montgomery Biscuits" baseball cap. I was going commando, so there wasn't anything left after that.
60 yards out I started to dive.
It was: deep breath, close eyes, upend, kick, and feel along the bottom until my eyes felt like they were gonna explode. Repeat. Resist urge to vomit on discovering various other things along the way.
You're not going to believe it, but after about a half an hour of this I actually found the fucker. Good thing, too, as I was starting to get giddy from all the pollutants in the water that had seeped through my skin and into my bloodstream. New Jersey waters are not exactly renowned for their health generating properties.
I didn't bother looking for my clothes on the swim back, as I knew from experience they wouldn't be long for this world even if I did find them, given the acidity level of the lake. Even fish there have holes all along their fins. But I was pleasantly surprised to find the Biscuits cap had washed up on the sand and looked none the worse for its adventure. I grabbed it and used it to cover Little Elvis.
The drive home didn't take long, even at my then saner pace. I parked in the driveway next to NewWifey(tm)'s still steaming Escape and walked up the front stairs. I opened the door and saw her on the couch, arms folded and looking stone faced at the tv. Which wasn't on. She didn't even glance at me as I approached, fully nude and trailing swamp water and mosquito eggs, across the room.
I opened the top on the can of almonds and dumped it over her head.
The diamond ring I'd carefully slipped inside through a tiny X-acto Knife slit landed in her lap.
Yeah, yeah. Shut up and start bobbing.
Afterwards, she handed me a large wrapped box with an intricate bow.
"Happy anniversary, darling."
I unwrapped it.
I wound up to throw it at her.
"Wait, wait! Look inside!"
I saw then that the cap had a tiny slit on the side, exactly like the one I'd made on her present. I tore the lid off in one motion.
"What were you expecting?" she said.