|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Jul. 02, 2004 - 7:17 a.m.
Dammit, I know it's unbecoming for a big burly Manly Man to cry, but.....
Aw, shit. Someone hand me a hankie.
What's with you chicks, anyway?
When last we read from Dangerspouse, he was explaining that poor NewWifey(tm) was shackled securely to her desk at work and would not be able to join him in celebration of their 3rd Wedding Anniversary on the day itself. After expressions of regret on both sides, they agreed to defer Champagne, gifts and blowjobs until this coming Sunday. Dangerspouse cleverly hid the leather goodie, which he'd paid for in blood, in an unnamed location and started counting down the hours til the weekend.
Shortly after posting that last entry - on our Anniversary - NewWifey(tm) rang my cellphone and asked if I'd like to meet up for lunch.
Now normally, this is out of the question. I get off work at 9am and she takes lunch at 1pm. I either have to kill 3 hours at work ("Hey, Jim. Whatcha workin' on? Billing, huh? Mind if I watch? What are these? Crackers? Mind if I have one...?") or drive an hour home, sit for an hour, then drive almost an hour to HER work. And frankly, she's just not worth EITHER option. Normally.
But this was our 3rd Anniversary, so I thought I'd toss her a bone and grace her with my presence. We decided to meet up at "Jose Tejas", where she loves (predictably enough) their guacamole.
At one o'clock then, I wheeled the Mighty WRX into a Handicapped Space by the restaurant's front door (they're wider spaces - less chance of door dents) and sauntered in. I immediately spotted NewWifey(tm) at a far table, up against a window.
NewWifey(tm) is easy to pick out in a crowd. Tall, copper-red hair, and the near blinding glow that women who've found the Perfect Man get. You know the type. (Well come to think of it, you probably don't. Red hair is not all that common.)
And in front of her on the table....
MY ANNIVERSARY PRESENT!
AAAUGH! We were supposed to exchange gifts on SUNDAY! We had agreed to that only the day before!! I sat down and just stared at her. I think she had an inkling that I'd be perturbed by this unannounced change of plans and immediately explained her actions.
"Aww honey, it's our Anniversary! I just couldn't let our Anniversary go by without giving you a present. What kind of wife would I be if I met you empty handed?"
A sane, bargain keeping wife, that's what kind. I felt like a schmuck sitting there with balloons tied to my chair, a big wrapped box with a clownishly huge bow in front of me, and 3 cards (one each from her, the dog and cat) artfully arranged like a mini bouquet in a basket of chocolates. The entire restaurant was craning their necks to see what the occassion was. Meanwhile NewWifey(tm) sat across from me behind only a place setting and her cell phone. I felt like I'd shown up empty handed to a Christmas party.
"Well open it!" she said. "We need to make way for the food!"
I wasn't hungry any more, but I grimly began working on the pile in front of me. The cards were cute (although the dog misspelled my name again) and cheered me up a bit. It helps that I'm natually avaricious, so the awkwardness of showing up empty handed began to fade as I tore into the wrapping paper. Inside was a leather box, which when opened revealed....
When I saw that, I had to laugh. I am, through some quirk of genetics, a miserable speller when I write. But not when I'm reading. I don't know what it is - some of you may be afflicted with this also - but I can SPOT a misspelled word even when just skimming quickly through an article or book, even though I may be half-daydreaming at the same time. An incorrectly spelled word will slam my brain's brakes on, and all my attention will shift to the offending line. I'll also usually mutter disgustedly under my breath the correct spelling: "...it's 'h-E-A-r-t-h' you dolt."
But some other portion of the brain must be used when one writes. I absolutely cannot spell for shet. Seriously, since my grade school days I've been in constant danger of being left back because teachers were concerned I was developmentally disabled. Or as they called it back then, "retarded". To my face. I almost didn't pick "Dangerspouse" as my moniker because it was too much trouble at the time to look up both words. If it weren't for dictionary.com running in a separate window at all times (and I just had to look up "separate", which I initially spelled "seperate") anybody reading my diary would think it was being penned by someone only three weeks into an English As A Second Language course. It's almost crippling.
In a desperate bid to graduate high school during the same years as my classmates, I purchased a used "Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary 7th ed." in the 9th grade and toted it to every single class from then through the end of college. The fucker probably weighed 7 pounds too, becomming dog eared and tattered before I even started 11th grade. It had a hard canvas cover, which was tattered and ragged, and tagged me as completely gauche during orientation at U Penn.
But it was my emergency oxygen mask, my life giving daily insulin, right up through my final dissertations. If it weren't for that weighty tome, I probably would have ended up as some sort of, I dunno, traffic reporter. Or something equally reprehensible.
And...I still have it, and it's never farther than arms length when I'm writing. Although dictionary.com is very convenient, all these years of thumbing through the tissue paper pages of M-W has actually made that the faster option. And, no pop-ups!
Lately though, especially since starting "Dangerspouse", my poor 7th Edition has been in failing health. The spine glue has pretty much turned to flaking, brittle shards, and large chunks (from "Catawba" to "Fasciole" notably) will fall to the floor if pulled off the shelf with less than a firm grip. It's been taking longer and longer to write these entries.
So when I saw the NEWEST, 11TH EDITION of my beloved Merriam-Webster's, bound in beautiful leather, complete with cd-rom AND a complimentary 1-year subscription to their on-line premier services....well, can you spell "e-c-s-t-a-t-i-c"? I know *I* couldn't...before.
On top of that, tucked into a smaller package, was a half a new watch!
See, I have this watch that I love, and I've had it for almost as long as I'd owned that old 7th ed. dictionary. It's some odd Swiss brand, with a face similar to the Movado Museum timepiece. It really looks sharp, and has a very comfortable leather band that secures via an ingenious hasp mechanism.
A few weeks ago the leather band finally wore through. I've been in mourning ever since. It seems that little artisanal watch shops in Switzerland aren't particularly interested in making replacement bands for the unique designs they come up with, only replacement watches. Canvasing all the jewelry shops in a 40 mile radius from my house produced no leather strap, band or hasp that would attach to my beloved. It's lain in my nightstand drawer ever since, while I've been forced to don my clunky rubber Casio G-Shock.
Well, I never said anything out loud, but somehow NewWifey(tm) knew I was disappointed. Maybe it was my tearful wailing every night in front of the nightstand before going to bed, maybe it was the newly shaved head, horsehair shirt and fresh tattoo (portaying the watch and "1989 - 2004" underneath). But SOMETHING tipped her off.
So last week she slipped the watch into her purse on her way to work, and on the trip home she stopped at every jeweler SHE knew. But just like me, she had no luck.
However, UNLIKE me, she did something brilliant.
She broke out her micrometer, took all the measurements, then went and purchased several watchbands. All were the same color and style, but different diameters at the ends. Then at home, while I slept, she went down to the garage and fashioned a custom fit watchband! Using a Dremel, jewelers screwdrivers, files and small grinding wheel, NewWifey(tm) trimmed each leather end down till they fit both into the jewel case AND the oddly shaped hasp. She also had to carefully trim the new pins to fit, which was just as laborious a job apparently. But in the end, the results looked JUST like the original - only less encrusted with years of sweat and grime.
What could I say? She was sitting across from me absolutely beaming with pride, knowing she'd just launched back-to-back home runs. I didn't have the heart to backhand her for her insolence, for embarrassing me in a public space by giving me her presents FOUR DAYS early. I decided to let it go and let her have her moment. It WAS our 3rd Anniversary after all. That's the least a considerate husband could do.
However, when I get out of here today I'm going straight back to Gayboy Leather Goods in the mall and returning her gift. After all, I'd hate to lavish a big expensive present on her - complete with all the fanfare and flourishes it deserves - when she has nothing left to give in return. I know how embarrassing that is. I'd just as soon spare her that awkwardness.
It's the least I could do.
I'll still planning on the Champagne and blowjobs though. I'm not totally heartless.
Take care kids. Hope you have a good weekend too!