Please don’t misunderstand. It’s not like I’ve compulsively maintained a journal of every single, little thing my wife has done to drive me nuts in the decade we’ve been married. What kind of guy would do that? It wouldn’t be healthy. No, no. I’ve only done it for about a year.
So that everything will be on the record when we go for counseling and so that I can expense the fine, leather-bound notebook, following is an incomplete though nonetheless illustrative list of affronts committed by My Fair Lady over the period in question:
• Left 10-pound bag of ice on rear floorboard of car overnight. When apprised next morning of standing water in car, the extent of her remediation efforts was to leave car door open all day. (Um, box fan?)
• Hassled me to “Hurry up” and “Let’s go” when I was sitting on toilet, moving bowels (and likely reading Wall Street Journal).
• Left refrigerator door slightly ajar overnight—for umpteenth time—such that milk was not sufficiently cold in the morning for cereal.
• While getting ready in morning, applying mousse, picked multiple strands of wet hair from hand and dropped them on the floor. Me: “Why are you dropping wet hairs on the floor?” Her: “There’s already a million of them on the floor.” Me: “So kinda like everybody steals and why shouldn’t you?” Her: “When you start cleaning the bathroom, you can complain.” (Note: since I mow the yard, can I use weedkiller to write funny messages in the lawn?)
• Bargained for sex, agreed to participate only if I promised to rise early with the baby girl the next morning.
• Again allowed The Boy to leave his bicycle in the garage right where I park, so that when I came home after a hard day of work and then apres-work cocktails, I had to stop, get out of car, move bicycle, and then pull into garage.
• Experienced difficult day yesterday, staying home with the kids, so said in the morning: “I need some words of encouragement to get through the day.” Me: “No matter how hard your day is, you won’t be bombed by the Jews.” Didn’t appreciate my attempt to use the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to put her day in perspective and walked away, refusing to give goodbye kiss.
• Encountered my shoes on bedroom floor, in the morning, waiting for my feet. Stumbled over shoes (good pair of Johnston & Murphys), became enraged, stomped and kicked at shoes. (Note: in response, I said, “Hey! That’s not nice!” Then I went into our walk-in closet and kicked all of her many shoes on the floor.)
• Didn’t jump up and down or sing a song when I came home after placing third in big poker tournament, winning load of money. (Note: true, arrival was 2 am, after promised worst-case, latest-possible target of 7 pm, but winning does take time, man.)
• Suspecting I’d over-served myself at dinner party at our house and that, as a result, I’d be feeling amorous at the end of the evening, took extra long to brush teeth, wash face, hoping I’d fall asleep before she came to bed, which I did. Next morning, bragged to mutual friend, in front of me, about her cleverness.
• Since circa 1992, I have participated in Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade. One year, I had to write a letter of apology to the organizers for having frightened the dearly departed Harvey Martin, who was serving as a celebrity judge, by hurling dinner rolls in his general direction from our float, using a three-man slingshot—just to give you an idea of how enthusiastically I participate in the event. Knowing that background, having, in fact, driven me from the parade grounds to the ER one year after I suffered a minor head injury, she asked whether I’d be home for dinner. Me: “Hard to say.” Her: “You’re going to be out all night?” Me: “Again, hard to say.” Her: “I’m beginning to hate St. Patrick’s Day as much as you hate Christmas.” (I mean, “beginning”?)
• Stepped on my foot in kitchen, almost certainly on purpose. In any case, didn’t apologize with gusto commensurate with foot pain.
• Won’t find this column funny.