Friday, September 04, 2009
The Canoe Trip, or The Boat That Almost Wrecked My Marriage
There was a huge kerfuffle at my house when I showed Flannery the new canoe that I had purchased.
She had just returned home that night from a long, exhausting trip to Vermont and wanted nothing more than to tumble into her own little bed and drift off to the land of slumber where no one would have computer related questions. She had hardly dropped her bags on the floor before I kissed her and lead her out to our shed. I was so excited, much like a little boy about to unveil Christmas morning to his family. I giggled as we made our way in the dark because I was going to show her the grandest, most wonderful thing that had entered our lives since we had kids.
In short, I was an idiot.
I open the shed door and shined the flashlight on our 13' aluminum beauty, the vessel that would cart us away from all of our cares and worries. A boat that would crown our summers with fun, quality family time for years to come. I let the flashlight play over it like a Hollywood premiere.
In the voice of Satan before his morning coffee she said, "How much did that cost?"
Instantly, my crest fell and my stomach reviewed it's skill in tying knots. Didn't she see the magnificent canoe before her? Didn't she understand that this was going to enrich our lives on so many different levels? How could mere money have anything to do with the fantabulous boat that hung before her? I was stung that she didn't see it as I did. It had never occurred to me.
She was still waiting for me to answer, and even in the dark I could see the steam and sparks that jetted from her ears. I mumbled, "More than two." Let me go on record as saying that this is without a doubt, the single dumbest thing I have ever said, and that is saying something, as I've mumbled a lot of witless things in my time, but most of them were in response to questions by my mother or to representatives of the Law.
She stomped off to bed and I started making plans to explain my side of the story when she had cooled off a bit and would be more receptive to my reason. She never cooled off. Dagger-laden glances and a bevy of cold shoulders was the order of the week. She was totally cheesed that I had spent what she thought was four hundred dollars on a canoe. Like a dumbass, I waited for her anger to abate.
Then the credit card bill came.
They say that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Well Hell hath no fury like a woman who finds out that you spent nine hundred dollars on a worthless, piece-of-shit canoe when she was already pissed off about you spending four hundred dollars, you simple-minded git.
This October, we will have been married for 12 years, and in all that time, we have only had two fights. This was the second. She tore into me like a badger with a toothache. I was flummoxed. I even offered to take the damn thing back if it would restore peace and harmony in our house, but even this olive branch would not save me from her tongue-lashing. (Normally I enjoy a good tongue-lashing but only in certain spots, not in an all out assault.) I buckled, crumpled, and screamed "Uncle", but to no avail. Getting on bended knees and begging for mercy might work in the movies, but it carries no weight with my wife.
"Alright," she said in a firm tone as she looked down on my simpering face, "I'll cut you a deal."
"Anything, anything!" I whined.
"You have to name it after me!" she smiled her rascal-like grin and seemed satisfied with her pound of flesh.
I never did have the heart to tell her that if I'd bought it the week before I could have saved $180.