Friday, November 2, 2012

The Other Half

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
- Rodney Dangerfield

   A few weeks ago, another guitar showed up on my doorstep. I would have refused the delivery, but I happened to be in the powder room when UPS dropped it off. 

   Apparently, when your husband tells you that you can't get a pedi because "we're broke," that's man code for "I just bought another guitar." But what makes this purchase acceptable is that the box contained, not just another ordinary guitar, but a bass guitar. So now Mr. V can master the intermediate level of all the songs on his Rocksmith game on practically a whole 'nother instrument. And for the time being, at least, he has ceased playing those same two or three "Simple Man" tabs over and over again. It's a win-win situation over here.

   Mr. V seems to enjoy surprising me, from time to time, with gifts for himself. Or for "us," if he's feeling guilty about something. But the surprise factor does not always work out as he had planned. Here, let me illustrate:

   Exhibit A: The Anniversary Gift
   This year, my first anniversary surprise was Mr. V going to Las Vegas for a business trip, on our anniversary. But before he left, he told me to keep an eye out for a package, which would be arriving any day now. ("It's for us," he said. "For the living room.") That afternoon, a rather large, heavy box turned up on my doorstep. I brought it inside and opened it up with anticipation. Inside the box I saw...

...a chartreuse yellow file cabinet.

   I was now faced with a couple of problems. Besides the obvious (He got me a file cabinet. As an anniversary gift. For the living room.), there was the small matter of A) How can I make this chartreuse yellow file cabinet work with my home decor? or B) How do I tell him tactfully that I don't want this thing in my living room? Then came his text message: "Did the gift arrive yet?" 

   Uh oh. "Yes.."

   "What do you think?"

   "It will be useful, and it's a very interesting color."

   Then he asks me to send him a picture. I oblige, and a few minutes pass before he responds: "Is that a file cabinet?!?"

   As it turns out, Crate & Barrel sent the wrong item. We were supposed to have received a set of walnut side tables. It's a pity I hadn't known that before I let the kids destroy the big, fun box it came in.

   Exhibit B: The rifle
   As the saying goes, "A lady with a gun has more fun." I can't argue with that, but the manner in which I discovered said gun was a bit unpleasant.

   We were headed up north recently with the kids and the dogs for the weekend, and we had almost reached our destination when I heard a strange sound coming from the back of the SUV. The sound was followed by an all-too-familiar odor.

   "Honey, I think one of the dogs peed back there," I said. I unbuckled and climbed around for a better view. Sure enough, someone couldn't hold it any longer and emptied out on top of a long, narrow box that I had never seen before.

   "Mr. V, she peed all over a box back there.... What is that? Is that... Is that a rifle??"

   (Shifty eyes) "Yes..."

   "Since when do we own a rifle?"

   "Since yesterday. It's for us. I was going to surprise you with it when we got there, but the stupid dog ruined the surprise."

   A file cabinet and a rifle, ladies and gentlemen. A file cabinet and a rifle. Can someone please tell Mr. V to just stick with flowers and chocolates from now on?