I said “no” before my wife could finish her question.
It was Saturday morning, and the plan called for us to leave at about 2 p.m. for our 15-year-old daughter’s dance recital in Joplin. Emma and the other girls were to open the recital with a routine, and then they would be free until the second recital at 7 p.m.
My plan was to watch Emma dance at 3 p.m. and be home by 3:30 p.m. As plans go, I thought mine was a good one.
My wife, as she is wont to do, had a different plan. By the way, I don’t think we use the word “wont” enough. I wonder why that is.
I wasn’t sure exactly what my wife’s other plan was, but whatever it was, I knew I wouldn’t like it. Call it a hunch.
So, when my wife brought up the time difference between Emma’s 3 p.m. dance recital and her 7 p.m. recital, I was ready.
“You know, we’ll have more than three hours between Emma’s dance recitals,” my wife said. “I was thinking that we could ...”
“No,” I said.
“You haven’t even heard my idea,” my wife said.
“I don’t have to. I know I won’t like it,” I said.
My wife told me that she was disappointed that I didn’t trust her. She asked why I always thought that she had something planned that I wouldn’t like.
“OK, what’s your idea?” I said.
“I thought we could pick up a new table for the living room,” she said.
“That’s why I don’t trust you,” I said.
See, my wife never makes just one stop when running errands. In fact, in the nearly 22 years we have been married, I have never run an errand with my wife. Instead, I have run errands.
There is a significant difference between the two phrases.
It turns out that my wife’s plans on Saturday were no exception. Not only did she want to buy a table for our living room, she also wanted to buy some scrapbook stuff, some clothes stuff, some food stuff and a bunch of other things falling under the “stuff” category.
In an effort to appease me, my wife said that when we finished running her errands (plural), we could stop and get a bite to eat and a beer.
I have beer and food at home, so I don’t see how getting to stop for a bite and a beer after running errands (plural) was much of a great deal — which is what I told my wife.
“Why don’t you want to go with me?” my wife said in that pretend hurt voice of hers.
“Because I don’t want to run errands for three hours on a Saturday afternoon,” I said.
I didn’t even mention the fact that I would be spending my entire Saturday evening at a dance recital and that making me run errands (plural) for three hours would be a major case of piling on.
I like watching Emma dance, so I don’t really mind going to her recitals. The problem is that to watch Emma dance, I have to watch a lot of kids who I don’t know dance. Even that is sort of fun. For a while. It’s when I reach that “for a while” point that dance recitals sort of get hard for me to sit through.
My wife, however, loves the entire dance recital experience. After each one we attend, not only will she talk about Emma’s dances, she will also talk about the dances of a bunch of other kids who I should know but don’t.
So, on Saturday morning, I put my foot down. I told my wife, in no uncertain terms, that I wasn’t going to run errands with her. I told her I was going to spend the three hours between recitals at home relaxing in front of the TV, and I told her that if she didn’t like that, well, that was tough.
We got to the table store about 10 minutes after the first recital. Then we went to the scrapbook store, and then we ... you get the picture.
At least the beer was cold.
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