The pleasurable prediction of future events is like a narcotic to some. Always it requires ever increasing doses to achieve the desired result. Today was Sherry’s and my anniversary. Last year we both forgot about it until over a week later. This year being our tenth, I didn’t want that to happen again. Now I’ve mentioned before that Sherry is a wonderful cook, still she will use any excuse (Valentines day, her Birthday or our anniversary) to get out of putting heat to ingredients and making a meal. Anyway last night I say: “Babe, how about I drive the three-miles to the local chicken shack and pick up a bucket of wings tomorrow, so you don’t have to cook on our big day?” I didn’t get the fluttering eyelids and the loving sigh I thought was coming my way. No I get the frowny face, with just the hint of a lower lip sticking out. I quickly crank up the offer; “How about I put my best bibs on and we go to a fancy-eating pizza joint?” Now I’m not talking about a toaster oven pizza slid across some beer damp bar. I’m thinking of one of the major chains that advertise on television. Still no flutter of eyelid, and the sigh sounded more like a snort of disgust. I’m standing at the plate with two strikes. I know I have to at least hit the ball on the next pitch, fair or foul, or this game is over. “Okay! Okay! How about best bibs, a shirt with a collar, and we go to some place that has cutlery?” She makes the added condition that the silverware not be plastic, and then agrees. I feel somewhat stuck, but if my lady wants high class she gets high class. Sherry says she is in the mood for Chinese and she will find us a place to dine in the morning.
Today as I was about to get dressed for our big date, Sherry says; “Aren’t you going to shave?” Give an inch and they take a mile. I have a pretty good memory, and I’m reasonably sure I had shaved within the last week, certainly the last ten days. By any standards I am a great husband. Two, sometimes three time a year I gather wild flowers from our meadow and bring them to Sherry. I always lift my feet while she is vacuuming the carpet. Sherry never has to tell me more than three or four time to take the trash out. When I do I’m only quietly sullen, never loud. Still I am being punished on our anniversary. Of course I shaved without complaint. We had a great meal and a nice time together. Yet I am wondering what will be my lot ten years from today? Will I have to make reservations at some joint where I have to tip the violin player? Will she expect a second honeymoon?
A short note about my own expectations
I am fortunate and am entitled to Veteran’s health care. The VA has been rated as the most effective by several different organizations. Even so they are going to have to amp up their mental health care if somebody does not resolve the health care problem of this country, because I am going to go seriously crazy. I’m already starting to talk to the TV set; that can’t be a good thing. Every day I hear GOP pundits go unchallenged when they state, “We have the best health care in the world.” What a load of bull. We spend twice what any other nation does, we rank 27th or something in longevity, worse in infant mortality, etc etc. Sure if you are rich or have an interesting enough disorder you will get top notch health care, but that doesn’t make “Ours the best in the world.” The British make the Rolls-Royce automobile, but I would hardly call their auto industry the best in the world. Most of the cars made there are crap, They even put the steering wheel on the wrong side for Christ sake.
I know the newscasters who come into our homes via the tube like to think of themselves as journalists. They even bemoan that journalism is such a lowly rated occupation. Just dividing up the time equally between the opposing factions is not journalism; that is reporting. A reporter can tell us about a bank robbery or a storm and that is fine. A journalist should pursue the facts to the story’s end. I recently heard a caller to C-Span sum this up better than I can. She said; “I’m sick of you just dividing the time between the Democrats and the Republicans with no comment. The Dems tell us the sky is blue, the Republicans tell us the sky is red. Its night for God’s sake and when will you people point it out to both of them that the sky is black?”
IN MY DEFENSE:
As you have become accustomed to, the Contrarian exaggerates to a slight degree. I cook usually six days a week, and frankly, I cook from scratch. I don’t do boxes of stuff and I don’t do frozen entrees. I cook, slaving over a stove with whisk and micro plane, garlic and herb, deglazing and oven roasting, carefully creating dish after dish to succulent perfection.
You’d think, therefore, on one’s anniversary, one might get a bit more than the back end of the Troy Store for a “romantic” dinner, the first offer. The second was a slide by the pizza parlor in Center Point.
As to the shaving, oh don’t get me started. This “goatee” crap was a gift for my birthday, unsolicited by me, and he hasn’t stopped whining since. Shaving every two weeks is his idea of keeping up. And worse, he mewed the entire afternoon about “beard hairs” scratching his tummy and neck. Since when do you get loose hair from shaving with cream?
At least he insisted that I sit in the car while he got out to lock the wheels into 4-wheel drive for the trip down the lane. That was gentlemanly of him!
Sherry, the much maligned perfect wife.