My wife’s birthday is later this week and after all these years the question gets more challenging as each one approaches…what to get Kathy this time around.
Inspiration came in the form of something that happened over the weekend. The specifics aren’t nearly as relevant as the result. I figured out what she would appreciate most.
A sincere apology. Not just for one thing.
For many things.
Sunday night I asked my wife to come up with all the really dumb, idiotic, stupid things I’ve done since we met.
That went on for a while.
The list has since been pared down (she requested that qualifier) to a reasonable number (at my request) and it is now time to issue her this very public, very heartfelt all-inclusive apology for the ten most questionable decisions I’ve made since we married…in no particular order.
We came out one morning to find a car tire a little low on air. I eventually located the head of a small nail on the edge of the tread. I swore up and down to my wife I could easily remove the nail and the tire would be just fine until I could drive the vehicle to the shop for repair. I decided to do just that.
A half-hour later the spare was on and the now-completely-flat tire was resting in the trunk as I headed off for the repair shop.
I had the day off from work but my wife did not. I wanted desperately to take a look at our gutter drains in one location to see if I could clean out some leaves before the next scheduled round of steady rain rolled in. I knew there was some type of blockage up there. My wife insisted we should put it off until the end of the day so she could steady the ladder. I indicated it should be my decision to make and off she went to work.
Later that morning I went off the ladder from about a height of seventeen feet. Somehow I was not injured. No, I didn’t tell her it happened that night…hell, I didn’t tell her for two years.
We had lawn underneath our deck that required mowing with a push mower. I needed to lower my head about a foot to avoid smacking it against the deck’s base. I insisted to my wife I’d always remember to avoid hitting my head on it…and also announced I had decided I didn’t have to do it separately because I was determined to maintain my nicely mowed rows.
At no point did I ever think I was going to black out but it did leave a mark for a while…both times…OK, the two times she knows about.
We had a horrible ice and snow storm early one January. Our two automobiles were encased like fossils in the Ice Age. The morning the weather broke I told my wife to stay warm while I got them cleared off. To expedite things I used a snow brush from one of the cars to crack the ice off. I decided to use the scraper end, not the brush end.
Several friends felt we could go to adjusters once we had our next hail storm and they’d have to insure us for all the dents on the hoods and trunks. Years later the trade-in values reflected the morning in question.
I got so sick one day…by nightfall my temperature was a robust 102. Fortunately, the doctor had evening hours and I was prescribed codeine syrup. I told my wife I was well aware of its effects and if I had to get up in the middle of the night to not worry. I could certainly decide on my own if I was OK to go to the bathroom.
She found me on the bathroom floor. She said she heard a noise – “did you fall?” I have tried to convince her since that night I simply got tired and laid down. She remains to this day completely unconvinced.
My wife wanted absolutely no parts of a Johnny Depp movie called “Mortdecai.” She begged me to wait for it – if we had to see it at all – to come on cable and didn’t want to spend time and money on it at the theatre. I insisted we could both benefit from seeing a funny film. My decision was final.
We now have a name for the look my wife gives me when she’s thoroughly disgusted with me. It is known simply as the “Mortdecai Look.”
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania required owners of vehicles to renew their registrations annually. This involved – after payment – sending a sticker to owners to affix to the license plate in question. One day I was home first and got the mail. The sticker was here and I decided I could handle the simple task of making our car legal for the twelve months ahead.
We found out just how serious the Commonwealth was making sure their stickers stayed put as we tried in vain to remove the newly-arrived sticker…newly-affixed to the wrong car. Pennsylvania has since eliminated the sticker aspect of registration renewal – there is no truth to the rumor my action was in any way responsible for its discontinuation.
We had a Zero Turning Radius mower to cut the majority of our lawn with. When we bought it the advice was to not operate it in wet conditions on uneven terrain. After a light rain one afternoon I insisted to my wife it would be OK to mow. Not agreeing with the decision, she grudgingly came outside to do some gardening.
When she got to the massive rose bush I had skidded into at the edge of our driveway I tried my very best to assure her I was OK even though my face felt like half the skin was gone. She gave me the once-over and calmly stated, “You’ll be fine.” Two years later she admitted she thought the cuts would never heal.
The Rose Bush
No, not THAT rose bush. We had a couple small rose bushes that resided happily side by side for years thanks to my wife’s loving care. She was working at the time. I was not. Fall was nearing conclusion and they desperately needed their annual trim, a technique called deadheading. She took great pains to train me on exactly what needed to be done but didn’t feel very confident in letting me fly solo. I defended myself vigorously and assured her the rose bushes were in good hands. I could make the decisions about just how much to cut from each.
After reviewing my work, she didn’t talk to me for a couple of days. Surprisingly, the rose bushes were not dead. I might as well have been.
The Dry Ice
My wife’s parents sent us a gift from Omaha Steaks one Christmas. We had never gotten anything from the company before but were impressed how frozen the food was considering how far it travelled. After we got everything out of the big Styrofoam cooler all that remained was a large packet of dry ice. I noticed the label said “Do Not Touch.” I apparently forgot that moments later when my wife said she wanted to keep the cooler and I decided to reach in and take out the packet.
Medical and science professionals alike compare injuries like this as very similar to a burn and often require medical attention. Fortunately, I was able to peel both hands off the dry ice. My wife told me to get it out of the house so I wouldn’t injure myself further…once I was able to wear gloves again of course.
Should anyone be able to identify with these or similar incidents please outline your experiences in the comments section. It’s always nice to know you’re not the only one who has made a poor decision or two…or ten…in life.
To my wife Kathy: “Happy Birthday and I’m sorry…again.”