Power & Control

 

I had sneaked into the bedroom. After being awake for 3 hours, while my wife slept, I went to retrieve a cigarette. I moved as quietly as humanly possible, maneuvering around a chair, a lamp, and assorted collectibles. Just as I reached the pack that sat atop the dresser, she spoke. “Did you have coffee already?”

“Ya.”, I replied. “I’ve been up since 2 o’clock.”

“Did you make me any?”, she asked.

“No.”, I told her. “You were asleep.”

“I’m awake now.”, she stated.

“Would you like me to make you coffee?”, I asked.

“No.”, she said. “Its okay. I’m awake now. I can do it myself.”

“Then why are we having this conversation?, I replied.

“I was just asking.”, she stated.

“Its quite aggravating.”, I informed her.

“I know.”, she replied. “But its my job.”

“I wish you’d find another line of work.”, I responded.

“No you don’t.”, she said. “You wouldn’t know what to do with yourself without me aggravating you.”

“I suppose you’re right.”, I told her. “All of these years of having a pain in my ass, I suppose I would miss it if it were gone.”

“Oh, don’t start that sweet talking now.”, she stated. “Its far too early, Let me at least have my coffee first.”

I remember the way things used to be. I don’t know what happened to change it all, but it was different. It had been for over 20 years. Somewhere along this long, strange trip, everything shifted. It was like a parallel universe, with things reversed.

“I used to be in charge.”, I told her, although it sounded a lot more like a question than a statement of fact.

“Yes you were.”, she replied.

“Well.”, I continued, “When did all of that change?”

“It never changed.”, she replied.

“Well. it seems to me”, I added, “that I have very little input into things that go on here.”

“That’s because that’s the way you want it.”, she responded.

“That’s not what I want.”, I told her.

“Sit down.”, she said. “We need to talk.”

“Listen carefully.”, she told me. “And please don’t get upset. You were never really in charge.”

“No , I was.”, I said. I remember making every decision.”

“Well”, she continued. “You really didn’t. You felt that you were in charge because I wanted you to feel that you were in charge.”

“What are you talking about?”, I asked,

“Ah, honey”, she said as she moved the hair off of my forehead. “You never stood a chance. None of you do. Everything that has gone on in our lives was because I was in charge. And look where we are today? Beautiful children, and a  happy marriage. What more could you have wanted?”

“The children, while beautiful, are out of their fucking minds.”, I replied. “And as for a happy marriage, we’re not happy, you’re happy. There’s a difference.”

“Is there?”, she asked. “Could you be happy if I was unhappy?”

“Well, no.”, I said.

“And why is that?”, she asked.

“Because I love you?”, I guessed.

“Hell no.”, she answered. “We both know its because I wouldn’t let you.”

“You tricked me.”, I said. She stood up and sat beside me, hugging me as she rubbed my shoulders.

“What can I do to make it better for you?”, she asked. “Whatever you want.”

“I’d like sex .”, I said.

“Okay.”, she said. “Anything else?”

“Do you think you could make me that brisket again?”, I queried. “The one with the roasted potatoes and carrots?”

“Of course.”, she replied.

“Great.”, I said. “That would be great.”

“Is there anything else?”, she asked, as she stood up.

“No I think that covers it.”, I told her.

“I’m glad.”, she remarked. “And honey.”, she said as I began to walk away. “I like it when you put your foot down and try to take control.”

“I know.”, I said. “That’s why you fell in love with me. Right?”

“No.”, she answered. “But don’t stop. Its really very cute.”

She was good. She was very good. She had confused and confounded me, again. It was precisely at that moment that I realized that she was right. I was never really in charge, and I never would be. But it  didn’t matter anyway. The brisket was good, the sex was even better, and I didn’t really want anything else.

 

 

 

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You’re Doing It Wrong!

“You’re doing it wrong!”, my wife said.

“I’m used to hearing that in the bedroom.”, I told her, “But I’m only making a peanut butter and jam sandwich in the kitchen.”

“But you’re doing that wrong, too.”, she continued.

“Really?”, I asked, with just the right amount of sarcasm to piss her off.

“Yes, you are.”, she continued. “You’re supposed to put the jam on top of the peanut butter, not on the other piece of bread. If you do it your way, jam winds up dropping all over the counter when you flip the slice.”

“Well”, I told her, “I have been making it this way for 55 years. Its how I want to do it.”

“But its wrong!”, she repeated. Wrong or not, I proceeded to complete the sandwich making festivities, and enjoyed building my PB & J, as I have always done.

It wasn’t the first time I have been been told that I am wrong in the kitchen. In actuality, I think the only room I do not do anything wrong in, is the bathroom. NO. Not true. I have, according to my wife, been wrong in the bathroom as well, but that will be a whole other story.

So, back to the kitchen. I have been informed that I do not make over easy eggs correctly, either. I do not know how to flip them properly, to ensure even cooking without any breaks or ruptures of the yolk. Sometimes, she says that she even finds shell in it! There have been many times when she has given me directions as I am holding a spatula and a frying pan, and it is with great restraint that 1 or both of these items has not been formally introduced to the back of her head.  “Do you want to do it for me?”, I ask.

“No.”, she answered.

“Then go away.”, I tell her.

“You don’t have to be so nasty.”, she says.

“Um, yes I do.”, I advise her, “If you don’t like how I do it, then do it for me, or be quiet.”

“I’m just trying to help you.”, she answered.

“What would be really helpful would be if you just made it for me.”, I said.

“You’ll never learn that way.”, she told me.

There are also huge issues with grilled cheese, as I apparently have the burner set too high, and this makes the bread too dark and crispy for her. And coffee, well that’s entirely an issue that will never go away. She will ask me to make her coffee, and insist that the milk must go into the cup before the coffee. “I don’t like the milk in first.”, I tell her.

“But it tastes so much better.”, she replies.

“I don’t think so.”, I respond.

“No. It does.”, she says. “. It tastes better that way.”

So, I make coffee wrong, as well. And pasta, well, it seems that I don’t make it ‘mushy’ enough for her. I follow the directions, and wind up with wonderfully al dente pasta. She hates it. She says that its too hard. “Why can’t I hear that in the bedroom?”, I ask.

We agree to a compromise. I agree that she is, as usual absolutely right. In exchange, I get to practice pleasing her in the bedroom. I am not sure if she plans on joining me there or not, but either way, one of us is going to be happy.

 

 

 

Double Double. Quick, Quick

 

I admit it. I am not ashamed. I am addicted to Tim Horton’s coffee. In any form, really. In the summer, I feed my addiction with wonderfully delicious Iced Caps, or perhaps a somewhat over th1sweetened Iced Coffee. In colder months, I delve into a Latte. In every season though, I regularly enjoy a large, double double.

It has become somewhat of an obsession, has been for years, trying to get the next fix, while my wife tries to stop me from delving deeper into the abyss. ” You know we have coffee here.” She reminds me.

“It’s not the same.”, I tell her. And off I go to my local Time Horton’s.

“Do you have any idea how much money we would save if you made coffee here?”, she asks.

I do. Lots of it. I have tried all of the solutions I could think of. I purchased a Tim Horton’s Coffee ninja-coffee-bar-1Maker and Tim Horton’s coffee, but it just wasn’t the same. I purchased one of those coffee bars that make every coffee drink known to man, and still there was no satisfaction. The cravings continued and escalated to the point where I now have my GPS  programmed to locate every Tim Horton’s in whatever part of any city I happen to be in.

I am particularly drawn to their drive thrus. Not much could be better than driving up, and driving drive-thruaway with a cup of brewed magic. It’s like a drive thru drug deal.

My wife has tried to help by using deception. She has been known to save one of my Tim Horton’s cups, and fill it with coffee she has made at home. She says it is to show me that there really is no difference. Boy, is she wrong. “That’s $2 we could put towards savings.”, She tells me.

“What are we saving for?”, I ask.

“The future.”, she advises.

“Will I be able to get Tim Horton’s coffee in the future?”

“I don’t know.”, she says, quite frustrated.

“Well”, I tell her, “I’d rather just have the coffee now.”

What occurs next s a lesson in basic arithmetic. “Do you know how much money we could save in a year if you just put the $2 in a jar everyday?”, she asks.

I look at her in disbelief. “I do.”, I respond, but I know she is going to tell me anyway.

“Well, factoring in all of the lattes, and Iced Caps, it comes to $830.”,  she shouts. “830 fucking dollars. Is there anything that you want to say about that?”

I try so very hard not to say anything that will make her more angry than she already is. But, I just can’t seem to help it. I open my mouth, and well, it just sort of happens. “I love it when you talk dirty to me”, comes out. She just groans.

My addiction intensifies during ‘Roll Up The Rim’, the annual celebration of rolling up the rim of your coffee cup, with the chance of winning free stuff. It should be a National Holiday! There are  prizes, big screen TV’s, cash, gift cards, food, a car, and  free coffee. I roll up my rim so slowly, so purposefully, hoping to see the words, ‘free coffee’. When I win, I save those rims, apparently for the future, when I may or may not be able to afford a Tim Horton’s coffee.

“Do you want to stop by Tim Horton’s?”, I ask her on our way out to watch the horse races.

cms671“I have coupons for free McDonald’s coffees.”, she advises. “Why don’t we go there?”

“Because the coffee is awful.”

“But it’s free.”, she reminds me. “You know, if you buy 7 coffees at McDonald’s, and put the stickers on the card”, she demonstrates, showing me the stickers and the card, “you get a coffee for free.”

“Why wouldn’t I just buy 7 Tim Horton’s, I mean, I would enjoy drinking them. You really think I would drink that crap to get a free cup of more crap?”

She is fuming now, seemingly ready to explode. But instead, she does what she does best, and just stops talking. About anything. The silence is deafening. But I will not give in. I will not surrender. This time, I will make a stand.

“I have a coupon for free coffee.”, I find myself saying to the machine sitting at the entry to the McDonald’s drive thru. I turn to my wife, and as she hands me the 2 coupons, she grins. “You’re fucking learning.”, she tells me.

“Man, I love it when you talk dirty.”, I tell her.

“I know.”, she says. “Why do you think I do it?”

IF GOD SPOKE TO ME

g1I have often wondered how I would have reacted had God asked me to build an Ark?  What would I have said if I encountered a burning bush that spoke to me?

I had been informed, in my childhood, through the religious education I received,that the Lord speaks to those who are good, devout, and pure. Realizing that I would not appear on a list of potential recipients of God’s helper, I found myself considering my reaction to a heavenly request, should one ever occur. I surmised that in any circumstance, it would play out like this.

G: Hey, wake up.

ME: WTF?

G: You kiss your mother with that mouth? Get out of bed. We need to talk.

ME: How did you get in here? Who are you?

G: You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.

ME: Oh, hell. Am I dreaming?

G: No. Pay attention. I am God.

ME: Ya, right.

G: See, I told you. No, really, I am God!

ME: Oh, come on.

G: Why would I make that up?

ME: I need coffee.

G: Do you have decaf?

ME: Decaf?

G: Caffeine keeps me up all night.

g6Me: No

G: You should really keep some decaf in the house, even instant. At least for company.

ME: No one comes over.

G: I’m not surprised. What about herbal tea. Do you have any herbal tea?

ME: No tea, just coffee.

G: But no decaf?

ME: No decaf. Didn’t we just cover this?

G: OK. OK. Never mind the coffee.  You want proof that I am who I say I am?

ME: Not really. I just want to drink my coffee

G: You seem agitated. You know, you should probably give decaf a try.

ME: What do you want with me?

G: I want you to do something for me.

Me: What can I do for you that you can’t do yourself? You make miracles.

G: Miracles I can’t do.

ME: What? God is always creating miracles. What about all those bible stories?

G: Just stories.  People make the miracles. I just give them the tools and the opportunities.

ME: So, what do you want with me?

G: I told you, I need a favor.

ME: What kind of favor?

G: A big favor. Will you do what I ask?

ME: We’ll see. So what is the favor?

g4G: I am worried about the lakes, and rivers, and seas. Man has destroyed what I have given to him. I am worried about all of the creatures that live in the waters. I would like you to build an aquarium, a really really big aquarium, and put 2 of every sea creature, 1 male and 1 female, in the aquarium.

Me: You’re kidding, right?

G: I don’t kid.

Me: I can’t build an aquarium.

G: It’s easy.

Me: Then you build it.

G: Are you always so difficult?

Me: Usually.

G: This is important.

Me: Why me?

G: We had a lottery. Every marine biologist had their names put in a big hat, and your name was drawn.

Me: I’m not a marine biologist..

G: No?

Me: No.

G: Are you sure?

Me: I’m sure..

G: Is this 147 Taylor Rd?

Me: No, this is 174 Taylor Rd.

G: oh boy. I am so embarrassed. My apologies. Wrong house. Please go back to sleep. And if anyone should ask, I was never here.