I’m married. I’ve been married for forty years. Why are you clapping? Are you thinking…better him than me?
If I can remember that far back, that leaves me twenty more years on the sentence. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my wife, but it’s not the same as the “drop your pants, we have ten minutes until our next class” phase. Now, when I reach out to hold her hand at bedtime, she says, “Not tonight, I have a headache.”
Over time, her cute little traits have become more and more irritating. Leaving the cap off the toothpaste. Taking the remote and switching the ballgame to House Hunters. At night, leaving thumbtacks point up on the bathroom tile. Apparently, I have my faults as well…she can’t stand my breathing.
Before our recent anniversary, she asked me if I knew what Emily Post said was the proper gift for a 40th Anniversary? I guessed, “Arsenic?” But she said, “No silly, it’s a ruby.” Do you know how much a ruby costs? Real rubies have become increasing rare, and the artificial ones are still expensive. So, I did what any cash-strapped spouse would do…went shopping on E-Bay.
After a lengthy search, I found an ad that read, “gorgeous large Ruby, easily mounted, $250, no shipping, buy it now.” Hell, yes. Compared to all the other quotes, this was a true bargain. So, despite no photo, I gave them my Pay Pal account.
On the day, we watched the post for a package delivery…but nothing arrived. I had already given her a card telling her it was coming, so we were both very disappointed. About 8pm, the doorbell rang. Standing under the porch light was a sexily dressed woman, but she held no package. I opened the door…and she said, “Hey baby, I’m Ruby. You ready to party?” I said, “You’re supposed to be a 40th Anniversary present for my wife.” She replied, “Aren’t you the thoughtful husband.” I frowned. “But the ad said, easily mounted?” She smiled. “Most of my clients are men.” I told her this was a big mistake, and apologized for her trouble. “No problem, baby, cause you pre-paid. Are you sure I can’t help you celebrate?” She grabbed my crouch. I hesitated, because it had been a long time since Willie had any visitors, but politely declined.
As I hobbled back, my wife asked who was at the door, and I replied, “Mormons, looking for a donation.” She said, “Did you give them anything?” I replied, “$250.” She said, “Don’t forget to take it off our tax return.” I said, I’d try. It works for Congressmen, so why not us?
After that I took her to Vegas to see some shows…as an apology for not getting her a proper gemstone. But that didn’t work either. When checking in, a bellman came up and offered to take my bag to the room. I said, “First of all that’s my wife you are talking about, and while she may be old, she is not helpless. Give her a key. She can walk to the room by herself. I’m going to shoot craps.”
Couples counseling isn’t really that bad…only once a week for an hour. Last visit, the shrink recommended role-playing to spice up our love life. I was surprised when she agreed…and all was going well, until I showed her the photo of the young actress I had picked to play her part.
Can’t wait until our 50th Anniversary. They say your name on the Today show. Hope I’m still around to hear it. Yesterday, I found a bottle of arsenic in the food cupboard.
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Richard Allan Jones is the author of the comic adventure novel, “Drafted” and the soon to be released, “Party Favors.”