I'm finishing this subject about spousal conversations with one tip and one nightmare. Thanks for reading along.
Sharing verbal intimacy gets easier as you age. For instance, when my daughter began dating in high school, my wife and I gained a few common enemies. Before this era, we rarely used foul language in front of one another. But when testosterone-infested, zit-popping male humans started telephoning and texting our daughter, we discovered the enjoyment of engaging in lengthy conversations spiced up with four-letter words and the type of profanity that would make an undercover cop blush.
We talked about boys for long, extended periods of time, often two to three minutes. Once I secretly timed our conversation – 7 minutes, 56 seconds! Whew, I needed a Power Bar and energy drink after that discussion. We eventually drifted away from simply bemoaning the little teenage beasts and transitioned to more strategic talks. We fantasized about various torture and persecution to inflict upon the first poor slob who caused our daughter to cry or returned her home after curfew. Unfortunately, the medieval dungeon theme did not carry over into the boudoir like the vocabulary.
If you and your bride are teenage daughterless, aim your wrath toward some of these other common enemies: neighbors who decorate their yards with ceramic animals; co-workers who bitch when their Christmas ham seems smaller than everyone else’s; people from France; women who wear fancy hats; men who wear bow ties with scarves; people who transport sod or firewood in their Cooper; or babies who make large slurping sounds while breastfeeding in public. Pick a subject and channel the power of your conversational rage in the same way that a magnifying glass focuses the sun to incinerate small bugs.
I close this subject with a stern warning. “Beware of the automobile!” It’s a conversational deathtrap. You’re buried alive inside a tomb made from steel, leather, rubber and chrome. The radio might seem like your savior, but it’s as reliable as a dead St. Bernard. Once your wife presses the “Power” button off, talking remains as the lone activity inside your vehicle. Only a high-speed collision can end your pain.
The following conversation between an unidentified couple occurred sometime during the 1980s inside a milk chocolate-colored Ford Grenada with contrasting mustard-toned vinyl roof. The names, places, circumstances and other facts have been changed to protect the innocent. Even the prepositions, conjunctions and punctuation have been altered, for quadruple extra anonymity.
“Dear, how far is Mt. Rushmore?”
“Huh! The radio must be malfunctioning,” she said using a puzzled tone of voice that was definitely fake. After 90 seconds of silence, invisible flames engulfed the car’s interior.
“I think Betty and Joe are having some problems,” she exclaimed, fanning the inferno. “Betty thinks he’s having an affair.”
The heat scorched his lung tissue, so he turned up the air conditioning.
“Does she suspect someone?” he asked sheepishly, because it seemed like his turn to speak.
“Betty’s not 100 percent sure, but she thinks the woman might be the sales hussy in the mattress department at Galaxy Furniture. That’s where we bought our last mattress and box spring. Do you remember her?”
“That exotic looking woman with the Caribbean accent and the pineapple tattoo on the inside of her left ankle?” Damn, he thought! His vivid recall ability is a curse sometimes. He quickly attempted to smother some of the flames. “Maybe it was a coconut on her right forearm? Come to think of it, she was more weird looking than erotic.”
“You said ‘exotic’ the first time, not ‘erotic.’ Which adjective is it?” she demanded.
He simmered in purgatory for the next 21 hours. Upon arriving at Mt. Rushmore, they immediately bought a few souvenirs in the gift shop. Then they hiked to the mountain’s base and stared up at the carved faces. His wife spoke first.
“Of the four men, I think the second one from the left is the most handsome. Who would you pick?”
I grabbed my Nikon telephoto lens and jammed it three-quarters length into my right ear, easing up once brain matter oozed from my nostrils. In hindsight, I probably should have taken a picture first.
(next post: I will be sharing a form letter that men can use for apologies during relationship emergencies)