It was yesterday afternoon when Mary announced, "I have to run to Costco for a couple of things. Can I trust you to behave and not do anything stupid while I'm gone?" She seems to think that I can't wait for her to leave the house so I can do all the naughty things I have stored up on my bad things to do list. I admit I have occasionally taken advantage of her absence to get something done that I know she would object to if she caught me at it.
"Why can't I go with you? I need some Velcro." I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. I know that sounded pathetic, but the truth is, I really did need some Velcro.
"I hate taking you along because you never behave in the store. You are constantly disappearing on me, making me worry all the time, wondering if you're lost and hurt. I always panic when you pull one of your disappearing acts." I can't say she was totally wrong. I do tend to wander, but I always tell her where I will be. If she isn't listening, that's her problem.
"How about if I don't use one of the driving carts? You know I'm not fast enough to get away from you if I walk with you so I won't be able to disappear." She bought it.
"Ok. You can go along as long as you promise to behave. If you so much as think about wandering, I will call the police and have you arrested for spousal abuse." I think she was serious.
When we got to Costco she insisted that I take one of the driving carts. She knows I don't have the strength or stamina for a prolonged shopping trip. She was just looking out for me and thinking of my welfare. She was also putting me in a very tempting and for me, irresistible position. This may have been a test. If It was, I aced that sumbitch.
I followed her so closely in my getaway cart, that she told me to back off. Ordinarily that would have been my excuse to take off and head for a more interesting part of the store as soon as she turned her back on me. But I resisted the temptation to scram, and clung to her like lint.
"I told you I wouldn't leave your sight for a second and I am keeping that promise." I wanted to make sure she noticed my good behavior. I needed the husband points.
"I noticed. So far you have been a good boy. If you keep it up, I may have to reward you." I figured she was teasing me, trying to distract me from all the temptations surrounding me. Her subtle gambit worked. Instead of checking for escape routes I was thinking about her mention of a possible reward down the line. At the top of my imaginary reward list was a reward that is none of your business. Sprinkled in the list were a new skew for my lathe, a shirt that I had seen at Kohls that was obviously made just for me, and a new sharpening belt for my tool sharpener. There were several others that I placed on the list in the "not likely to get in my lifetime" position.
When we finally finished with Mary's shopping list and were heading toward the checkout line, she suggested hat go ahead and wait in the car for her. She knew I was tired and was taking care of me again. At least that's what she wanted me to think. But I know she was trying to distract me while she bought my "good behavior" surprise.
There were several items on my unwritten list that could be purchased at a store like Costco, but I knew that little sports car wasn't going to make the cut. I was trying to see what she was carrying when she approached the car, but was unable to discern any unusual package that might hold a special gift, a reward for me for being so well behaved all afternoon. Apparently I was going to have to wait until we got home to be rewarded.
Once we parked safely in the garage at home, I hustled to unload all the goodies from the car, keeping a sharp eye out for what was awaiting my greedy, but deserving hands. All the bags and boxes were inside the house, but there was nothing that I could see that might be construed as a reward. Nothing!
I was thinking that she really was teasing me back in the store, making promises she had no intention of keeping, when she bounced happily into the kitchen with a bag that she proffered to me with an excitement that indicated "little red sports car," but instead contained a little book accompanied by another small box.
"I found something for you that I know you will enjoy. It's a reward for your excellent behavior today. I was very pleased that I didn't have to worry about your disappearing on me, wandering away and hiding." She was absolutely beaming as she handed me the "reward."
The bag in my greedy but deserving hands indeed held a book. A coloring book. An "adult" coloring book. Not that kind of "adult" coloring book. A book of elaborate and complex drawings that will require a careful and adept hand to stay between the lines. The small box contained pencils, colored pencils. Fifty of them. Count em. Fifty. All a different color.
Her gift for me is really quite touching. The fact is, I will enjoy coloring those designs. It will be good therapy for me and she knew that, too. While a coloring book is not as awe inspiring as a sports car, the good heart and soul that shines through her gift is more revealing of my wife's loving and caring for me. I am so lucky to have her taking care of me.
Oh, yeah, I never did get Velcro I so desperately needed.