I know that doesn’t seem like a very provocative title or interesting subject of a blog so let me raise the stakes a little. My wife is reading this for the first time too. When my wife and I have some domestic dust up, I’ve always been pretty good at turning it into a humorous story or blog. Even she gets a kick out of it. Well, I’m taking a chance this time and flipping the scenario. I’m confessing something publicly and hoping she laughs it off BEFORE we fight about it. Will the gamble pay off? Well if it doesn’t…on the bright side I may already have next month’s blog.
So I’ve been ridiculously busy at my job this last month. Lots of late nights and weekends. My department is always busy this time of year because of a big annual presentation the president of our company gives to advertisers and media buyers in New York. Once the presentation is over, we can all breathe a sigh of relief on a job well done. Well, the presentation was given on a Tuesday morning and it’s tradition for our team to take the rest of the day off. Now my wife had an important meeting with her literary agent that night. She was going to take the kids to the supervised play at their preschool and I was going to pick them up. No problem. So I thought…”What would be the harm if I just went to a quick matinee? I haven’t seen a movie in so long. I don’t know when I’ll get to one. I’ve worked very hard at work as well as at home with the kids on the weekend (including giving my wife Mother’s Day weekend off)…why not just go to a movie and I’ll be home to take care of the kids tonight?” Now I’m pretty sure my wife would have preferred that I come home even earlier and help her with the kids. So why didn’t I call my wife and let her know that I was heading to the movies? Um…please save all questions until the end.
I drive to a movie theatre about 5 minutes away from our house. That way I can pick the kids up faster than if I went to a theatre near work. In fact I’ll still get them earlier than I would have if I worked the whole day. Am I a great Dad or what? I pay my ticket, grab my 3D glasses and head in. The movie begins and I’m usually vigilant about turning off my phone because I can’t stand when people talk or text during a film, but this time I kept it on vibrate…just in case. Good thing too. Sure enough because the Universe loves to screw with me, at about the half way point of the movie my phone begins to vibrate in my lap. It’s her. I started to perspire as I did something I would never dream of doing before. Pushed the “ignore” button. If it’s important I’m sure she’ll leave a voice mail and I’ll duck out of the theatre in a minute to check it. BZZZ. BZZZ. She’s calling back. Ooookay she’s looking for me. Duck out the theatre NOW. I scamper out of my seat. Luckily the theatre was mostly empty because most people were working or home with their families. I’m starting to hate myself as I write this. I hurry out to the lobby so she won’t hear the obscenely loud sounds of Thor saving the planet. “Hello?” “Hi” Oh God. She’s been crying. “Is everything okay?” “I’m sorry to bother you” she says. “You’re not bothering me at all” I say. (TELL HER!)”What’s up?” (YOU FOOL!) She then goes on to tell me about what a miserable day she’s been having and she’s thinking of calling off the meeting with her agent. I ask her if she wants me to come home. For the record I meant it. I would have left the theatre right then and hurried home.
Of course it would have confused my wife because I would have been home about 40 minutes before I usually get home from work. “No”, she said. “I just need a pep talk.” Now I’m REALLY good at breaking my wife out of her funks so I go into my best spiel. Please believe me when I say that I wasn’t b.s-ing her just to get back into the theatre. I really meant everything I was saying and I was telling her everything she needed to hear. I was even ignoring the curious glances from the people in the lobby. I’m sure they were impressed by this man who must be a motivational speaker. Not so much. Turns out they were looking at a lunatic having a very animated conversation on his cell phone…who had forgotten to take off his 3D glasses. I can imagine how many dinner conversations that night that started with “I saw the strangest thing in the lobby of the movie theatre today…” It worked though. My wife stopped crying, she said she felt better and she thanked me. I hung up walked back into the theatre glad that I had cheered her up, but feeling like pond scum. I watched and enjoyed the rest of the movie but I was obviously distracted. You gotta understand. My wife and I don’t lie to each other. We don’t know how. On the few occasions we have been deceptive it tears away at both of us like Poe’s Tell Tale Heart. In my case the heart beat under the floor boards was as loud as Thor’s hammer.
May I just interject here and say that last month Arnold Schwarzenegger confessed to fathering a child over a decade ago with his maid. I went to the movies. Just putting it in perspective. Okay back to the story. The movie ended, I picked up the kids, fed them, bathed them, and put them to bed. My wife got home from the meeting and told me it went well and she was glad she didn’t call it off. I considered telling her right then, but it seemed a little soon. No. Best to do the most cowardly thing imaginable and wait two weeks to tell her in a blog. So there it is.
This is my warped way of apologizing. I’m sure a therapist would have a field day. They say the truth will set you free. I am about to seriously put that theory to the test. You may not even be reading this. I have to send it to my editor first…who is also my wife.
So if you are reading this, one of two things has happened. Either I’m right and she is laughing this whole thing off…or I’m dead and she has posted this posthumously as a warning to other husbands out there. We shall see…