Today is a special day. It is my wife’s birthday. We’ve been married for so long that her special dinner expectations fall somewhere between Taco Bell and a cheap Chinese buffet. Okay so I don’t have a lot of imagination. She understands being married to me, dinner choices are a potluck; you take your chances on what you get. Our taste buds don’t dictate the eatery anymore, it’s the unexpired coupon in the car’s glove box. I mean, how can you surprise a woman who’s been married to you for 30 years? Buy her a dress she’ll say it makes her look too young, buy her a sweater, it’s the wrong color, buy her perfume, she’ll say she smells like a 60’s incense shop. Trust me, the best thing you can give your wife is not gifts and dining extravaganzas, it’s money.
I remember a man was telling his friends that he held his wife’s hand all the time wherever they went. When asked, “Do you love her that much?” He answered, “No, but if I let her hand go, she shops.”
One thing all married couples will attest to is the longer the relationship, the more practical you become. Choosing a place to eat for instance becomes conversational volleyball. You bat and lob the options back and forth until someone admits defeat or gets verbally slammed. A conversation may go something like this: Wife: “Honey do you want to eat at that new place on Main Street?” Husband: “No, we need an O-ring for the bathtub and that place isn’t near the hardware store.”
Husband: “Well how about the diner?” Wife: “Are you kidding, we’ll run into Agnes and her incessantly boring husband.” How about?……….”Nope, traffic!”
The wife then says, “You choose, I’ll be happy to eat wherever you want to go.” I might remind my younger readers that this statement all women say, is a complete fabrication. It does matter. The moment you say something like , “Well then, how about we go to JJ’s drive-in?” It’s then the wife jumps in and states emphatically, “Oh that place is too greasy, choose someplace else. No matter the place you choose, she hates the place but will continue to recite the words, “You choose it doesn’t matter to me!”
Okay I give up, we’re going through the McDonalds drive up window right now. It’s then that you purchase a happy meal, and smiling, you hand it to her. When she incredulously states, “You bought me a kids meal?” It is then you respond, “Well, if you’re going to be childish about the whole thing, I figured the toy might keep you happy until we get home!”
As a side note, never underestimate the importance of a home’s guest room. It sometimes is a necessary means for achieving marital harmony, the couch is second.
Reverting to the original dilemma, how can you eat out at your favorite place without verbal wrangling with the spouse? Purchase a gift card from a restaurant you like and tell her someone has been generous to you. The wife will always take the bait because if she can get something for nothing, she’ll take that road every time. This theory also proves why your kitchen drawer has 300 warped Tupperware lids that go to absolutely nothing and how she married you in the first place.
“Happy Birthday Sweetie, what do you mean I have to share my Happy Meal toy?