Story from the Home Front

January 15th, 2009

My wife, MB has a favorite bumper sticker: “Men are morons, and I married their King.” How can women think all men are morons? Turns out that it goes way back, at least to the 13th century. In a tome written by a couple of male friars, they put forth the following: “a man can stand on his shirt and clap two stones together to cure dumbness.”

The ladies rest their case.

I am here today to admit and unequivocally prove to the world that I am, indeed, the King of the Morons.

A few years back, I was an unemployed high tech type for about eleven months. Give or take what feels like a decade. We survived financially by doing nothing, buying nothing, and going nowhere.

Many couples have “relationship trouble” at retirement. They’ve spent their lives apart during the day. When they’re both together all the time, trouble happens. MB and I spent two years working at home together, and then spent eleven months with her working and me watching. And now more years with both of us working from home. The good news is at least we’ll still like each other in retirement. The bad news is that we might be eating cat food. But I digress…

So now her birthday’s coming up. We’ve skipped our Anniversary, Christmas, Valentines Day, and just about any other special day you can think of. Life’s pretty boring when all you can afford for a night out is to hit the $8 Chinese Buffet. But her birthday is going to be different. I’ve got to do something special for her. But then, if I spend all of our money on her, she’ll be mad at me for that. Admittedly, it’s a fine line to walk, but I am up to the challenge!

I start planning months in advance. If I e-file the taxes, I’ll get what little money we do have coming to us before her birthday. Now, what can I do for her? I can’t really take her out to a first class dinner. Jewelry better than Cracker Jack quality is out of the question. Well, she hasn’t gotten her hair or nails done in months…

Now there’s an idea.

So the day our return hits our account, I’m out paying stacked up bills and making hair and nail appointments. The vet bill for surgery on our Saint Bernard eats up a pile of what cash we have, so I know I have to be careful. But I make the appointment for her on the morning of her birthday.

I get home, there’s one more bill to pay, the car insurance. The insurance office happens to be just down the road from the Department of Motor Vehicles, so MB wants me to drop off her driver’s license renewal. No Problem.

Then I think, “hey, I need to register the boat too.” One trip, two tasks. Gotta love it.

Paid the insurance, renewed her license, registered the boat. My boat.

Fast forward to the day before the big event. She knows what she’s getting, and she’s really happy. I check the bank balance. Seems like we’re a little short to be able to afford the hair and nails. How in the heck did THAT happen? Oh, there’s that check for the boat registration. Uh oh.

Summing things up: I register MY boat. Now we can’t afford her only, very small but very significant birthday present. Did I mention this is her 50th birthday? Did I mention that on my 40th, she threw a huge surprise party for me? Did I mention we don’t have guns in the house anymore? That’s why you’re able to read this.

Forget the Dog House, I’m in the whole damned Kennel.

There can be no doubt that I am, indeed, King of the Morons.

If you’re ever driving through Somerset, California, and see some knucklehead out there standing on his shirt with a couple of rocks in his hands, wave and say, “Hi!”

Entry Filed under: Sea Stories

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