MARK HAYTER -- CONROE COURIER and THE WOODLANDS VILLAGER“Dateline: Conroe, TX”
Speaking of marriage, let me share something with you. Do you mind? If your marriage is going
We wore this look at the beginning of the move
I’ve been there. I’ve lived it, my friend. And, after celebrating our 46th anniversary, Kay turned all weird. Gave me a devilish look. I didn’t even know the girl had one. I thought she was going to come unglued. (My Dad always pulled that line when talking about coming unglued.)
If you want to know the truth of the matter, there are two people responsible for Kay’s near “Dateline” moment. It takes more than one person to mess up a marriage. The two sides in this particular story are Kay and Jill.
My darling sister, Jill, let us stay with her for a week while we were waiting for the closing on our home. She said we were welcome for as long as necessary. On Day Two of our stay, she said that it was necessary I not stay for more than a week. Preferably, less. Kay, on the other hand, could live there if she wished.
What caused Jill’s change of attitude? Well, it just so happens that Jill finally realized that she and I are too much like her. We’re like magnets. Two similar magnetic poles repel one another, while opposites attract. I think that’s how it works.
The magnetic metaphor would explain why Jill likes Kay more than she likes me. In fact, the entire family and all my friends like Kay best, and none of ‘em are like me. They don’t like me, simply because they know me. Simple as that.
But none of this explains Jill and Kay nearly messing up my marriage. At least three of you will rememeber that Kay and I moved back from Washington to Jill’s house, where we waited another week to close on our new house. It was while staying at Jill’s that Kay asked me to help her get packed for the move to our new house.
Kay likes to do things way ahead of time. I’m a procrastinator and Kay is an anticrastinator. I don’t require a lot of time to get ready for a move. When it’s time to go, I’ll open all four doors of the SUV or the back of a truck, train or tractor. Before you can say “triple latte, skinny, no froth” we’re out of there.
Kay considers my behavior irresponsible. For the last 46 years we’ve never been on the same page in the “Book of Responsibility.” Just so happens that the night before our move back to Conroe, Jill was explaining the “Walking Dead” to me. I saw the pilot of “Walking Dead” when it first came out, but didn’t care to watch beyond that, because it was a series about dead people walking.
I don’t mind seeing one or two movies about zombies, because movies have a way of ending after a couple of hours. The zombies either all die, or they take over the world. If there are multiple episodes of zombies, one must realize that for as long as the series airs, zombies will be giving people fits. When one horrible encounter ends, another is just around the corner. I can’t put up with that many months and years of zombical situations.
However, I enjoyed letting Jill explain it all to me. It was funny as all get out. After a brief explanation, Jill turned on Episode 8 of Season 24. All the while, I kept asking her to pause while I asked her something stupid. Like, uh, “Okay, who is the guy in the hat?” – “Shoot! Okay, he’s been around since Season 3. His brother got killed and zombified on a highway outside of Tucumcari, and he joined another group to defeat the clan of the--”
On two occasions during our discussion, Kay walked into the living room and gave me the stink eye. I had yet to commit to the task of packing, and that was her way of reminding me to get my rear in gear. It was during her fourth walk-through that the stink eye was replaced by the look born from the depths of purgatory.
If your spouse ever aims this look in your direction, I beg you not to push. You have just landed on your spouse’s last nerve, so it’s best not to invent an excuse for yourself. Take my word. A fork in the eye, stick in the ear, land mine underfoot… not good enough.
Worse than that, do not point out all of the good things you have done up to that moment. Any good deed from the past has passed. That which has passed is not worth warm horse spit to the now. (A wise Greek guy once said that. Something like that.) The best course of action is a sincere apology. Don’t try to hug, kiss or even touch. You were wrong and you’re sorry. You’ll do better from this moment on. Then, just back away. Do not take your eye off your spouse.
The next day, everything was awkwardly right as rain. Everything got loaded, and we were off to our new home… where on the first night we slept on an inflatable mattress with a leakage problem. That was the fault of all our overnight guests who had used the mattress, yet neglected to tell me about the leak. Why would anyone want to do a sleepover if they knew we had a leaky mattress? – Wait a minute. I may have been the one who caused the leak.
Fortunately, all of our stuff is now in the house. Most of it is in boxes, which Kay is in the process of unloading. I’ll help her as soon as I’m through here. After that I’ll have to go to Starbucks so I can hook up to their WiFi, and e-mail this thing to the boss. I can’t e-mail from here, because Kay has yet to locate an internet provider.
I’m upset about that, but I’m not communicating that thought, because I’ve watched way too many Datelines. Jill, my only witness, would take Kay’s side.
Mark can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.