Throughout the years, I have come up with a few schemes. None of which has ever done me anything good, and yet I still spend the energy to try to come up with one that will.
It all began quite innocently enough as a Christmas present. When it comes to shopping for Christmas presents I just flop triumphantly. I was not made to go shopping. When I get into a mall, I begin to feel the walls closing in on me. I develop a panic, begin sweating profusely and then head for my car without looking back.
About the Christmas present. Aha, that was the solution to my Christmas shopping and a brilliant scheme that would benefit both of us.
This past Christmas I purchased for my lovely wife a round-trip ticket to New York to visit her family for a week. A week of her enjoying her family and they reciprocating the enjoyment. I did mention it was a "round-trip ticket." I do not mind sending her away as long as it includes a plan to return.
Now, the brilliant side of my scheme.
While she is in New York visiting with her relatives, I would be king of the castle. I have been looking forward to this for a long time. She gets to have fun with her relatives, and I get to have fun with myself.
For the week, I will turn our rather pleasant little domicile into a rip, snorting man cave. Ah, the thought of it was wonderful. The house would be mine for a week, and nobody would be supervising me. Nothing I like more than a week of no supervision. Oh sure, I could get into a lot of trouble, but what's life for if we cannot sample a wee bit of trouble occasionally.
For one, I would be in charge of the menu for the week. I was really looking forward to this.
Before she left, my wife made me promise that I would eat my fruits and vegetables and I would have a balanced diet every day. With a twinkle in my eye, more twinklely than normal, I agreed to her stipulations. I had my diet already planned in my head.
For a whole week, there would be no such things as salads for every meal. How she can come up with the variety of salads she serves is beyond my aching head. She honestly believes that a salad makes the world go round. Now, no salads in this house, correction, man cave, for a whole week. I love it when a plan comes together.
I shall be faithful to the fruits and vegetable regimen she made me promise. After all, one woman's vegetable is another man's speculation.
My main vegetable of the week would be [drum roll] carrot cake. Don't try to tell me carrot is not a vegetable. I will sick Bugs Bunny on you if you do. I plan to have a carrot every day of the week.
And for fruit? You guessed it. Apple fritters. You know the old saying, "An Apple fritter a day makes any man happy." I have made every plan to be happy this week. I am not sure if the bakery is going to be able to keep up with my orders this week. A man has to have his fruit.
My basic philosophy during this week is summed up in the old saying, "The world could end at any minute. Eat dessert first!" My dessert of course is fruit by nature. A banana split. Any meal that begins with a banana split is going to be an awesome meal to be sure.
It was only Thursday when I became aware of something. There was this smell in the house. I looked into the kitchen area and dishes were piled upon the counter. The table where I usually sit down to eat was filled with all kinds of stuff. I do not want to know what it was. I looked in the bedroom, the laundry basket was full and overflowing and I could not see the bed.
I thought to myself, why are these things piling up? They would not do that if my wife were here. Are they trying to embarrass me or what?
I stood in the kitchen with my hands on my hips and I was about to give this man cave a good piece of my mind. Then I stopped. At that moment, I realized I had become my wife.
Perhaps, and I am just making a suggestion here, I have gained a new appreciation for my better half. Things just do not happen around the house. Somebody has to make them happen.
By Friday, I had come to my senses and realized the old saying I did not quite appreciate until this week. "Two can live cheaper than one." I am not sure about the cheaper part of it, but I know two can live cleaner than one, especially if that one is Yours Truly.
I thought of a Bible verse throughout the week, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered" (1 Peter 3:7).
After all these years, I am just beginning to understand what it means to "dwell" with my wife.