by Kent Sterling
Last night, I told my wife that I had booked my flight for a trip to Jamaica with a couple of friends to reprise a phenomenally fun trip taken five years ago. Then I asked if she would take me to the airport and pick me up to save a couple of bucks on parking.
Julie gave me a look that over years of marriage I have only seen a few times. It was a shocked and stern look that clearly communicates that I have moved from safe ground where Julie laughs easily into a minefield where womanly rage is the result of any misstep.
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I’m a reckless and aggressive debater, so I pressed forward. “You won’t drive 28 minutes to take your husband to the airport? If you asked me to drive you to Columbus for any reason, I would do it without hesitation.”
There was no way that was going to pay dividends, but the game was lost before I took the court anyway, so why not fire all my bullets?
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“Are you insane?” she rhetorically asked. “You’re going to Jamaica with guys while I stay home, and you want a ride to get you to the airport before six in the morning? Yeah, that’s not going to happen.”
When she threatened to post our little fracas on Facebook, I knew I had better strike first or she would be able to frame the argument, and all would be lost.
So I posted this, “Just asked my wife to drop me at airport for trip to Jamaica with a couple friends. She outright refused. Parking with cost $50 or so, and the drive is 28 minutes. The flight leaves at 6:40a, so plenty of time to get to work, and the return lands at 11p. If she asked me, I wouldn’t hesitate. She is outraged that I would even ask, and I am outraged that she quickly balked. Who’s right?”
The responses ran from fearful hopes for reconciliation to aggressive masculine posturing to concern for my mental health to very funny requests for additional information. They came from former co-workers, friends, strangers, and a former boss or two. They made me wish I had a general interest talk radio show where such things could be discussed.
There was one comment to the thread my wife started from Carly Severino that may have turned the tables in my favor, “I would take him Julie. I’m sorry I’m on his side because I actually like you more. But I think you should take him.” I think Julie was so validated that Carly likes her better that it gave the rest of her reply additional weight. It also pointed out the unfortunate truth that everyone likes Julie better. She is just a much nicer person.
The very cynical of you might see my question to Julie as providing her with an outlet for whatever bitterness she might harbor for my abandoning her in the middle of the harshest winter we have endured during most of our lifetimes. Giving her an opportunity to vent is a psychological tactic to flush the bile.
The truth is that Julie is relentlessly good humored, and I’m not that bright. She wants me to go to Jamaica because last time I came home saner than when I left. Jamaica is cheaper that psychoanalysis. She bought in out of pragmatism, so I didn’t need to resort to cheap ploys to gain her approval or cast out evil thoughts.
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Inviting Facebook friends from all walks of life to weigh in on our discourse kept us both laughing all night, and Carly’s sage advice might just get me a ride to the airport, which will save me time, save us money, and be a minor imposition for Julie. It’s a win/win/get over it!
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I think the whole thing hinges on whether or not she was included in the decision of you going to Jamaica without her and her feelings on it. Apparently, this isn’t as serious as it could be and that is good for you.
It is like my EX father-in-law used to tell me: “Jeff, you can either be right or be married.” Apparently, I couldn’t be either one.
She was happy for me to go. Did it five years ago and then again two years ago. It’s really just a long weekend of carefree living. We lounge around, get into minor league mischief (rearranging hotel signage), and live like we’re in witness relocation – no names, photos, or sharing email addresses with anyone.
Okay, then she is wrong. That was easy. 😉