Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sundays with Steve - A husbands guide to tap dancing...

These Sunday's segments are written by my husband, Mr. Jenny. Here's what he has to say about his posts:

I’ve been writing these weekly stories about life in Northern Idaho, as a youngster and as growing into a young man, primarily for our family. And I'm delighted to share them with you. Just between us, I’m anticipating being cranky when some whipper-snapper who may not even be born yet harasses me in 30 years or so with 'Grandpa, tell me about when you were a boy.' That will probably be after the mad cow disease has set in and erased whatever memory is left. So these are the not-so-dramatic adventures of a Baby Boomer in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

A Husband's Guide to Tap Dancing

“Did you know that some husbands go clothes shopping with their wives?” Mrs. Steve asked early this morning. “No,” I answered with some trepidation, and thinking why on earth would husbands do that? “I haven’t thought about it, why do you ask?”

“Oh, no reason,” she said. I knew there was a reason, and I mentally braced myself. It was 5 a.m., and conversation like this one to start the day, rarely have a good outcome.

“You’ve never gone shopping with me.” Oh, oh.

“Of course I have,” I replied, “several times.” Several times in the 12 years we’ve been married, that’s about right. What is several, and why is she asking?

“Why, just a few years ago you needed some a couple of new shirts for a long weekend in the mountains, do you remember?”

“No,” she replied, “I don’t remember that at all.”

“Of course,” I said, “We were in that little dressing room at Target, and you had about 30 different shirts to try on.” I actually remembered it. It turned out to be 50 or 60 to try on, it took about two hours, and she bought one shirt. Why do husbands go clothes shopping with their wives? I don’t have a clue. Abject boredom , maybe? I avoid it like the black plague.

“Oh, wait,” she said, “I remember, that mall on the way to Tucson, we went there once when I needed a dress for one of the parties.” I didn’t remember that at all. “Yes,” I said, “that must have been the Dress Barn.” It was a good guess.

“I’m sure there have been other times, too. There have been weddings we’ve gone to, anniversaries, birthdays, we’ve done a lot of shopping together over the years, “ I said, and then in a whisper, “Just don’t ask me to name them.”

“OK,” she said, “I guess you are off the hook.” Thank you Lord, that was close.

“Dear,” she said this afternoon, as we were going out to run a couple of Saturday errands, “there is another place I want to stop this afternoon, I need a few clothes.” Oh, oh, I said for the second time today. Here is comes.

But then the surprise. “You might want to bring a book along.” “Huh?” I stuttered, “Why would I want to do that?”

“Well, you might want to wait in the car while I go in the store.” OK, I think, I can live with that. We do that sometimes when she does quick runs into stores and I park in the no-parking zones near the front doors, keeping the car cool in the hot Arizona summers. But waiting at the curb for an hour or two might be pushing my luck with the local parking police.

“Or maybe you can wait for me in the sports bar next door to the dress shop and watch the football game.”

What? What did she say? College football game in a sports bar? “Well yea, would you like some extra money for accessories?” I asked. “Take your time, please take your time!”

How did that happen? Mrs. Steve must have been reading my mind. This is a win / win for both of us. Mrs. Steve has always had my number, she has it down pat. She knows what works, and what doesn’t work so well in our relationship. Was that manipulation? Am I being hopelessly male and shallow? Yes, maybe, probably, but as long I can have a burger and a beer with the game on that big screen TV, I’m a happy shopper, and so is Mrs. Steve.
(c) 2010 Stephen J. MatlockThis publication is the exclusive property of Stephen J. Matlock and is protectedunder the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. The contents of this post/story may not be reproduced as a whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without consent of the author, Stephen J. Matlock. All rights reserved.


Pondside said...

It takes some people 50 years of marriage to get to that point - you two are pretty fast! I just love win-win situations - and a husband who can dance along with me is a marvel!

Judie said...

Of course I believe in togetherness, but shopping is not one of those occasions. God love you for going along with it!!

Ms. A said...

I hate shopping, but once I'm there, I try to make the best of it. Now that cell phones are a huge part of life, he does his thing and I do mine and we call each other when we're done.

Jeanie said...

I'd say this is a tap dance that ended as a win-win for both of you.
Way to go!

H said...

Nice one! Personally, I find that dragging someone else along for my clothes shopping just makes the whole sorry process last three times longer because there is never agreement!
(Or, if it was one of my lads - and I haven't taken them since they were old enough to be left alone - the whole trip would be over in 15 minutes flat without me buying anything that I really wanted!)
Your arrangement is perfect!

Leovi said...

Well, I have that problem, just watch TV during meals.

cj Schlottman said...


I suppose you could use some of your free time trolling for sports bars near all of Jenny's shopping haunts! Great read.