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My Wife's Mental Catalogue
My wife does not have an exceptionally great memory. Now that she’s pregnant, she will sometimes stop talking as her thoughts leaves her mid sentence and I try to help her backtrack as we search for the rest of the story.
But she doesn't forget all things. Quite the contrary, there are certain memories that she stores in the hard drive. Here she is able to access this vital information within tenths of a second. She will rattle off dates with astonishing accuracy, describing every minute detail with exact specifications. This is what I call the mental catalogue.
Not to sound conceited, but I am the main subject of this rather extensive catalogue. There are sections and chapters dedicated to my shortcomings, mishaps, wrong answers, and stupid statements. Every wife is programmed with the mental catalogue; I think they’re born with it.
Trust me, I know that I only have myself to blame. I am constantly adding material to this catalogue, almost daily.
For our first example, we are on the road, driving to the beach when I decide to take an exit, she informs me that it’s the next exit that I need to take. I say no, it’s this exit, and just like every healthy couple, we have a disagreement about it that I think has ended when I tell her that I know where I’m going. But she has already pulled it up in the catalogue:
Incident 6-09-2009 Summer Beach Trip Wrong Turn – I remember you said this last time and we took this turn and ended up in that construction zone heading west when we needed to head east. Then you had that fit because we were stuck in traffic for a half an hour and I had to go to the bathroom and you said this was the last time you were ever going on vacation in your life. You sa---
Okay okay, we’ll take your exit, just make it stop! This from a woman who could not remember if she paid the cable bill.
Or maybe we’re at the grocery store and decide to splurge with a little ice cream, I go right for the chocolate because you cannot go wrong with chocolate. My wife however has a taste for the mint chocolate chip. I scowl, kind of like an 8 year old when he doesn't get his way. And then:
Incident 4-28-2012 Mint Chocolate Chip Hog – You made that face last time but then you ate almost the whole container that night and your stomach hurt, because remember I sai—
Okay, I guess I do like mint chocolate chip honey, let’s get that one and get out of here. (That lady is staring at me now, thanks)
This catalogue goes on and on and if you’re anything like me, it grows daily. My failings and faults will be stored only to be pulled up and recalled years down the road when I least expect it. And sometimes she lets me think that I made a decision when in actuality I didn't! It's a wicked game these wives can play.
Suppose I find a picture or something I think will look great in our living room. I mean this thing will really set the place off. I show it to my wife and to my amazement she is less than enthused. What? I ask. How could you possibly not like that? I've always had great taste.
She looks at me as if I'm a wet puppy with nowhere to go, that I'm so naive to think that I actually had good taste. Before her I thought that Pottery Barn was where you went to pee while on a farm. She starts gently, letting me down easy:
Incident 10-28-2008 First Visit - I remember your house when you lived alone honey, and that was fine for a bachelor. But I’m not sure I want our living room to look like a sports bar. Remember, you have the basement all to yourself, where you have those football pennants and concert posters hanging.
She pats me on the back as I look down at the floor in defeat. I suppose that plug-in felt pictures of dogs playing poker is not going to make it into our house, at least not upstairs. Defeated I trudge off, knowing deep down that she’s right, our living room shouldn't look like a sports bar….we should go for more of a pub feel.
So unless I quit making mistakes or delete my wife's hard drive---which sounds illegal--- I will just have to settle in and live with the consequences of my shortcomings. All in all it's not that bad, she let's me have my moments and I let her have her way, which in all honesty, works out for the best. So as I eat mint chocolate chip out of my pottery barn bowl, I will look at the pretty pictures on the wall and enjoy what I do have, instead of cringing at what could have been.