A DIFFERENT WIFE

 

Have you seen the commercial for some sort of financial management firm that features a lovely senior couple camping? First, they are on paddle boards, then sitting in front of a campfire drinking coffee and laughing? Then they get into their RV and drive off? Of course you have, because it is on all the time.

Every time it comes on, we have a private joke: I say “That is just like us!” And my husband rolls his eyes, because I am not a camping sort of person.

That is as far as it went for a long time. But the commercial came on again last night, and I said something like “Would you ever want to go camping?” thinking of course that the answer would be a resounding NO. However, my husband looked at me with what I would have to classify as irony and said, “With a different wife? Yes.”

I was stunned. “Wait. What about adventure tourism (which I also hate and fear)? Would you go to Machu Picchu?” He looked at me with a level gaze. “Of course.”

Shocked, I continued. “You would enjoy that? What about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Would you think being freezing cold and having to carry out your own poop a fun experience?” Again, a “Yes” with not one millisecond of hesitation. I wasn’t satisfied with this. “Would you travel down the Amazon, despite fever bearing parasites, swarms of biting bugs, and alligators (I have no idea if there are alligators in the Amazon). He nodded, this time accompanied with an exasperated sigh.

My God. All of this time, I thought we were a match made in heaven. Now I find out that he has been holding himself back from fun for 52 years because of his “indoor” wife. I have robbed him of so many peak experiences! He has lived a boring life because of ME.

I thought for a minute, and then offered, “But you could do all of that stuff by yourself. Our friend (we will call her Rachel) travels by herself all the time. As a matter of fact, she was in Palestine all alone last Christmas. Her husband hates travel. At least I like some travel!”

He ran a hand over his nonexistent hair. “Yes, Molly. You love travel. As long as we are in big cities like London where English is spoken, where we stay in five star hotels, and where there are many shops. Oh, and there must be amenities. Lots of amenities.”

“Well, that is travel!”

“You didn’t ask me that. You asked me about adventure travel. Which of course, I couldn’t do alone, because you wouldn’t let me.”

I wanted to object.

I couldn’t.

 

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