Staying Married Secret #12 – It pays to sit on your Smart Ass commentary when they’re frustrated.
The Professor, sometimes known affectionately as Mrs. Magoo, doesn’t like to wear her glasses. Which is another discussion, women over forty and their glasses that they put on and take off thirty or forty times an hour. Anyway, she must have gotten reading-glasses elbow and ordered the wrong thing off a menu she couldn’t read one too many times, because she opted for contacts and a new morning ritual a few weeks ago.
“I’m not sure I’m going to like this whole contacts idea. They take forever to go in and now one of the progressives tore in half. I was just trying to put the stupid thing in my eye.” The frustration oozing out of the cracked open bathroom door was tangible.
“Do you have another one?”
“No, they were the test ones. She gave me these mono-visons when I started, to get used to having them in my eyes until she got my test prescription in. I didn’t like them at all. I feel like I’m walking around blinking to see what’s close and then what’s far. My eyes never do it right like they’re supposed to.”
I knew she was making big, theatrical winks in the mirror while she said that. “Mono-vision is why I finally gave up on contacts.” I’d told her that probably a thousand times, with variations. It was my only support line for contacts, so I had to use it even if it was tired. I turned off the talking heads news readers and could hear water running on her side of the bathroom, along with some low-key, mumbled profanity.
“I guess I’m going to have to wear these mono-vison things then, and be the winking lady trying to decide which eye looks where. I get to spend all day today with a confused brain.”
I let it sit. So did she, for a minute or two.
“I said I’m going to have to spend the day with a confused brain.” She said it a little louder that time.
I bit my tongue. Hard. A few minutes later I heard her heels going across the living room into the kitchen and caught a glimpse of color. “Is that one of your new dresses?”
“Yes. It’s not too tight, is it? I get so self-conscious.”
She looked great and it wasn’t too tight and by now I was talking to her back. “No, you look great. It is a pretty dress and you’re the perfect girl for it.”
“Stop. I’m not a girl, I’m an old lady and I feel like one today.” She rounded up professor paraphernalia while the K-cup finished spitting. “I don’t have all day to wait for it, Mister Man.” I could see her twisting the lid on her to-go coffee cup. “Okay, I’ve gotta go, I’ll do it for you. ‘What do you mean confused brain today, dear? I thought that was your natural state.’ Feel better?”
“It really is a pretty dress. Kiss?”
“Yes. Thank you. Have a nice day at work. Do I have everything?”
“Mmm…Yes. Four-thirty, probably. Thanks for making me a sandwich and being sweet when I went off about my contacts. Bye. Love you!”