Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tape Gun in the Bathroom

Hubby and I have been married almost 30 years. There are times when he asks questions of me he knows he probably shouldn't, but just can't help himself. Times, for instance, when I get quiet but he can see the wheels turning in my brain.

He knows I'm mentally chewing on something big and wants to know what that "big" involves. Namely, does it involve something he has done wrong or some project I want him to do? He's always on the alert for those kinda "bigs." Should he prepare himself for an ass-chewing or a trip to Home Depot? He wants to know.

More often than not my ponderings have nothing to do with him. I give him the long-married secret code reply that sets his mind at ease: "You don't really want to know." When we were younger he would press further, not satisfied with that answer so I would tell him what was on my mind. His eyes would glaze over and realize my original answer was succinctly accurate...he *really* didn't want to know.

The long-winded answer might include my ponderings on the metallurgy used in war-time coin minting, technologies of ancient Egypt, constructing woodworking jigs, and how all that relates back to wind turbines in west Texas. Yeah, you get the picture. Nobody wants to know that. But that's what I'm pondering at the time he asks.

Now that he is older and wiser, he takes the "You don't want to know" answer at face value. He also has learned I don't bother to ponder on ass chewings or fix-it requests. I just blurt those out the minute they pop in my head. But he still likes to check from time to time. Things may have changed when he wasn't lookin'.

The other day, he just couldn't help himself. He had to ask one of those questions.

He emerged from the bathroom with our tape gun in hand. It's a big honkin' tape gun; industrial handle, 400 yards of heavy-duty packing tape, and a Serious Business tape cutter that will take off a finger if you aren't careful. His voice has a quizzical timbre as he yells across the house to me....

"Honey, why is the tape gun in the bathroom????"

There is a long pause here on my part as I consider my answer. This is one of those "You don't really want to know" situations. It involves a long explanation about a Bad Hair Day which I imagine will lead to even more questions. None of those questions are worth asking or answering in the great scheme of things because the need for the tape gun in the bathroom has long passed and I just forgot to put it back in the drawer and they used tin in wartime pennies and wind-driven turbines in west Texas aren't yet fiscally practical because of start up costs versus the energy produced and the ancient Egyptians had some technology involving light bulbs with electric eels to light the dark insides of their tombs why can't Texans figure out that same technology and he does *not* want to know any of that.....

So there is a lengthy pause. I finally yell back:

"Sometimes ya just gotta tape stuff in there."

There is a long pause on his part as he considers my answer. While I didn't use the secret code words "You don't really want to know," he is quickly translating my response and decides that's what it means. He is also momentarily considering how a tape gun in the bathroom might have anything to do with the life cycle of cicadas, Aztec pottery shards, the manufacture of pink attic insulation, or something else he can't quite fathom.

He appreciates the fact I spared him from any of that explanation and groks that he is not in trouble nor is he required to break out the toolbox. Satisfied that all is right with the world and that he should let any sleeping dogs lie, he replies simply and quietly:

"I understand."

Smart man.