Mar. 23, 2017

Tardy Farty Men


Men. I can say so many things about them and I have a lot of different sayings that pop in my head just mentioning the male species. “Men are like a box of chocolates; just don’t go for the nutty ones or the ones someone tried to put back” (Said in my best Forrest Gump voice). Another favorite is, “Men are like parking places; the good ones are either handicapped or taken.”

Speaking for my husband, he’s late with everything. His timing is usually so far off, he couldn’t make the train station on time if he left for it a day early. At first his tardiness was intentional. Now, I think as he's gotten older, it's just become a part of his nature. He's a natural born Tardy Farty.

I remember one night, years ago; I had called my husband and asked, “When are you coming home?”

He answered, “Fifteen minutes.”

“Are you sure because I’m going to put the steaks on the grill now so they’ll be ready when you get here.”

“I’m sure,” he promised.

Two hours later he comes strolling in. He knew I was mad. I think he heard the steam whistle as it blew out of my ears. At first I didn’t say anything. I had no intention of saying a word to him. Period! However, being female I could only hold back for so long.

He steps into the kitchen and peeks into the pots and pans to see what other side dishes I made to go with his steak. I didn’t say anything.

“Are these potatoes?” He asked lifting the lid on the bowl of baked potatoes I left on the counter.

No answer from me. No way Jose’! I’m not speaking to him.

“Did you get rolls?” Another irrelevant question he asks as he picks up the bread bag.

I’m not speaking.

“It doesn’t matter,” he determines. “I’m not hungry anyway.”

Oh that did it. I was livid. The fight began. He first refused to tell me where he was or where he had eaten (I knew he'd eaten somewhere). It was a legitimate question on my part. I had cooked the man a meal that he never showed up for and then he refused to tell my why or where he was.

He yelled that I was not his mother. No, I’m not his mother. You can’t get anything past him but, I am his wife and I deserved respect. I didn’t care if he was late so much as for him to just let me know he was going to be late.

I wasn't really jealous; I was more worried than anything. I would worry myself sick calling hospitals and police stations looking for him. I was terrified he'd gotten in an accident or been locked up for some unforeseen reason. I didn’t think he was with any old girlfriends or the like until he started to imply that is where he might have been and whom he may have eaten dinner with.

After he accused me of being overly jealous (an emotion HE CREATED) he informed me he wasn't going to live like that. Then he insisted he doesn’t have to answer to me.

"Okay," I said.

Hint: Never trust a woman, even a 17 year old, when she simply lets something drop with "okay."

I had decided to teach him a lesson. I calmly waited for my chance. When the weekend came, I told him I was going to the store and would be back in 15 minutes then I disappeared for several hours. He couldn’t find me anywhere. Now, guess who was mad when I got home? I told him the same line he fed me, it was none of his business where I was and I would not live with an overly jealous man.

My husband was of the opinion that because he is much older than I am, he has the last word about everything. After all, I was only 17 and he was a worldly 27 when we “became one.” I was still learning and wet behind the ears whereas, he was much more experienced than I.

Is that so?

I let him think what he wanted and simply waited for the right opportunity to present itself in order to show him I was on the ball. It did several weeks later when I had asked him for $20 so I could go to lunch with some girl-friends the following day. I was a good wife. I cleaned the house and cooked his dinner every night (even if he didn’t always show up for it). I didn’t go off with my friends all the time. This was a one-time thing.

“No,” he said.

“What do you mean, no? Give me the money,” I insisted.


“Why not?”

He was taking off his work boots,” I don’t have to give you an answer. I said no and that’s final.”

Oh really, I thought to myself. I stood with my hands on my hips and said, “Wait a minute. Do you think I’m screwing you for free?”

He looked up at me and nodded his head.

“Oh come on,” I insisted. “You can’t be that damn stupid! I am not an object you screw on the bed to get the housework done around here. Haven’t you ever heard the expression ‘why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?’ I’m sure you have.”

He nodded his head, “Yeah.”

“Well moo-moo, big boy. Now give me the damn money!”

Needless to say, I got the money and I made my bones at the same time. Also, He learned not to imply he’s one place when he’s really another. As it turned out, that night he didn’t want to tell me where he was and hinted he was with an old girlfriend. He had run into a male friend of his on his way home and got invited to dinner. So, he went. Without me.

That was almost thirty years ago. Since then, he’s learned to respect me as his wife and treat me with the same respect he wants to be treated with.

As for the money situation; I take care of the finances now.

A friend recently called me and said “I have a new man-phrase for you.”

“What is it?” I asked.

“Men are like linoleum; Lay them right the first time and you can walk all over them forever.”