We don’t eat out very much, partly because of my wife’s delicate stomach and partly because of my delicate wallet. When the choice comes down to lifesaving doctors and a good meal, I am saddened that food comes in second place.
Neither do we pick up takeout food very often. Maybe once a week for two for Chinese food, which, oddly enough, my wife’s constitution can handle.
No, usually JoAn cooks, or we do something simple and easy, such as chicken pot pies or ham sandwiches. Although she denies being able to prepare anything tasty, she is actually a good cook, so I praise her meals effusively.
Last Friday, as I left the house for work, I asked what she wanted to do for supper.
“You know what I like,” she replied. “I don’t like to cook.”
That’s JoAn in a nutshell. Self-effacing yet supremely competent.
“Maybe a salad,” she added.
“You don’t eat salads,” I said. “You subsist on canned soup and crackers when I’m not around.”
That’s what she wanted, though, so that’s what we got. My wife is my life, you see, and if her constitution could handle steak every night, I would make sure she got it, even if I added cattle rustler to my résumé.
I remember once seeing a touching bumper sticker that read: “I heart my wife.” In truth I’ve seen that sticker only once in my decades. The same for a funnily ignorant sticker I saw on a pickup in the 1970s: “More people have died in Ted Kennedy’s car than in nuclear power accidents.” (Obviously, that was before Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.)
As I drove to work Friday, I didn’t see anyone who loved his wife, or hated the Kennedys, but I got behind an SUV whose rear bumper was proud of its child being an honor student at a local elementary school. (In my day, they
were called “grammar” schools, but I’m pretty sure the feds made them switch to “elementary” after kids stopped understanding grammar.)
But wait. It’s July, so is that alleged honor student having to attend summer school? A true honor student wouldn’t have to make up school during the summer break; that would mean he or she failed with dishonor somewhere along the way.
Or had that honor student excelled a grading period earlier and the parents simply hadn’t scraped the sticker off the bumper? That seemed a sin of omission, prideful braggadocio or perhaps even a misdemeanor. I guess nobody ever said bumper stickers have to be accurate.
Nor do they have to be constitutional, it seems. Just a few days earlier – the day after the Dallas massacre, as a matter of fact – I drove behind a truck plastered with insensitive stickers. The one that stands out is: “When they come for your guns, give them the bullets first.”
Love and hate, spelled out on bumpers around us.
Reach Glynn Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.