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Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Confess

Being married to me is what Gilbert might call, "A uniquely singular experience." I'm strange, uncommon, and unpredictable, which keeps things interesting. I'm also irresponsible, impetuous and incompetent-- which, um, also keeps things interesting.

I also can't lie or conceal to save the hair on my ass.

When I was an EMT, I remember dropping a patient off for an MRI; this type of a call is called a "wait-and-return." It was a small office and my partner and I waited in the waiting room, reading out-of-date magazines for over two hours while our patient was MRI'd in the big paper-towel tube. As we sat, the nurses and receptionists behind the counter went milling around about their business, not saying much to us as we sat, and waited. It was the part of the job that I enjoyed the most: being on the clock whilst doing nothing but sitting on our asses. The dispatcher keyed us up several times, her voice exhibiting increased annoyance, to let us know that we had calls pending.

"Oh, well," I said back into the mic, "our patient isn't done. It's not like we can leave her here."

No, no-- leave her there we could not.

Funnily enough, that's what we ended up doing. An emergency call came through, which obviously took priority over my partner and I farting into the fabric of the waiting room chairs. So we got up, told the nurse behind the desk that another crew would be over to pick up the MRI patient when she was done, and we hustled to the elevator that would take us back to our ambulance. As the elevator doors were about to shut, a nurse came rushing towards the elevators and slid her hand in between the doors.

"Wait!" she cried as the doors parted. She had a pink Post-It note in her hand. "My friend wrote down her phone number-- she said you were cute." My partner, a 350-pound leviathan, reached out for the note and the nurse jerked her hand back as if offended.

"Um, it's not for you-- it's for your partner," she said, stuffing the Post-It note into my hand.

As I drove the ambulance down the Roosevelt Boulevard with lights and siren blaring, my partner jabbed me in the ribs repeatedly with his enormous sausage finger.

"Fuck, yeah, bitch! There's nothin' like bangin' nurse bush, know what I mean, H. P.!?" My partner had the unflattering habit of referring to me as "H. P." because of my unfortunate resemblance to the world's most famous wizard.

"Please stop calling me that," I said. My partner laughed uproariously. "And I will not be banging any nurse bush, thank you," I said, weaving in and out of traffic.

Truthfully, I was flattered. It marked the first, and only time, a woman had ever given me her phone number for the intended purpose of my calling her back and initiating some sort of conjugal contact. Not only was I flattered, I was also deeply ashamed and extremely uncomfortable. I was practically engaged to the future Mrs. Apron and I felt like I had cheated on her, even though I had done absolutely nothing of the kind. When I arrived home from work that day, my wife was taking a nap. I climbed onto the bed and woke her up.

"Listen," I said, still wearing my uniform and jacket, "there's something I need to talk to you about." She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and furrowed her brow.

"Okay," she said, "what?"

I took a deep breath.

"Today, at an MRI office, a nurse gave me her phone number. Well, actually, a co-worker of hers gave it to me, I guess she was too embarrassed or whatever, but I didn't do anything and I threw the number away-- I don't think I even talked to her-- I mean, there were three nurses working there, I don't even know which one it was. But... I just wanted to tell you, because I don't want to disrespect you. I love you."

My wife rolled her eyes.

"Bobber," she said, running her hand through my worried hair, "it's okay. I think it's kind of cool, actually-- that I have this hot commodity that other chicks want. You're behaving like you did something wrong-- you're so funny."

Later that year, I had another confession to make.

My wife, being a crafter supremo, had a pair of special fabric scissors, orange-handled Fiskars. They're special, and they're expensive. She loved and depended on these Fiskars, and she was so invested in them that she even wrote her name on the blade in black Sharpie marker.

Weird, right?

Well, you know those super-sealed plastic packages that cell-phones and other electronica come encased in that cannot be opened with anything short of copious amounts of C-4? Well, home alone, I needed to open one of these packages and, not having any C-4 handy, I grabbed the closest destructive implement I could find-- Mrs. Apron's Fiskars. And, in the process of cutting the package, half of the handle broke off. I was totally fucking beside myself. I immediately floored it to a small independent fabric store, the broken pair of scissors on the passenger seat. I was convinced that, if I did not immediately purchase and replace the scissors that my wife would stab me straight through the heart with the broken pair.

And, if the judge was a crafter, she'd probably beat the murder rap.

At the fabric store, I ran to the scissor section (I know, I was running with scissors. Naughty-naught.) and there, a portly woman in a hijab was picking up the last pair of identically-sized Fiskars. Talking at a thousand miles a minute, I babbled about my indescretion to her-- told her the whole fucking stupid story and begged her to let me have the new pair, even offering to give her the broken pair I had in my hand, plus paying her the retail cost of the Fiskars, because I am totally insane. To my astonishment, she took the broken pair, saying they were still useful, even with half a handle and my wife's name on them, and she left the store. I couldn't believe it. Behaving like a maniac in public had, for once, actually paid off for me. I jubilantly brought the new Fiskars scissors over to the counter and paid the hefty fee.

I tore open the packaging and threw it away, along with the incriminating receipt. After arriving home, I found a black Sharpie marker and wrote my wife's name on the scissors, and put them back in the container with all her other sewing crap. The still-life was complete again. A day or so later, I was watching her craft at her table and I blurted out a spontaneous confession.

"Oh, Bobber," my wife said, "I knew you'd done something to my scissors."

"How the hell did you know that?" I asked, confident that I had expertly covered my tracks. She smiled at me, holding up the scissors.

"You wrote my name on these upside-down."

1 comment:

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