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Thursday, February 3, 2011

On Not Being Rewarded

My wife's no sitcom character, but she does have theme music, a character wardrobe, and catchphrases.

My wife's theme music is the soundtrack to "Amelie." It's pixie-like, precious, precocious, and it's the soundtrack to the first film she ever suggested I watch. And, come to think of it, it may very well have been the only film she ever suggested I watch. My sweet wife tromps through life with a charming air about her, an Audrey Tautou-esque air about her. Bright, lovely, at times blithely unaware of her surroundings-- you almost expect a garden gnome to send her a postcard from Denmark.

Her wardrobe is from Anthropologie. Color-dappled skirts, bright red overcoats with huge buttons, embellished tops in kind hues-- she is always dressed for delightful adventure, wherever she goes, and I am always interested in seeing what she chose to wear on a given morning-- because, damnit, it's fun.

And she has her catchphrases. Some of them are old standbys, but one has developed recently, and I think it's a funny one, because, on its face-- it's quite absurd. Whenever my dear Mrs. Apron gets fucked over by Life, as all of us do, she likes to say, "I feel like I'm not being rewarded right now."

This is going to sound awfully condescending, and I apologize, to you and to my wife, in advance, but I find this catchphrase of my wife's terribly funny, as I mentioned earlier, and charming at the same time. The catchphrase is used whenever my wife does what she perceives to be "the right thing" and then ends up getting the proverbial pie in the face. Perhaps being proactive and taking the dogs out for a walk and then having Molly poop on the floor not five minutes after retuning from the walk. Maybe taking a shortcut only to have the misfortune of driving behind a Toyota Camry with a leather-faced codge-ass behind, his wool Fedora barely poking up from view behind the headrest.

Of course you're not being rewarded, silly. Nobody gets rewarded. Only pathetic, untalented, tow-headed children on local township soccer teams get trophies. The rest of us get a punch in the schnuts.

On Monday, I had off from work. I awoke semi-erect and with an intense craving for a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from a local bagelry establishment. And coffee that I didn't have to make myself. So I dressed, walked the dogs quickly, got in my car, and drove off.

It was a little after 9:00am by the time I hit the road-- prime time for all the elementary school buses to fuck up everybody's commute/bagel sandwich run. It took me twenty minutes to get to the the bagel place, (should have taken ten) but I didn't care, because I had a coupon!!!!


I even remembered my super-cool, keeps-hot-beverages-hot-for-nine-hours coffee mug!

What I forgot, I realized as I pulled into the parking space at the bagel store, was my wallet.

See, this is what happens when you change trousers. We should just wear the same pair all week, then this wouldn't happen. It's not like we, most of us, dookie ourselves. How are our trousers somehow unacceptably dirty after one day? Come on. Give me a break.

I had remembered, during my quick dressing session, to remove my belt and put it on the new pair of trousers, put my cellphone and clip on the new pair, too. But the wallet, well, that didn't make it in.

I wanted to give up. But I couldn't. So I drove all the way home, stormed upstairs, got the wallet, and drove back to the fucking store.

I placed my order and presented my coupon.

"Oh," the topographically pimpled clerk behind the counter frowned as he pointed to my coffee travel mug, "if you're using that, I can't accept the coupon."

I feel like I'm not being rewarded right now, Tom, I wanted to say to him. Instead, I just looked at him. And I blinked three times.

"You know what-- forget it. That's stupid. Nevermind," he said. I wanted to kiss the angry, red bumps on his cheeks. Reason had prevailed. Logic had won the day at this crummy little establishment, at which, I might add, I was the only patron.

I could have gone on a torrential rant about how I'm not being rewarded for doing the environmentally friendly thing, by bringing my own mug and not using another insidious paper cup.

I could have done it.

But my wife would be the first one to tell you that I hate the environment. It's one of her catchphrases.

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