This may come as a shock to some of you, but once again it was my fault.
You would think that a veteran husband and parent who has suffered through numerous trials and tribulations would learn. But if you were to think that, you would be wrong.
I never learn.
I guess it’s the optimist in me. Like Charlie Brown wanting to believe Lucy when she swears she won’t pull the football away seconds before he tries to kick it, I believe that when it comes to matters of time, my wife will tell the truth.
I know. It’s stupid. But at one time I also thought: “Gee, how bad can Trump be?”
I’m a slow learner is what I am.
We were in Kansas City. My wife and I and our 20-year-old daughter, Emma, were walking to a restaurant for dinner. Our reservation was for 6 p.m. and it was 20 minutes before 6 when we were heading to the restaurant.
“Wait,” my wife said as we approached a Victoria’s Secret store. “We just need to stop in here for a second.”
“Uh-oh,” I said to myself. “This can’t be good.”
So, I did what I always do when my wife says she needs to stop in a store “for a second.”
I looked for a way out.
In this case, because we were very close to the restaurant and because I knew that restaurant had a bar, I figured I would head there and wait for my wife and Emma. I figured that in the “second” they were going to shop in the Victoria’s Secret store I could have one, possibly 10 beers. But because I’m an optimist, I made two fatal errors.
The first error I made was to ask the following question.
“How long will you guys be shopping? Because I was thinking of heading on to the restaurant and getting a beer,” is what I said.
“You won’t have time because we will only be a second,” my wife said.
The second fatal error I made was believing my wife when she said that she and Emma would only be a second in Victoria’s Secret.
So, while my wife and Emma headed off into the depths of the large Victoria’s Secret store, I found a vacant wall near the front doors on which to lean.
By the way, if it wasn’t for English teachers out there, I probably could have phrased that last sentence differently. What I would normally say is, “I found a vacant wall to lean on,” but I’ve been told that is not proper grammar.
I don’t know why exactly it is not proper grammar, but apparently it’s not.
The reason I found a vacant wall near the front of the Victoria’s Secret on which to lean is because there really is nowhere in the store a guy can wander without feeling uncomfortable.
It would be different if I were tagging along with my wife and Emma in Victoria’s Secret because then people would realize that I was with them and not some creepy, middle-aged guy hanging out in a lingerie store.
But call me silly, I’m not comfortable hanging out with my wife and daughter while they shop for lingerie.
So, I found a vacant wall on which to lean. And then, to make sure people didn’t think that I was a creepy, middle-aged guy leaning on the wall of a lingerie store, I took out my phone and started checking for baseball scores even though I already knew that the St. Louis Cardinals had lost their game.
That way, I figured, people would see me checking baseball scores and think: “He’s not creepy. He just believed his wife.”
Twenty minutes later, my wife and Emma came back.
“See,” my wife said. “We were only here a second.”
Sigh. Someday I swear I’ll learn.