I was a lousy Boy Scout.
I liked the camping well enough, but I wasn’t a fan of the meetings and the whole merit badge deal. But to be fair, it really wasn’t the Boy Scouts’ fault that I was a lousy Scout. It was mine.
I just wasn’t Boy Scout material. Even had I been Boy Scout material, I still would have been a lousy Scout — because of the knots.
You’re supposed to know how to tie knots in the Boy Scouts, and I can’t tie knots. I have a hard time tying a tie, let alone a slip, granny, second cousin, drunk uncle knot.
I think that’s a knot. If knot (ha!), it should be.
Given my problem with all things tied, why did I spend nearly three hours Thursday afternoon trying, unsuccessfully, to tie a bunch of knots?
Well, if you must know, it was because of my wife.
Our wedding anniversary was a few weeks ago, and I — because I do not have stupid all over my face — gave my wife the gift of jewelry.
Here’s a tip for you rookie husbands out there: When it comes to gifts for your wife, you can never go wrong with jewelry. And the great thing is you don’t really have to put much thought into buying jewelry. It’s the perfect gift. Minimum input, maximum return.
Understand, rookie husbands: This is just between you and me. I would hate for my wife to hear about this.
Unlike myself, my wife does put a lot of thought into the gifts she gives to me. My wife will spend weeks, even months coming up with what she thinks will be the perfect gift for me. The key words in the previous sentence, of course, are: “what she thinks will be the perfect gift for me.”
I’m not saying that my wife’s gifts to me aren’t perfect. I’m just suggesting that sometimes she overthinks the whole gift thing.
See, I’m a pretty simple guy. No, really, it’s true.
To me, a perfect gift would be the gift of beer. And maybe a cigar or two. And a can of peanuts — salted, not that “lightly salted” crap they try to sell.
My wife, however, doesn’t think the gift of beer, a cigar or two and salted peanuts is a proper gift. So she tries to think outside the gift box. Or 12-pack, as it were.
This year, for our anniversary, my wife gave me — wait for it — the gift of sailing lessons.
A neat idea, right? I thought so too until I discovered that in order to learn how to sail, my wife and I have to study a book about — follow me here — sailing.
Look, I haven’t studied since college. Wait, that’s not correct. I haven’t studied since high school. Wait, that’s not correct either. I’ve never studied.
We also have to know how to tie a bunch of knots. Apparently — and this was news to me — they use a lot of knots in sailing.
I think they use them to shiver timbers. Or maybe batten down hatches.
Anyway, that’s why on Thursday afternoon I spent three hours trying to learn how to tie a bunch of knots.
At the end of the three hours, I hadn’t learned to tie the knots I was supposed to, but I did manage to accidentally tie up two of our cats. And a couch.
Did I mention I’m not good at knots?
On Friday evening, my wife and I will drive up to Stockton. Then, on Saturday morning, we will drive to a marina and spend the next two days either learning how to sail or swimming to shore.
It’s likely going to be a toss-up.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have a couple of cats to untie.