The Wife, who I married in the year 1015, decided that she wanted to go back to work a couple of years ago. She went through extensive clearance process that included me being interviewed, then intensive training, a short apprenticeship, and was thrown into the fray to sink or swim. She then proceeded to get three promotions in the next year and a half. I had invited her boss to dinner on several occasions, and she had said that we would get together soon several times. That was two years ago. A week ago, her boss decided to make it happen. Tonight, my wife and I had dinner with a 28 year old female team leader.
We met at a local steak house and were seated. When the waiter got our drink orders, I passed up getting beer, as the Team Leader (hereinafter and forevermore known as TL) ordered a Sprite, and I picked up on that subtlety like a change in a traffic light. I demurely (remember, I am a trophy husband) ordered my usual Diet coke Atlanta September '06, preferably from the Peachtree District. I sniffed the screw cap and noted no excess acidic aroma, and tasted the sample poured by the waiter. It was a delicious red. I nodded and he filled my fluted glass, putting the remainder in the high hat next to me, filled with ice, to keep the drink cold. Too warm and the entire drink can go flat. I can't have that.
Picking up my drink I asked, "I haven't seen you for a while, what have you been doing TL?" She explained that she had been home for vacation, and that she had been to her high school reunion while she was there. I nodded to show that I was being attentive. She went on about how pleased she was to see that her emergency backup husband was there and still single. TL now had my undivided attention. The conversation went something like this.
Me: What is an emergency backup husband?
TL: This guy and I from high school have an agreement that if we aren't married by the time we're 36, we'll get married for the convenience. Besides, we travel well together.
Me: What about things like love, sexual compatibility, companionship? (I looked at my wife and smiled deeply committed)
TL: I see you don't understand the modern woman.
Me: It wouldn't be my first time, please, explain the modern woman to me.
TL: What the modern woman is looking for in a man is for him to fill in her benefits package. I need a guy with better eye glass coverage and better dental than we have. Otherwise, why bother?
My mind reeled under a confluence of things, and i choked trying hard not to say wtf. TL noticed.
TL: what are you trying to say?
TL: It's OK to cuss, I grew up on a farm.
Me: No shit.
Imagine, empowered to curse by a 28 year old. I was on a roll!
And then my wife communicated with me in no uncertain terms in a way that husbands and wives have understood for centuries. Her foot instantly found it's way over to my foot and ever so gently, yet insistently left the following somewhat endearing message. Shut the fuck up. Instantly, I complied , yet kept the conversation going, much to everyone's delight
Me: Tell me about what your folks raise on this farm?
Note to self: Buy some Healh Care Exchange Traded Fund, and dangle in front of wife to get lucky.