Monday, July 23, 2007

April Fools

When I proposed to Joyce, I asked, "How does April First sound?"

She smiled and said, "Sure!" but I still felt obligated to explain why I thought April Fool's Day would be a good day to get married. So I expounded, "It's my Dad's sixtieth birthday; it would be a nice gesture." I went on to point out all the practicalities: April First fell on a Saturday that year (1978). Also, that gave me about two months to set up household. Joyce immediately liked the idea and insisted that her wedding band be engraved on the inside: "Your April Fool".

At that time Joyce lived in Houston. I was living on-post at Fort Stewart, GA in the BOQ (Bachelor Officers Quarters). Calling it the BOQ sounds better than the full truth: I lived in an on-post single-wide trailer with a drunken middle-aged warrant officer. Even I knew that having Joyce move in with George and me would never work out. George was hard enough to live with when he was sober, but that was the best of it. I figured my bride might take exception to George's showing up armed and loaded (literally and figuratively) and pounding on the bedroom door at 2:00 AM to curse me for locking the trailer door again. I always apologized profusely (which is a good idea when you're dealing with an armed drunk), but secretly, I actually enjoyed hearing George hit the ground in those wee hours when he fell off the trailer house steps.

But back to my point. Figuring George and Joyce would not hit it off, in the two months between my proposing and the wedding, I found a newly built apartment in Savannah, bought a bed, moved in, and had a phone line installed. When we arrived "home" from our whirlwind honeymoon across the Old South, we didn't even have chairs to sit on. The only thing my pretty girl got when she married me was, well ... me.

That engraving was apt - she is indeed my April Fool. And despite all the evidence I've given her that she made a mistake, that sweet thing hasn't gotten any wiser yet.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wardrobe Malfunction

I had a sartorial faux pas the other day, but fortunately Joyce caught it before I got out the door. I know what you're thinking: “Oh, Bob left his fly open again…” But no, that's not it. I almost left the house with the manufacturer's tags hanging off my new pants. I'd removed the tags that were stapled, but who'd have ever thought that there'd be stickers to peal off too? (As Andy Rooney would say, “I know I didn't.”) Anyway, Joyce spotted the sticker and said, “Oh my, here let me help.” Thus my lovely bride once again spared me some embarrassment.

And that reminds me of another wardrobe malfunction from bygone days in which Joyce was a bit less diligent about her spousal inspection duties. (You may excuse her dereliction of duty as the result of her chasing toddlers all day and being up at night with the baby, but let's remember, she did after all fail to keep me looking my most dapper.) Anyway, on this particular morning, I got all the way to downtown Dallas, walked several blocks to the office, rode up the elevator, set down my brief case, and walked to a colleague's office to inform him that my usual carpool buddy Jim wouldn't be in that day because he was on his way to Killeen to visit his daughter who'd just had a baby, Jim's first grandchild.

I stepped into Frank's office (where I found him and two other guys sitting around visiting). So I shared the joyous news: "Hey guys, I just thought you should know…" But Frank interrupted me with his own news flash: "Your fly's open."

I looked down and sure enough he was right. But (as I tugged on my zipper) Frank's revelation didn't deter me from sharing : "Oh, thanks for pointing that out, but I just wanted to let you know that Jim has a brand new grandbaby."

Without missing a beat, Frank shot back, "Ohhh, well then, why didn't you say so? In that case, let's all unzip our pants."

I get no respect sometimes.

(Just who do I think I'm kidding about "sometimes"?)