2017-11-15 / Editorials

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”

My wife’s not curious. Not curious as in suspicious, but I’m just plain curious as in “curious as a cat.” I bought a birthday gift for our granddaughter and put it in the backseat of the car. It was in a bag, but if the gift had been in a box three feet square, with hazardous chemicals symbols on all sides, buzzing sounds coming from the box, the box shifting side to side, she wouldn’t ask a single question. She’d take one look at it, shrug her shoulders, and ask me where I wanted to eat. And if I asked her if she wanted to know what’s in the box, her response would be, “I’ll find out sooner or later.” Me? I’d have asked, “What’s going on with that box in the backseat. Do I need to call a SWAT team?” Her answer would probably be, “No.” Well, I guess that’s better than “Not yet.”

Not all women are like this. Some question everything. Enough curious based “stuff” naturally comes up that leads to ordinary marital differences. Many men reading this are saying to themselves, “Quit criticizing, I should be so lucky. My wife’s so curious she’ll ask me what I’m doing with that rifle and orange vest whenever I tell her I’m leaving to go hunting.”

My “curious problem” started as a child. I just couldn’t wait until Christmas morning to see what was in those boxes with my name on them. Whenever I’d find myself home alone the gifts under the tree would call my name, “Mike, you know you need to know what’s inside. Just open us up.” It was like waving a joint under Mick Jagger’s nose. I don’t think I was ever under any suspicion. I deserved an Oscar on Christmas morning, fake surprise oozing from every pore. “I never thought I’d ever get a hunting knife!!”

Now Janice will hurt you if you ever told her what was in her presents. She’s just not curious. I could shower at 11:00 PM, put on fresh, clean slacks and shirt, toothbrush and toothpaste sticking out of my shirt pocket, then announce that I’m going to Wal- Mart to pick up a loaf of bread, and without looking up, she’d say, “Be quiet when you try to sneak back in because the lock’s will be changed.” Not curious, yes. But dumb? Definitely not.

I asked her once, if I said to you, “Tomorrow at 9:00 I’ve got an appointment for possible hearing aids, at 11:00 I’m seeing a cardiologist, and at 3:00 I’m having tests done at an oncologist’s office. What would you say?” She said, “I’d tell you to not get cheap hearing aids. I want you to start hearing what I say.” I asked, “What about the cardiologist and oncology tests?” “Oh,” she said, “Of course, good luck on those.”

I’m exaggerating. We’ve loved each other for almost fifty years. What she really said was, “Of course I’d want to go with you. How could I not go? I can do some early Christmas shopping, and you can pick me up at the mall when you’re tests are done.”

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