a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses
I followed the sound of activity into the kitchen, where I found the wife and daughter.
“Hello, you two,” I said, setting the gift bag down on the counter. “How’s it going?”
“Hi honey, we’re doing good,” said the wife. Her words belied a wrung-out appearance. “We just put the cake for tomorrow in the oven.” I
walked over and put my arms around her, massaging her back. A little tension melted away.
“Yummy,” I said. “Oh – my mother texted me. She’s coming to the birthday party, after all.” At this, the wife broke out of my hug, rolled
her eyes and groaned.
I guess that means we’ll also be honored with a visit from—” she began.
“Oh yeah how could I forget?” I interrupted, chuckling. (Since recently rescuing Sandwiches, a nervous and yappy Jack Russell Terrier, the mother
wouldn’t go anywhere without him.) “Come on. Don’t be so negative. Sandwiches must be good for something.
Just relax…” I kissed her
neck. Her breathing got a little heavier and her face, knitted with worry and stress and care, softened. (Not to be lewd, but at that point it was
starting to look like we’d be getting it on that night.)
In the meantime, the daughter had finished licking the cake batter off the beaters and noticed the gift bag on the counter. “What’s that?” she
“What’s what? I don’t see anything,” I teased. “Oh…the gift bag? I stopped to get you a little birthday surprise. Hope you like eggshells,
potato skins, and apple cores…”
“You’re silly, daddy. Can I open it now?”
“Doesn’t bother me. What about mommy?” I looked at the wife, whose eyes broadcasted indifference, so I handed the bag to the daughter. While she
opened it, I crossed the kitchen to get a bowl out of the cupboard and opened the package of walnuts, which I emptied into the bowl. When I turned
back to the daughter, she was curiously examining the Spright Portal.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Magical. That’s what it is. Read the card on the back.”
The wife came over to where I stood with the bowl of walnuts, and took a handful. I watched in trepidation as she conveyed the handful of walnuts from
the bowl to her mouth and began to chew.* I turned my head and grimaced.
I griped through my gnashed teeth.
I pulled the bowl away as she reached for another handful. “Don’t touch my nuts.”
My crunch disapproval did not go over well. “Fine. Have it your way. Take the cake out of the oven when it’s done. I’ll deal with it in the
morning. I hope your nuts
enjoy a lonely night sleeping on the couch." She turned to the daughter. “Goodnight, sweetie. See you in the
morning.” She left the room and I listened to her footsteps trailing heavily down the hall, punctuated by the bedroom door slamming shut. It was a
familiar sound, the sound of the beginning of another sexless night. I turned to the daughter, whose eyes were agape.
“You make mommy mad a lot.”
“Yeah…well…everybody’s good at something. But anyways, what did you find out about the Spright Portal?”
“The card says it’s for fairies, pixies, and other wee folk to travel from their realm to ours, and if we leave out a treat, we can get one to
visit. Can we?”
“Sure, after dinner.”
After the daughter and I ate leftovers, we set the Spright Portal on a side table in the living room with some raisins on a saucer next to it.
Afterward, the daughter put on pajamas and brushed her teeth and went off to bed. I curled up on the couch in the living room snacking on walnuts,
which I had set on the coffee table in front of the couch.
*A recurring issue of auditory sensitivity often forces me to retreat to another room when the wife chews crunchy foods. In fairness, it’s not
exclusively the wife’s chewing that bothers me, it’s just that I don’t eat with other people often. In this instance, the wife’s
walnut-chewing sounded like walking down a gravel road. Next to a brontosaurus.
edit on 1/30/2020 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason