Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day, Kinda

This Mother’s Day, I went above and beyond the call of duty and scored the best gift any husband has ever given any wife and mother of three. That’s right… Tickets to the Demolition Derby! For me… and my dad… and two of our three boys.

What’s that you say? “What kind of Mother’s Day gift is that?”

Funny… That’s exactly what my wife said.

OK, here’s what happened. A long time ago, I explained what a demolition derby was to my boys. Because their veins are coursing with my DNA, their eyes lit up at the mere mention of cars crashing into each other. They were almost unrestrained in their enthusiasm as I described how tow-trucks, tractors, and even giant forklifts remove the cars that can’t move anymore. And I had to peel them off the ceiling when I hit them with the best part… No mufflers, and sometimes, the cars catch on fire. It was love at first description.

“When can we go, Daddy?”
“We’ll go the next time there is a demolition derby anywhere around here.” I promised.

So, when I spotted the billboard proclaiming “Demolition Derby – May 9th” at the Dixon May Fair, it was obvious what I needed to do. I rushed home, got on, and procured four tickets. Boy Number Three is too young, so it was me and the first two, and my dad, since that happens to be his birthday. What better birthday gift for any American male than an evening watching total automotive chaos?

Beaming with pride at what an outstanding father I was, I triumphantly relayed the news of my ingenious purchase to my wife, to which she responded simply, “That’s Mother’s Day.”

Since I am such a genius, I assumed she was worried about the fact that I was taking my dad, and leaving my mom home alone. So, I replied, “That’s OK, my mom won’t want to go.”

I am an idiot.

After narrowly ducking a flying saucepan, I realized where she was going with that comment. Damn you, mouth! Quit instantly repeating everything the brain comes up with. Give it some time!

Since is non-refundable, and more importantly, the boys REALLY need to see a demolition derby, I had to think fast. But as it turns out, it’s hard to think fast about much else when you’re trying to dodge cookware.

After I made my escape to the garage, I applied steady pressure to my head wound, and began to formulate a plan. The tickets were paid for. No going back, there… Only one way to play it… spin it.

When I was relatively certain that my wife was no longer within arm’s reach of any pots or pans, I made my move. I kindly explained that if she had given me the chance to finish the story of my incredible purchase, she would have known that the demolition derby was at night.

“You’re going to keep the kids up late on a school night?”
“Let’s stay focused here, honey.”

Since the derby was at night, we would obviously have the entire day to celebrate her Mother’s Day any way she wanted. Then, in the late afternoon, I would whisk away two of her three children for the evening, leaving her with only the smallest child of the bunch to tend to. That in and of itself is the greatest gift I could give her for her special day, because when you spend all day refereeing three boys, suddenly only having one is tantamount to a vacation. Really, what I had purchased for her was a Mother’s Day vacation package.

Hello! Does it get any better than that? You’re welcome!

She’s still not speaking to me.

I’ll bet for a while there, my wife probably thought that giving birth to three boys meant she would only be looking after three boys. No such luck, honey. I am most certainly the fourth boy in the equation. Like the other three, I have wild ideas, and rarely consult the family calendar. But unlike the other three, I have a credit card.

Happy Mother’s Day, sweetheart. I love you. Please put down that skillet.

See you soon,

Copyright © 2010 Marc Schmatjen

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