Saturday, July 5, 2014

Today I am grateful for marriage. You’ll find out why soon. Before I go there, you need to remember that my friend David and I hauled a truck across the border to Mexico, loaded it up with furniture, pottery, Kahlua and an assortment of can’t-live-without-it-Mexican-junk.

This Mexcian adventure happened before cell phones, digital photography, skype, tweeter, twitch, facebook, u-tube, screech whatever insta-everything. None of that was in place so unless I took the time to unpeel a pay phone from its sticky cradle and calling-card call, my husband had no clue what we’d been up to. In some ways I think he kinda prefers it that way. He gets a better story when he’s kept in the dark a little bit.

I vaguely remember calling to tell him when we’d be back to his place in Kilgore, Texas, but I can’t be sure. I remember every single piece-o-crap we bought, but I can’t remember that. Selective memory? I must have called because when we drove the truck into the apartment complex and parked it, he was waiting for us. Oh boy.

“Well,” he said. “What did you buy? Did you find some pottery?” We hugged, then David threw his arm around John’s shoulder and ushered him inside for a drink, handing him the bottle of Kahlua we had bought for him. I already told you David is good at this. First the border guard, now my husband, both getting horn-swaggled in the same way. The drink was a good idea. So was another.

By the time David said, “John, how about some more Kahlua?” he was on to us. “What are you two hiding?” he asked. Innocent looks don’t work very well for us under normal conditions. With a truck full of our booty, it was impossible to pretend. Besides, acting is exhausting. And we’d both just done enough acting for a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award, especially David. John grabbed the truck keys and headed out the door, with us close behind.

“Before you open the way-back,” I started. “I think I should tell you. . .” Too late. John had flipped the hatch open and was staring into the Furniture/Pottery Barn. David started to speak, but John put his hand palm-up to silence him. I swear he wasn’t trying to hit him. Honest. He was probably looking for me. But he scratched his head instead. He stood there staring into the colorful Mexican madness. We stared at him, waiting for his head to explode. I watched the vein on the side of his neck turn purple and crawl out of his collar like a snake. “What in Billy-Blue-Hell is all of this?” he finally said. I stammered. “Um, It’s, um. . . David, help me out here!” I pleaded.

“Mary went nuts on margaritas in Mexico and bought all of this crap and I tried to stop her but you know how she gets and so I had to load it all in the truck in the blazing heat after these guys walked down the street with it (demonstrating) on their backs and a couple of pieces of it are mine but it was mostly Mary.” It was an instant replay of the border-guard story. Then he crossed his arms and leaned on the back of the truck. We waited. And waited. I watch John for signs of an aneurism.

John looked from David to me, to the open truck, again and again. “You are BOTH so full of shit your eyes are brown,” he said. Then he laughed. And laughed. And laughed. And laughed. “Where am I supposed to put my crap? Isn’t that why we rented a truck in the first place?”

“Right here,” David and I said in unison, patting the three-foot-square empty spot in the back of the truck. “We saved this spot right here for your stuff.” My husband spends a lot of time shaking his head. And laughing. Shaking and laughing. This time I thought his brains would rattle out.

But he also loves telling stories and with me and David around he never runs out. When David and Mary’s Mexican Adventure comes up in conversation, he chimes in about how “they didn’t even leave room for my stuff and I had to ride across country with a microwave on my head. . .” We let him run on. . .even though we know the truth. . .he’s an exaggerator. . .it was on the floor. . .at his feet. And that’s why I’m grateful for marriage. Especially mine.

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