It’s no secret that men’s thought processes and the actions that result can mystify us women. I am constantly trying to levitate my brain out of my own cranium in an attempt to make order of the things my husband does. The second I creep up on his rationale, my brain goes screaming for the sane hills of Womanland. However, there are those times when we ladies know exactly what our male counterpart is thinking, maybe even before he knows. It’s like a game of chess; he lifts that pawn, and suddenly we’re Bobby Fischer and know just how he is plotting to checkmate our king.
And if an outsider wanted to, say, wager on our little chess game, we’d taunt, “I’ll bet you a bajillion dollars I know where he’s going with this.”
It takes time to truly memorize your mate, and there will always be a wild card thrown from time to time. And, in my experience, it is the wild card that should be cherished. Those are usually the positive things that confirm you chose a good egg. It’s the times you could win a hypothetical bajillion dollars that make you tear at your hair and wonder why you couldn’t have married Mr. Belvedere or one of the Golden Girls.
One such time happened during the labor of my first child. Greg, my mother and I were heading to the hospital. He dropped my mom and me off at the front of the maternity ward while he went to park the car. As any first-time mom can attest, you think the baby is arriving 37 seconds after arriving to your room. It won’t, for those who don’t know, but you feel like it will. For the woman who is feeling like their baby is about to arrive in 37 seconds and their husband is about to miss the entire thing, it’s a harrowing experience. My mom kept assuring me that he would arrive soon, convinced that he was wandering the hospital in search of a bouquet of flowers for me.
Once I could no longer tolerate her excuses for his tardiness, I clutched my bed rails and hissed, “He is going to miss the birth of his son because he is in the McDonald’s in the lobby, eating 3 Egg McMuffins and a Sausage McGriddle.” Oh no, she decried, he would never be in McDonald’s! After all we’d stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts per his request en route to the hospital, she began to rationalize.
I will bet you a bajillion dollars.
And I would go on to win that bajillion since I smelled the remnants of McDonald’s grease on his face before he even rounded the corner into my room. The cops could have put me on a canine bomb sniffing squad when I was pregnant. I was like a German shepherd on uppers.
“Where were you?”
“McDonald’s,” he replied without chagrin. “That birthing class teacher said to be sure to eat before labor since it could take all day.”
“I believe she was talking about the mother.”
These situations happen more often than I’d like, and they seem to increase in frequency when my mother comes to town. Another one occurred when my mom and I took the kids to Virginia for a little escape. I had left Greg with one instruction: Get the milk and eggs from the dairy box on Wednesday morning.
We have our dairy delivered by an actual milk man each week. He arrives at our house in his truck and drops everything into a metal box kept on the porch. Beyond serving a nostalgic purpose, it’s supposed to be convenient. Easy. Simple. Particularly in situations where the family is returning to the house late at night with three children who crave milk round the clock.
It occurred to me while driving back just how crucial that milk was going to be. I muttered to my mother, “There’s no way Greg got the milk inside.” My mom, always his staunch defender, immediately started her pro-husband rally. So I laid down the gauntlet.
I’ll bet you a bajillion dollars.
But it’s so simple, she declared, the box is right there! Even if he didn’t remember the delivery had come, he’d trip over the box as he was leaving the house for work!
Yes, yes, all true. The box is right beside the door. Every person to enter or exit our house would nearly trip over it. It requires only lifting the lid, removing the dairy and walking 20 steps to the fridge. Truly, the only way to make it simpler would be to have a small little dairy gnome enter the window with his little bag of milk products and place them directly in the refrigerator.
So when we pulled into our driveway, I sauntered — swaggered even — up to that dairy box because I already knew the answer. I knew what was going to be under that lid. I knew I was going to be throwing away 10 pounds of overpriced organic dairy. I knew that in one hour I would be trying to convince my screaming children that the water in their cups was actually clear milk. I couldn’t even be annoyed because I was relishing the imaginary weight of a bajillion dollars filling up my pockets as I opened the box to find…
My bajillion dollars.
Erin Donovan moved with her family to the midcoast, where she constantly is told she says the word “scallops” incorrectly. She performs live and produces Web sketches derived from her popular humor blog “I’m Gonna Kill Him.” Follow her misadventures at imgonnakillhim.bangordailynews.com and on Twitter @gonnakillhim.