“Remember the year I got my beautician’s license and wanted to buy a Winnebago and go from town to town selling haircuts?” I ask. “You said it was the hairiest-brained idea I’ve ever had.”
Spouser says I’m not content with taking a trip now and then down Memory Lane. I had to buy a condo and spend half the year there.
I’m mentally going over my 10-page job resume for the umpteenth time, Spouser sort of drifts off into La La Land, which is unfortunate because he’s driving.
“Aaaagh!” I scream.
Spouser wakes up just in time to see a garbage truck heading right toward us. Spinning the steering wheel like the Wheel of Fortune, Spouser grits his teeth and floors it, his Ford Expedition bounces up onto the sidewalk, mows down a couple of hedges, then conveniently bumps back onto the pavement at a crosswalk.
Safely back on the road, he glances over at me. I’m clinging to the roof like an albino bat.
“Stop the car,” I whimper weakly.
As soon as the car rolls to a stop, I fall out face-first. Bent double, I pound my chest and make a strange noise that sounds like one of our cats coughing up a hair ball. Swaying to a stand, I stagger down the sidewalk.
“You’re going the wrong way,” Spouser calls through the open window.
Jaw set, I keep walking. Spouser rolls along beside me. I figure, in these sneakers, I can easily make the mile hike home.
“How are we doing today?” a man calls from his front porch rocker.
“My husband tried to kill us,” I yell back, with a little wave.
“That’s nice, Deary,” the elderly fellow shouts, adjusting his hearing aid.
Spouser isn’t blessed with a memory like flypaper. I consider it a birth defect.
“Hold the moment in an open hand,” Spouser says, “for the past has passed, and the future is but a dream.”
My face softens; my pace slows. “What is that from? The back of a cereal box?” I ask, my head tilted in thought.
“I just made it up,” Spouser says, tossing a Tic Tac in his mouth.
“Oh, brother,” I huff, rolling my eyes. “You dropped out of the womb a smart aleck,” I say matter-of-factly.
Spouser thinks I’m the kind of girl whose past is either glorified, horrified or colorized. “Gina,” he sermonizes, “if you spend your life thinking about the past, you’re going to miss the present. Then when the future gets here, you won’t have anything else to talk about.”
I slow to a stop. Giving this some thought, I finally turn my face to Spouser and think how much I love him when he humors my PMS tantrums.
Our house in sight, I take a deep breath and resume walking.
“Which reminds me, Sweetheart, of the time you forgot our fifth wedding anniversary, and you sat up all night watching the Spurs play basketball.”
The car slows to a stop, and the passenger side door swings open. “Let me make it up to you,” Spouser says. “I’ll take you out for dinner and a movie.”
It works every time. Smiling ear to ear, I jump into the car. There are certain advantages to having a memory like flypaper.
Gina Tiano is the author of Life in the Bike Lane. Post your comment on this column at http://www.valleytowncrier.com Columns can be found by typing Gina Tiano in the search bar or by clicking the opinion tab.