There comes a time in each and every marriage — usually — when the reign of power shifts from one set of hands to the other.
Or so it would seem.
Usually the person in power is the one who never talks about it, just operates things like the Wizard of Oz, from behind a big billowing satiny curtain with a set of controls and a video game driving wheel.
I like to think that I am in that category.
“Whatever Lola wants ... Lola gets ...” kind of thing.
Oh, and “If Momma Ain’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy.”
It’s pretty much been that way around here for the last 12 years or so.
Sunday afternoon proved my point.
We were each doing our own thing late Sunday morning when the telephone rang.
No one ever likes to answer the phone so I hollered out for The Kid to come and get it since it would probably be for him anyway.
He picked it up and started toward me, mumbling into the phone, and then I saw a look of desperation as he made a beseeching gesture with his hand.
I knew who it was right away.
“He wants me to play today,” he mouthed to me.
I shook my head and drew a quick flat line through the air with my hand, and said, “No. Tell him we’re going out of town for the day.”
The information was dispensed and the phone placed back in it’s charging station.
Hubs managed to tear his eyes off “The Red Zone” for a split second and asked, “Who was that?”
“Dumbo,” I said with a smirk, “Wantin’ The Kid to play.”
“Oh no. Not that kid!” Hubs replied, flipping his recliner chair upright.
Nothing more was said about the incident till about two hours later, when Hubs had steam coming out his ears because both of his teams had lost, dropping him down a notch in the office football pool.
You would have thought earlier that he’d been watching the Kentucky Derby the way he kept yelling at the players to “Run!” swallow of Coke “Run!” bite of potato chip “Run!”
When the losers finished up just barely behind the opposing team, he started grumbling.
He makes up his own cuss words so as not to be offensive to the neighbors, so to hear him use actual four-letter-words like I do - oooohmomma, I knew he was mad.
I was still in the kitchen, laughing to myself over the bowl of cookie dough I was mixing up, as he paced around the yard, cussin’ and muttering to himself. I heard him trying to drag the lawn mower out of the shed and I could tell that mower was putting up a fight.
He finally overpowered it and got it out of the tight ugly spot it usually sits in, and started fidgeting around with it, the steam still coming out his ears.
Then he came into the house.
I recognized by the way he was stomping that he was mustering up a good speech.
Sure enough, he came out into the kitchen and said, “This lying business has got to stop. You can’t encourage The Kid to lie.”
I said, “Whatchewtalkin’bout, Willis?”
“This business about lying to Dumbo or his mother...just tell the truth. You should always tell the truth, then you won’t ever get caught in a lie.”
Whoops! You done started it now!
I plugged in my power cord and flipped the switch.
“Look here, old man. Don’t come in here preachin’ at me about telling the truth or telling a lie. If I had to tell the truth, I’d have to tell that kid, ‘He can’t play with you today cause you’re a turd’ but you know I’d say something much uglier. You don’t have to deal with that child or his mother so you best back off!”
I saw him gulp and he took another shot at it.
“You don’t have to say it like that, all you have to do is say that The Kid is busy. That’s all.”
“Uh huh. Yeah. Right. And Dumbo would be callin’ here every half hour to see if he was ‘done’ yet. And besides that, you never answer the phone so you don’t have to deal with any of this. Ever.”
He was pacing around the kitchen like a tiger in a circus cage.
“But you should always always always tell the truth. You don’t have to be bold about it, you can soften it...”
“Some people have to have it bold or they’ll never get it. And then you feel bad cause you hurt someone’s feelings. Would you rather it be that way or just make up a tale and be done with it? You’re outta your mind if you think you can come in here and boss me like that,” I said, starting to laugh, “so take your hot headed attitude outside with you and don’t bother me with that baloney again!”
He stood there for a minute, his face drained because he knew it was a losing battle.
I wasn’t about to let up quite yet.
“You’re just mad ’cause your teams lost. Don’t take it out on me or The Kid or I’ll paddle you with this wooden spoon. And that’s the truth!”
He took a deep breath and I interrupted his train of thought with, “And another thing...I am the momma in this house so what I say goes. Don’t you think you’ll get away with preaching to ME, cause that ain’t happening. Now get out there and cut the grass and chill out. You’re still in a good spot in the football pool, so quitcherbellyachin’.”
“That’s right. Now git!”
Off he went, a cookie in one hand and a drink in the other.
Truth is, Old Man needed that boot in the pants.
I unplugged my power cord and wrapped it up, sticking it back in my pocket.
Till next time.