There’s no such thing as ‘just taking a walk’ when married

Burt's Eye View

I once heard of a man who decided to take a walk, so he got right up and did so.

That man was single.

If you’re married with children, you never get right up and do anything. A simple act of going to the store for a loaf of bread takes on all the rigors, debates and sidetracks of a Congressional hearing:

“Do I have to go?”

“Why can’t we get normal bread?”

“Have you seen my other shoe?”

“That store’s gross.”

“Just a sec, I’m almost at the next lev… aaaugh! Now I have to start all over again.”

“I just remembered, I forgot my summer reading list — can you pick up these six books at the library? I’ll start this one right after I make a sandwich… Hey, there’s no bread!”

By the time you get to the store, you go straight to the ibuprofen aisle and crawl away without a scrap of bread.

Our kids left the roost years ago. Even though it’s just the two of us, my wife and I still cannot leave the house for any reason in less than two hours and 37 minutes. Take the aforementioned walk, which both of us, when we were single, could do at a moment’s notice. As a couple, not so much.

One of us will pop into the living room, where the other is reading the newspaper, and say, “Hey, Honey, let’s go for a stroll.”

“That sounds nice. What’s the temperature?”

“I don’t know. It’s morning, so cool, I suppose.”

“Let me check my phone.”

Nineteen minutes later: “Well? How hot is it?”

“I haven’t looked yet. What do you think about this couch? Somebody posted that they’re getting rid of it.”

“We don’t have a pickup truck. Can we talk about that after our walk?”

“OK, fine.”

Thirty-three minutes later: “So… Are you going to put your shoes on?”

“Oh, you meant you want to go now?”

“Yes, of course, I want to go now. That’s why I said let’s go for a stroll.”

“You didn’t say now.”

“Now. Now. NOW!”

“Sure. Fine. I’ll clean this stuff up off the dining room table and I’ll be ready to go. It’ll just take a minute.”

Fifty-four minutes later: “Can we please go for a walk?”

“I’m waiting on you.”

“I thought you were cleaning the table.”

“I finished that a half hour ago. But you were busy, so I started this letter while I was waiting for you.”

“I’m not busy. I’ve been waiting for you! C’mon, let’s go. Oh wait, I forgot that I have to call Jack. Give me a moment.”

Twenty-three minutes later: “He wasn’t home. I left a message. Let’s go.”

“Are you wearing that? Outdoors? Where our neighbors can see?”

“Yes. We’re just going for a walk!”

“Not with me when you’re looking like that.”

Eight minutes later: “I changed. Let’s go.”

“I need to stretch first.”

“Couldn’t you have done that already? Ugh. Now I have to go to the bathroom. Be right back.”

Four minutes later: “I’m ready… Right after I send that text to the office before I forget again.”

Sixteen minutes later: “No more delays. Let’s go.”

“Have you seen my sunglasses?”

“Never mind. Now it’s raining.”

“You should have checked the weather.”


I once heard of a man who decided to take a walk, so he got right up and did so. That man was single.

— Share your marital delays with Cole at burts eyeview@tribtoday.com, on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @Burton WCole on Twitter.


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