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I promise to love, honor and confuse

Burt's Eye View

Marriage is the match of two people who promise to confuse each other for the rest of their lives.

Hardly a day goes by without Terry and I heaping such blessings upon each other. We’re marriage experts.

“Why is there an empty pickle jar in the refrigerator?” Terry yelled.

“I left it there to remind myself that we need pickles,” I said.

“How is an empty jar stashed behind the ketchup inside a closed box going to do that?”

I couldn’t understand how such a short, simple, complete explanation on my part confused my wife so badly. Sometimes I worry about her.

Confusion reigns routine in the Cole household.

She’s confounded by my pickle jar reminder routine. I’m befuddled about why she needs to take a nap before going to bed.

“If you’re going to snooze on the couch, why can’t we go to bed?”

“I will in a minute,” she says. “I need a little nap first.”

“He who gains a wife gains a great perplexity,” I mumbled.

“She who finds a husband finds a great conundrum,” Terry yawned. And went to sleep.

A few days ago, I volunteered to drive Terry to a business open house that she read about in the newspaper. I volunteered because open houses serve cake and cookies.

I whipped out of the driveway, licking my lips, and asked, “Where are we going?”

“Middlefield,” she said.

“Right. Where is the open house?”

“In Middlefield,” she said. “Did you want to go somewhere else?”

“No, I want to go to the open house. Where is it?”

“It’s a health fair. It’s in Middlefield.” She crossed her arms, as if I was the dense one.

“Let me restate the question,” I said. “WHERE exactly in the town of Middlefield are we going?”

“The doctor’s office.”

I drummed the steering wheel so hard that my fingertips stung. “Which doctor?”

“In Middlefield.”

I slammed on the brakes. “Look, I know it’s a small town, but there are bunches of streets and a half-dozen or more medical offices. I’m not moving until you give me the address so I know WHERE AM I GOING IN MIDDLEFIELD!”

“You don’t have to get snippy,” she said. She gave me the address.

I bowed as low as my seat belt allowed. “Thank you. Now we can go.”

Moments later I stomped the brakes again. “Wait a minute. Did you say health fair?”

“Yes. Where did you think we were going?”

“An open house.” My tummy rumbled. “With cake. And cookies.”

“Wherever did you get that idea?”

“From you,” I said.

“I never said open house. It’s a health fair. With blood pressure cuffs and needle pricks and hernia checks,” she said. “Do you listen when I talk or just make up your own words?”

I drove forward, but with less enthusiasm.

“I thought… I mean… Well, why…” I couldn’t understand how such a short, simple, complete explanation on her part confused me so badly.

“After that,” she said, “we’ll stop at the grocery store.”

“For what?”

“Pickles,” she said.

My brow furrowed. “I didn’t know we were out of pickles. You should have said something.”

Her scream ruined any chance I had of passing the hearing test at the health fair.

— You may further confuse Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burt on W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.

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