Luau and I are standing in our bathroom. He is holding my newly repaired favorite pair of boots, relaying the shoemaker’s instructions.
“So,” he says, holding a boot in one hand and pointing to the zipper with the other, “he told me to tell you that you’ve got to be careful because he didn’t replace the zipper, he repaired it. And the part that broke will continue to be vulnerable. So, what you need to do is pull them up all the way when you put them on so that they’re taut and then …”
I interrupt him. Partly because that’s my job as his wife and partly because I get what he’s saying and well …
“Honey, I can’t pull them up all the way.”
He thinks I don’t understand, so he continues his explanation.
“You have to or the zipper’s going to keep breaking and it’s going to cost you $35 each time to fix it.”
“I get that, Luau. But I CAN’T pull them up all the way.”
He looks at me with that patented husband as golden retriever look. Throw the ball, lady, throw the ball.
I am under the impression that I’m spelling this out for him. But we’ve been at this long enough that I know full-well that I might as well be speaking Swahili.
“Babe,” I say, “I can’t pull them all the way up because MY CALVES ARE TOO FAT. So yes, I get it. But the damned zipper made it two and a half years. If I have to replace it in another year, I’ll live with it. Because PULLING THEM TAUT IS NOT AN OPTION.”
Since he’s now looking at me like a deer in headlights, I add, “Because my CALVES ARE TOO FAT.”
His eyes don’t blink. I can see the panic. It’s written all over his face.
No right answer!
After an awkward pause, he chooses option C:
He hands me the boots, says, “I’m not going to say a word,” and walks away.
Out of the goodness of my heart, cause I’m a giving kind of gal, I would like to take a moment to talk to the husbands out there. Come closer. I won’t hurt you, I promise.
You might want to grab a pen so that you can write this down. I’ll wait.
You, my friends, when you married your lovely wives, took an oath. There was some explicitly specified stuff like sticking with us through sickness and health and flush and broke and lots of blah blah blah about fidelity and what have you. But there were also a whole lot of implicit points that you might not have realized were covered right there in your vows. I’m going to tell you one of them right now.
We don’t care if it takes a crane and the jaws of life to get us out of our bedroom. We don’t give a crap if they need a flatbed truck to transport us across town. Or, oh, if say, our boots won’t go up all the way up over our calves. You are contractually obligated, even in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary, to say — or at the very least to imply — that we ARE NOT FAT.
Round, curvy, womanly, feminine, sexy, soft, perfect just as we are … these are all options. “I’m not going to say a word” is .. well .. not.
So here’s my advice. If you don’t want to lie, that’s okay. It’s not perfect, but it’s okay. But if you say nothing, then you’ve said everything. So please, for the love of God, don’t say nothing.
If you must, use the fine art of redirection. I’ll even give you a script that you can carry with you just in case. I promise it will work. “Oh, honey, you look … um … so I was thinking … what say I take the kids and we schedule you a massage for this afternoon?”