Diana needed to make a run to Sam’s Club last night to pick up some items for her work. I went along because those items included at least 18 giant bags of candy for some upcoming parade. In the Midwest, parades are merely an excuse to ride in the back of your business-logoed truck and pelt kids with Tootsie Rolls without getting ticketed for it. Anyway, I was only along for the heavy lifting.
After Sam’s, we went to Super Target (like regular Target only with more unmanned checkout registers) to try to find Pixie Stix for a different bank promotion. We came up empty at Target. Of the hundreds of varieties of Halloween candy on offer, Pixie Stix were not among them. As we walked out to Diana’s car, I forgot I was driving, started to walk around to the passenger side, checked myself, and then went back to the driver’s side.
“For a minute there, I thought you were going around to open my door for me.”
“Yeah? How’d that work out for you?”
“Not too well. You know, when I was in Salt Lake City, Greg and Thom opened the car door for me every time.”
“Well, that’s not fair. Greg and Thom are gay. They also dress impeccably. That level of politeness and fashion sense is coded into their genetic material.”
“No, they’re just gentlemen.”
“Well, I’ve got over 40 years of vague stereotypes that says differently. Plus, I’m sure there’s clinical research out there somewhere that supports my argument.”
“Daddy always dresses nicely, and he opens the car door for Mom.”
“Apples and oranges. That’s a different generation. You’re mom also always has supper waiting on your Dad when he comes in.”
“But I get home from work later than you.”
“… AND she also works from sunup to sundown keeping the house clean, doing the laundry, weeding the garden, mowing, and taking lunches to the men in the field. How many of those squares have you filled in the last six months?”
“Well… uhhh… that’s a different generation.”
“Exactly. Darling, it has taken me 31 years to learn how to hold your hand in public, vacuum, wash dishes, fold a fitted sheet, and notice when you’ve been to the beauty shop or are wearing a new outfit (and, let’s be honest, most of the time I’m just guessing on those last two and hoping I’m right). That wasn’t easy. A lot of good men died teaching me those skills. And now you want to add something new to the mix? You can’t have it all, Honey.”
“But, I want it all. Still, I guess I should just be thankful for what I have.”
“Yes… you should.”
The topic turned to other matters as we continued on to Wal-Mart, hoping against hope they had the straw-based sugar delivery system we were looking for. We drew a blank at Wal-Mart also, but found an alternative Diana thought would work. As I loaded up the trunk of the car, Diana took the shopping cart back to the store as there were no cart racks anywhere near us. I closed the trunk, walked around to the passenger side of the car…
…. and waited.
Diana came out of store, saw me, broke into a huge grin, and practically skipped the whole way back to the car like a 14-year-old in love. I opened the door for her, and then closed it again after she was settled. Then I got in on the driver’s side. Diana leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
“Thank you. See? I can have it all.”
“I’m not gay.”
“No, but you’re the next best thing.”