Diana and I went out to eat last night. And by “last night,” I mean 4:00 in the afternoon. In many ways we are walking stereotypes of old people, our only saving grace being we didn’t go to a Lums, Village Inn, or Cracker Barrel. No, it was a nice, little, locally-owned pizza joint. Diana ordered some kind of fruity, alcoholic drink and talked me into ordering the same one. As soon as I tasted it, I knew it had whiskey in it, which is anathema to me. You don’t mix fruity crap with whiskey; that’s why God invented rum. Whiskey is an introvert and should be alone in the glass. Anyway, after Diana finished her drink, I casually swapped her empty glass with my full one. She didn’t seem to notice.
After dinner, we hopped in the car to head back home. Diana doesn’t drink very often, but, when she does, she goes through several stages which I tend to think of as her “Seven Dwarfs of Inebriation”: Happy, Horny, Shoppy, Clumsy, Scrappy, Nappy, and Hungry. Often these stages will come in rapid succession. I’ve seen her go through all seven in the space of an hour.
Once in the car, Happy was is complete control.
“I love you so much, Darling. Thank you for taking me out on date night.”
“You’re welcome. I love you too.”
“I love it here. I love our life.”
“Yes, we’re very fortunate. Do you need anything while we’re out?”
“Well, we could go home and have Sexy Saturday… or we could go to Target.”
It’s not often I get to choose the dwarf, so I weighed my decision carefully. First of all, I was full of pizza, as was Diana. By the time we got home, Nappy would most likely have taken over, and Diana would be snoring on the couch within minutes of our arrival. On the other hand, Shoppy tends hang out with Clumsy and Scrappy, making Target an entertaining option.
“Let’s go to Target.”
“Okay, we need bread. I love bread.”
“Me too. Target it is.”
I parked the car at Target and hopped out to go around and open Diana’s door for her. Date Night Rules stipulate that I open and close car doors for Diana. These rules have only been in effect for a few years, but I try to abide by them. When I got to passenger side of the car, the door was already open, and Diana was bent over, kind of halfway out the door.
“Yes, I’m just tying my shoe. I thought it would be easier to do it here than out in the parking lot.”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
As soon as we entered the store, Diana grabbed a cart. She always gets a cart. When I go to a store, I will haul everything I want around the store using just my two arms like a circus clown doing a juggling act. Diana will get a cart just to push her 80-lb rucksack of a purse around, even if she only came in for one item.
“I thought we were just getting bread.”
“I might see something else I want.” // WHAM // “Oh, man.”
Diana banged her cart into a display corner. She proceeded to do that at regular intervals as we shopped.
“I’m okay. Hang on. My shoe’s untied.”
Diana bent over to tie her shoe as her cart continued rolling down the aisle. I grabbed the cart and waited for her to catch up. We walked around the store just looking at things and banging into displays.
// WHAM // “Oh, man.”
“I’m okay. Hang on. My shoe’s untied.”
“You should put a knot in it.”
“I know how to tie my shoe.”
Eventually, we passed the bread aisle. Diana didn’t notice and kept cruising right past it.
“Honey. Bread’s down that aisle.”
“No it’s not. The bread is down there by the vegetables.”
“I think you’re thinking of a different store.”
“No, I’m not.” // WHAM // “Oh, man.”
“The aisle sign says it’s down this aisle.”
“Well, the sign is wrong… and stupid.”
“Look, Scrappy, if you want to throw down with a sign, I’ll back your play, but you need to know that at some point I’ll be asking for a copy of the store security footage.”
“I absolutely would. Look, I can see the bread from here.”
Diana found the bread and then proceeded to squeeze every loaf (including types we never, ever eat, like multi-grain) while checking the date on the bags to insure she got the freshest loaf in the store. After about 10 minutes of this, I decided to nudge her along.
“Honey, if you don’t stop molesting that bread, it’s going to need hours of therapy before we can eat it.”
“Yeah, but it will be fresh.”
We checked out and made our way back to the car. After I helped Diana into the passenger seat, she looked at me with a serious, almost sad expression.
“I have a problem.”
“What is your problem?”
“I got my shoestring all knotted, and I don’t think I’ll be able to untie it.”
“I promise I will get it untied.”
“Thank you, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
We drove back to house, hitting several red lights along the way.
“What was that?”
“What was what?”
“Did someone behind us just honk at us?”
“No, Diana. The light is still red. No one is honking at us.”
“I will JUMP out of this car… “
“Simmer down, Scrappy. No one is honking at us.”
“They better not.”
“No, I guess they better not.”
At the house, Diana sat down on the couch and started waving her hand in front of her face like a fan.
“Are you hot? It’s hot in here. I’m hot.”
“No, I’m fine.”
“I HATE hot flashes. Normally when you get hot it’s because the heat’s on the outside and works its way in through your skin. But when you have a HOT FLASH, you burn up from inside. It’s horrible.”
“Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Sweet dreams, Nappy.”
Diana slept deeply for a couple of hours. I knew at some point she would wake up and then watch television half the night because she wouldn’t be able to sleep. Eventually she opened her eyes and smiled.
“Good morning, Sweetheart.”
“Did you have a nice sleep?”
Diana’s eyes narrowed and her smile turned shrewd.
“You know what I want?”
Hmmmm… pick a dwarf, pick a dwarf. Horny? Possible, but better play the odds.
“You want a winter PBJ.”
A winter PBJ is a regular PBJ, only it’s on toast and I butter the outside of the toast. It’s a little greasy to handle, but the butter hits your mouth first and turns it into a completely different sandwich. Basically it’s just one of many “butter delivery systems” we employ in our house, and I normally make them in the winter because they are warm – hence the name.
“That’s EXACTLY what I want.”
“Okay, hang on.”
Content on the couch, winter PBJ in one hand, TV remote in the other. Diana settled in for the rest of her night. I gave her a kiss on the head.
“Goodnight, Darling. I’m going up to bed.”
“Goodnight. I love you.”
“I love you too, Happy.”