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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :
The Missed Wife
by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Normally at my house I only need two pair of underwear. The pair I have on and the pair thatís in the washer or dryer. This however is not a normal week, as you may recall I recently told you we had a new granddaughter. Now, for this reason my wife has left me for a week to go over and help with the new baby. As a result my life has been turned upside down in her absence. Iím not allowed to use the washer after what I did to it the last time she went out of town. Iíll spare you that story again.

For one thing, this house is way too big for just one person and two dogs. Iím rattling around talking to myself and the dogs follow along, but arenít making any comments that I can understand. I cooked a big pot of red beans and cornbread the night she left to hold me over. In the morning I eat Grape Nuts and in the evening, beans and cornbread. Plenty of fiber this week, but getting very old. Iím losing weight.

She normally loads the dishwasher and I canít tell if what Iíve put in there has been washed or not. So, I just rewash everything over and over. Some of the patterns on the dishes are starting to fade. Maybe I need to take some of them out and put them in the cabinet. Nope, canít remember if these are clean or not, wonít hurt to run it again.

Someone once told me they thought theyíd like to die one day after their wife did. Iím beginning to agree with him. Iíll be looking into ways to make this happen. This is not fun. I have watched way more television this week than I should have. I watched five hours of Comedy Central the other night and only went to bed when I realized I had seen everything at least twice. This is desperation entertainment at its worst. This is also Errol Flynn month on one of the old movie channels. Between Flynn and the old Bob Hope/ Bing Crosby road show movies, Iíve virtually ODíd on TV this past week. Guilt is running out of my pores. Iíve misplaced my book and canít find it. Iím trying not to call everyone and admit Iím lonesome. No one calls me. I take that back Iíve had six calls, two from the yard man and two wrong numbers. The other two were for my wife. I could be dead in here and who, besides the dogs, would ever know? They wonít talk.

She had some new grass put in on the side of the house and the dogs have found it and spent all week digging it up. I am convinced they talk to each other and are doing it just to hack me off. I poured a whole bottle of chili powder on the grass, thinking it might slow them down. They loved it. Came in with their muzzles bright red. Not a tear in sight. Acted like nothing happened. I know theyíre faking it, but I canít catch them. Next I dumped a large can; I mean a really big can, of black pepper out on the grass. They rolled in it. Loved it. That night Iím on the couch watching the aforementioned old movies and I canít stop sneezing. Iím thinking itís the pollen from the trees. I take a couple of over the counter allergy pills that keep me awake half the night. About 3am I realize whatís causing me to sneeze. Youíve probably already thought about it, but Iím kind of slow this week. Donít seem to hitting on all cylinders. How much longer till she gets home. I run the dishwasher again.

I decide to go to the store. No list and Iím really hungry. Is this a recipe for a disaster or what? I buy everything I donít need and nothing that I do need. My plan was to cook something and give up the beans and Grape Nuts diet, but now Iím stuck with TV dinners, cokes and ice cream. I think the box the TV dinners came in probably has more taste than they do. I might try that tonight, could use some salt. It must be some weird rebellion thing, since Iíve bought stuff she never lets into the house when sheís here. I even buy bananas, she hates bananas. I donít care for them that much myself, but find them in my basket when I go to checkout. Being bored I find the bread maker and have made bread for four days in a row. I have white, rye, wheat and pumpernickel. I donít eat it; I just like the sound it makes while itís running for a couple of hours. Iíd run the blender, but itís broken. I run the dishwasher again.

She says sheís coming home tomorrow, if she does Iím ok. More than that Iíd have to dig into the bottom of my underwear drawer and yank out those Speedos Iíve never worn. For good reason. God, I hope it doesnít come to that. This would not be a pretty picture. She needs to leave that baby and come back and take care of the one she left at home. I think Iíll go run the dishwasher once more, just to make sure.


© Peary Perry
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com
Letters From North America
- May 2 , 2005 column
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