The Buck Stops Here

I’m about as responsible a guy as they come. In fact, I’m so responsible that it’s almost a flaw. A chink in my armor, if you will, because my wife will put that back on me nearly every time.

The other weekend my wife and 16-year-old daughter decided to have their nails done. For the most part, they do their own nails, but maybe once a month they need to take them to a professional for a major “tune up,” which is my analogy for what they do. I don’t really care as long as I can stay at home and do my own thing. That being sleep, eat or watch TV.

I was in the middle of doing all three when I received a call from my daughter. “Dad, Mom wants to know if she can use her new debit card.” I wondered why she would ask, as we have a designated card that we use for these kinds of expenses. My daughter relayed an answer from her mother, “She can’t find that one because she left it in her other purse at home.”

I told her to tell her mom to go ahead and use the new debit card provided she activated it at an ATM machine. There was a long pause, and then my daughter replied, “Mom hasn’t done that yet. Can you come down to the nail shop and pay the bill?” While the nail shop wasn’t that far away, this meant that I would have to stop what I was doing and head over there.

“Couch Interruptus” was now in play, and I was upset that the entire rhythm of my afternoon was now out of synch. I got there and handed over my debit card to the cashier. To make matters worse, my wife said to give her a large tip for the inconvenience. Just as I was about to retort, my wife said, “This is your fault, you know.”

She continued, “You didn’t remind me to activate my card and I had to change purses the other night because we went to your function.” In a matter of about three seconds, I went from victim to antagonist. My daughter looked at me and said, “Yeah, Dad!” There’s no arguing with this kind of logic, so I paid the bill.

It was kind of like the time my wife was mad at me because she dreamt I was kissing another woman. She basically scolded me and said she’d better never catch me doing that again. I was scot-free until out of curiosity, I asked, “Was she good-looking?”