Vail Daily column: Marital discord and a bad battery
July 12, 2010
My wife has been bugging me this week.
Granted, disagreements are often a matter of two viable opinions considered from two opposed perspectives. That is not the case here; I am in the right.
It began with her obsession with flowers and ended with a dead battery.
If you have not noticed, the wildflowers are going off now in the high country.
Depending on the elevation it is possible to ride, run or hike through fields of lupine, columbine and more. That is also the case in many local gardens and front yards across the county.
On Monday I did a three-hour ride from my front door, which was as beautiful as I have ever seen it. I returned home smelling like a bouquet.
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That evening my mate and I planned to ride together at twilight. I lobbied hard to do a portion of the same excursion that I did earlier in the day with an added bonus of another spur, which I had heard was incredible.
Though Ellen acknowledged that the ride I suggested would indeed be wonderful, she suggested we drive for an hour to do a ride near Kremling that she thought would be beautiful, and was one we had not ridden recently.
Voltaire said “The perfect is the enemy of the good,” a principal I try to live by. I wanted to remind my bride that since we knew almost anywhere we went from our front door would be amazing why drive an hour to look for beauty easily found closer to home?
My wife hates it when I quote Voltaire, so I placed our bikes on the roof rack.
The ride we ended up doing, an hour away, was as dry as a Mormon wedding and just as colorful. There were few wildflowers and lots of dust; I didn’t complain and even paid for dinner on the way home.
Blooming plants continued to come between us as the week progressed.
Our front yard, which is a flowering hole in which I throw money, exploded in color. I thought my job was done after my early season weeding, raking, fertilizing and mulching. Now that her plant babies are blooming, Ellen is as protective as a mother badger. She called twice from a bike ride, while I was at home trying to type, demanding I go out immediately and hand water the pack of penstemons located in the front yard next to a flock of flax. Since I had no idea what penstemons or flax looks like, I had to go out to the front yard with a hose in one hand a flower book in the other. That was Tuesday.
On Wednesday she lost three sets of car keys for her new car. She biked to work that day. By the time she returned, six hours later, I had found two of the three. One was in her underwear drawer, the other in the automatic dishwasher; the third key is still missing. I’m thinking of checking the compost bin.
Thursday morning I had to work early. I hadn’t decided if I would bicycle or take my motor scooter. That decision was made for me when I found the battery in my scooter dead. The bike ride to the job site was pleasant and I forgot about my scooter issues until I returned home.
Ellen was waiting for me to return so we could go hiking. We were heading out the door when I mentioned that scoot was down and I had to work on it when we returned.
My mate then told me that she wondered why I left my scooter’s lights on the night before. When I asked her why, if she had noticed that, she hadn’t mentioned it to me. She said she was going to but got distracted when she saw that the Indian paintbrushes had bloomed in our front yard.
Now is the time I should admit that, when it comes to husbandly qualities, I’m no bag of jewels. I can be impatient, short-tempered and brusque, cheap, a stinker and unappreciative. (I should point out that I ended the previous sentence with “… brusque,” but my mate came in here and typed the rest when I got up to get an apple.)
Though I do things that drives my mate nuts, she suffers in silence because she doesn’t write a column.
That said, perhaps I need a different perspective. I wonder how I would feel if I somehow knew this week was my last week on earth; that these last five days would be the last I’d get to spend with my mate.
Then her obsessions, passions, distractions and insistence that we make the most of each day and every ride would be little more than charming character traits of someone I love and respect.
Looking at it that way I guess she doesn’t bug so much.
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on RSN TV and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Biff’s book “Steep, Deep and Dyslexic” is available from local book stores or from http://www.webersbooks.com.