Four years ago when we left the United States, we made a decision which has haunted me on and off ever since. We took about one third of our possessions and put them into a storage locker, on the grounds that it was stuff that we never use and wouldn't have space for in our new, smaller European home.
Besides, we were only planning on staying in Europe for three years. Surely we could do without this stuff until then.
Ever since then, whenever Wifey is angry at me, she picks some random object in storage and says "I sure wish I had my (whatever). That would make living her almost tolerable."
Sometimes she just makes up shit that we don't even have. I have heard this about once per week for the past four years.
So the high point of the trip was going to be a visit to the storage locker, with the understanding that she would get to take whatever she wanted out of it, but would lose the right to complain about not having it for perpetuity.
That's the theory, anyways. We'll see how long it lasts.
After I was done working, we went to the locker. After wandering the corridors for a while, I finally found the right one.
"Are you sure this is it?" Wifey asked.
"Yes," said the girl. "I remember it."
"Me too," said the boy.
"You were eighteen months old," Wifey protested. "How could you remember it?"
"I am very smart," he said.
"Me too," said daughter.
I was still fumbling with my keys. "Do we need to have the lock cut off?" Wifey asked. "Are you sure it's the right one?"
"Just wait," I said. "I'll get it open."
And sure enough, I did, after trying every single freaking key I had. I rolled open the storage unit and beheld the biggest load of crap I've ever seen in my life. All I could think was that I owned all this useless shit, and someday I'd have to figure out how to get rid of it.
Then my wife said words that were sweeter to me than an acknowledgement that I am the greatest lover in the universe. She said, and I quote:
"Jesus, what a bunch of crap."
"That's what I've been telling you for the last four years!" I insisted.
Mental note: such commentary is not conducive to intimacy, based on the look she gave me at that moment.
So we began searching the storage locker, in six-hundred degree heat, fumbling through box after box of crap that we didn't even realize we owned, searching for the three or four items that she knew she wanted.
I found the item I wanted (my copy of The Watchmen) and began reading it while she works. You know what? That's not only not conducive to intimacy, that's not conducive to safety, either, since I almost got hit by several flying objects. When the toaster bounced off my head I was ready to help again.
It turns out we'd stored the items she wanted most (wedding pictures) in the last box we put into the storage locker. This turns out to be the very first box I checked, that had The Watchmen inside it, that I assured her was otherwise empty.
This is also not conducive to intimacy.
Soon we'd collected up our stuff and headed off on our way.
"Now that you have our wedding pictures, what do you want to do for dinner?" I asked cheerily.
"I'm going to murder you," she said, clutching the book and a large kitchen knife that she'd found in another box. "Then I'm going to bury your body in the desert."
"Mexican?" I suggested. "Chinese?"
"Maybe I'll drown you and make it look like an accident," she said.
"Those are some great pictures, aren't they?" I tried to change the subject. "Sure glad we found those."
"Maybe I'll paper-cut you to death with pages from that damned comic book you found."
"You remember our wedding night?" I asked. "Whew, was that some sweet love. I tell you, there's no sex better than married sex."
"You'll never touch me again," she hissed at me. "You festering pile of crap!"
"I know! How about the Mayan for dinner?"
Given the stony silence she greeted that suggestion with, I figured maybe the three-hundred mile drive was too far. So we settled for Wendy's.
After dinner, and a series of outrageous promises to her that I have no intention of keeping, she was in a much better humor. We decided to go swimming again, and found to our delight that the pool was almost empty.
To our horror, 80% of the skank family was in attendance.
When we arrived the Skankletons were at the far end of the pool with two Holiday Inn guys doing something, I don't know what. Me and the kids started swimming. Wifey, who was down there checking out what they were doing, decided to hot tub it instead of swim.
I didn't complain, because at this point if she'd wanted to put hot coals in my pants I wouldn't have complained. Hey, I haven't been married fifteen years on accident; I know how to read the signs of trouble.
The children and I played and splashed. The Skankletons left soon after, arguing vehemently with one another, something about the baby. I was just glad they were gone.
As soon as they left, Wifey produced some pool toys and threw them in, then had me dive for them. I didn't complain. She challenged me to see how high I could fountain up pool water by spitting it, and I didn't complain. By the time we left I'd drunk a gallon of pool water, but didn't complain, because Wifey was happy again and all was well.
As we left, she leaned over to me.
"Did you see all the people fooling around when we came in?"
"Yeah, what was all that about?"
She smiled at me. "They were fishing up some poop that baby skank left in the pool. Right where you were diving, too."
I take it back: the baby was the skankiest one of the group.
Wifey kissed me on the cheek. "I forgive you."
Tomorrow: Mohawks and Laundry and Hunger, Oh My!