From When I Say ‘Wife’ by Jonathan Richman:
When I say ‘wife’
it’s cause I can’t find another word
for the way we be
but ‘wife’ sounds like you’re mortgaged
‘wife’ sounds like laundry
I’m a wife. I was planning on never being a wife, but here I am. “Wife” had always sounded like laundry to me too, back in those days when I was planning to never be one.
I pictured going blind trying to distinguish between black and navy blue socks in order to match them up; I pictured having to learn how to starch and/or iron. When I said “wife” I imagined Friday night casseroles, yard work on Saturday mornings, and uncomfortable, too-warm clothes that made me pass out in church on Sundays.
Then I got a career that ran nights and weekends and a boyfriend who both cooked and did laundry (not to mention, kept his socks to a respectable black or white only). And “wife” started to look like a giant mystery to me. If it wasn’t what I had always believed it to be, then what was it?
I decided to find out.
One of the common misconceptions that people have is that romance dies once you become married. The way to combat this, according to all the magazines, is to have Date Night. The importance of hiring a babysitter is stressed, and you should put on cologne and pantyhose and drive far away to pay too much money for dinner and a show. In our jobs, both CC and I assist in providing the entertainment for everybody else’s Date Night, so that doesn’t really appeal to us.
Besides, he gets really grumpy if you ask him to wear pantyhose on his day off.
So we have Date Morning.
Every Friday we have our standing hot date. I took all of these pictures to prove how hot our dates are because nobody believes me.
We start by getting dressed up:
Then we go to the bank for grocery money. Yeah, we’re going grocery shopping. Because grocery shopping is hot.
When we get to the teller, CC turns on his charm.
CC: She’s so mean to me, Rita. At home, she makes me call her “mistress”.
Well, I am wearing leather.
He will repeat this joke to every teller that passes within earshot. If there are some that don’t pass by and miss it, he’ll make sure to go see them at their desks on the way out.
Our next stop is the Farmer’s Market.
These same magazines that specify how you’re supposed to do Date Night also make a Big Deal about Farmer’s Markets. They refer to seasonal, outdoor markets that are supposedly a great savings and if you don’t frequent them you are killing both your family and your community, not to mention your soul and probably a couple of kittens somewhere.
In New Jersey, those types of farmer’s markets are subsidized by the State and sell produce that may or may not be “organic”, and may or may not have had pesticides sprayed all over them, but are most definitely about FOUR TIMES the cost of anything at the grocery store. I’ve got five kids and I figure I’m already supporting those markets through my taxes.
The farmer’s market that gets us all hot & bothered- and I DO mean hot & bothered- is year-round inside a zero-frills building.
If you’re one of my kids, you may want to stop reading here to avoid thoughts that you can’t unthink later.
Although they tell me at the entrance that I’m not welcome there, they never actually check. It does make me a little nervous, which only adds to the excitement.
You know how when you go to Whole Foods you walk out with only one teeny paper bag even though you laid out like eighty frickin’ bucks? The farmer’s market is the total inverse of that. A full cart rarely tops out over forty dollars, which I have to admit makes me more than a little breathless. Plus they have all of this:
(C’mon, I can’t be the only one who thought that.)
By the time we check out, our minds are full of images of lewd produce and thongs. We’re thinking about testing out the window tinting in the backseat of the minivan.
Next to the farmer’s market is the “meat” market where you can get your Santeria supplies. I think it’s kind of lame that one might buy one’s goat eyeballs and rooster hearts at market, but it is nice to know the resource is there if you need it in a pinch. (The only reason I didn’t get pictures of those particular items is that it smells really bad. Which is why nobody ever buys any eating-meat there.)
What more excitement can there possibly be after being around all that suggestive produce, lingerie, and “meat”?
Well. . .Plenty.
Because there’s Fairway, newly opened near us.
Oh, Fairway. *sigh* When I think about you, I just. . .
Fairway is all of your grocery dreams come true. Even if you think you don’t have any grocery dreams.
Because you totally do.
All my grocery store fantasies are here. Fresh-baked chocolate croissants. Cheese samples. Eleventy-billion types of cold-pressed olive oil with store-baked baguettes for sampling. At this point in the date, it’s all I can do to keep my mind on the grocery list. The store isn’t exactly helping. It’s like they want us to be inappropriate right there in the aisles or something.
Even Costco is in on it. And I feel like I should remind you once again that these are actual pictures from an actual hot date.
With great effort, we refrain from putting up that”Sorry, this lane closed” sign and spending a little quality time together right there on the checkout counter. Even though I see it as exactly the same as a “Do Not Disturb” sign, CC reminds me that this would be a pretty ridiculous reason to get arrested and that besides, the only kid who would have enough money to bail us out is #1, and she probably wouldn’t do it because she’s saving all her money to get away from us.
GOT ANY GOOD GROCERY STORE STORIES?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR DATE NIGHT?
*update: I just found out at dinner last night that my Flock of Seagulls reference is yet one more joke that I make to CC all the time that he doesn’t get, and yet has never said anything about. Even though he took #1 to see Pulp Fiction while she was an infant. So for him, I give you this link. The Flock of Seagulls line isn’t until about 2:00 in, but it’s a great scene.
Oh, there’s also a Jonathan Richman song called Abominable Snowman in the Market, thereby double-proving my theory.