Several years ago, when I was anticipating that we were going to have Thanksgiving dinner here, I went to a Trunk Sale at Thanksgiving Point just to see if they might have something irresistible that I could use. A Trunk Sale is like a Garage Sale but people bring things in their cars and, in some cases, had backed up and opened the trunks to show their wares. We walked around--my daughters and daughters-in-law--and soon I spied something I anticipated we were going to need. Chairs! Sturdy ones.
My daughter's comment, "What will Dad say," deterred me not one bit. I bargained--well, I'd like to say I bargained but in reality I probably just happily paid the price the owners asked. Ten dollars, for two. When we got home and unloaded I put them right against the garage door, out of sight of the front windows.
"What are you going to do about Dad?" Hillary asked.
"After Dad goes to bed I'll sneak them into the back of the garage. When we need them for Thanksgiving he'll be glad."
"Right," Hillary said.
"He will," I said. "He really will."
She just shook her head, got in her car and drove away, waving with a little smirk on her face. A smirk that clearly said she didn't have much faith that her dad was going to be glad. She thought he was going to say something like, "More junk!"
It's not junk, I thought to myself. And he WILL be glad. I know it.
That was the last I thought of the chairs and my clever plan. The next day, when Phil brought in the mail, he also brought in an attitude.
"What is in front of the garage?" he said, in a not-quite-normal voice.
Great, I thought. I forgot all about them. And what a dumb question. Anybody can see they are chairs.
"I CAN SEE THEY ARE CHAIRS?! AND WHERE DID THE CHAIRS COME FROM?"
"The Chair Fairy brought them." How clever I was to think of such an amusing answer right on the spot. I smiled.
That was a mistake.
"THE CHAIR FAIRY? THE CHAIR FAIRY?! ARE YOU OUT OF YOU BLOOMIN' MIND? WE DON'T NEED MORE JUNK IN THE"--he didn't say a four letter word but I know he wanted to--"GARAGE. WE DON'T NEED MORE STUPID CHAIRS. ARE YOU CRAZY?"
Now how do you answer a question like that? No, not crazy. I am clever and thinking of the future. And besides that, chairs don't have the capacity to be stupid. I thought I might point that out to him but one look at his face made me decide against it. I shrugged. Another mistake.
Have you ever seen someone with fire coming out of their eyes? It's a real experience. Everyone should experience that at least once.
He had a few more choice things to say, but by that time I was overwhelmed by all his non-appreciation of my good bargain and of my clever "chair fairy" comment and all I heard was "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH."
Finally I said--in my most humble voice, "I'll take them back."
Now, I knew I couldn't take them back but I figured I'd find someone to donate them to. Anything to get out of having to hear "blah, blah, blah." And being expected to come up with an answer to, "Was I crazy?" one more time.
Well, the end of the story is that he calmed down--after about three weeks--and the chairs reside in the garage with the other chairs I've bought at garage sales--those I successfully snuck into the garage and could say, "Oh, those chairs? I bought them ages ago." Some times the things you bought "ages ago" deflates the frustration that husbands might have over frivolous purchases. Not that any of my chairs have been frivolous purchases, mind you.
The last time we had a family dinner here I overheard Phil say to one of the boys, "Here, sit on this chair,"--one of the Chair Fairy chairs--"they're nice and sturdy."
I wanted to say something but didn't. No sense in reminding him that I was right and he was wrong. As long as one of us knows it, that's enough.