Friday, January 12, 2007


I’m easy.  I really am.  My wife, who’s known me for the past 12 1/2 years, can read me like a book.  It’s so scary that I wonder that if she sat down and played poker with me for a decent amount of time, would she be able to figure out my two hole cards each time.

Here’s the situation:  She wants new furniture.  Not new-new, but new to us.  It’s on consignment.  It’s some Pier 1 furniture, and according to her it’s really good stuff.  I have to trust her, just as she does me when I say plastic dice chips are “teh suck.”

Her first salvo was a phone call to me at work.  She started talking about her income as a part-time teacher and how much of her paycheck was available for an additional purchase.  The answer was easy, zero.  We’re not exactly depositing any part of her check into savings or investments lately.

Undeterred, she still explained to me the details.  An $1100 set of living room furniture had been dropped down to $900 and then $750.  The woman at the store said, “At this price, it won’t be here long.”  Inside, I knew that was a joke.  The stuff wasn’t moving any time soon; but to my wife, those words had their exact desired effect.

I held firm.  We’re still not finished paying for Christmas, so now is not the time to go buy any new furniture.  Even though we were still on the phone, I could feel the puppy dog eyes of disappointment on the other end.  We hung up, and I thought to have claimed a minor victory.

Until the next day that is.

I got home from work at my standard time, quite relaxed actually, which was far from the norm.  She had this evil, knowing smile on her face so I knew immediately something was up.  The gas grill on the porch was on and there was some nice steak marinating in a glass dish on the countertop.

Hmm…I really like steak.  Where is this going?

“You know honey,” she began, “if you let me buy the furniture, I’ll give you a third night each week to go play live poker.”

Was she feverish?  Wow, this was a desperation move.  A Hail Mary if you will.

“I went back to the store and they dropped the price even more.”

Big surprise.  Not.

She continued, “If I use the rest of my Christmas money from my grandmother, I only need $500 more to buy it.”

And then the crushing blow, the coup de grace.

“By the way, your poker chips came in the mail today.”  (I had ordered more custom ceramics to round out my set.)

I buckled.  I bent.  I broke.  She won.  Steak, new chips, more live poker, lower price – she’s a master manipulator who just gets better with age.  I am her sock puppet.

If she had right then and there pulled out G-Rob’s Staple’s Easy Button and pressed it, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

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