Read a Sample Story

I Married a White Wine Drinker

I married a white wine drinker. The only thing is, he wasn’t a white wine drinker when I married him. He wasn’t a drinker at all. His intoxicant of choice was, er…well, maybe it’s best if we don’t go there.

Time was when a man wouldn’t have admitted to imbibing Chardonnay if his life depended on it. Public disapprobation of an accused ax murderer would have paled by comparison to the humiliation of a guy drinking the main ingredient of something called a “wine spritzer.” At least you know an ax murderer has a good, manly arm. But girlie muscles are enough to lift a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Well, times have changed. What’s a woman to make of it when her Guinness guzzling guy morphs into Paul Giamatti? Is it just aging? Evolution? Something Freudian? Is a midlife crisis right around the corner? Is it…a sign?

The white wine thing isn’t the only way my husband K— has changed over the years. Lots of those changes are positive, but of course, that makes them very uninteresting. It’s only the eccentricities and bad habits people develop that make good reading.

I hardly need to point out that a husband acting like a mature adult isn’t a situation that can last. So, it was with little surprise that I learned recently that K— is evidently planning some sort of bad boy behavior in an apparent attempt to relive youthful exploits and bring some excitement back into his life. Here’s how it came to my attention:

(Telephone rings; I pick up)
K—: Hey, hon. Do you know anyone with an empty warehouse?
Me: No. Why?
K—: Are you sure you want me to tell you?
Me: You’re right. Forget I asked.

Later the same day…

(Telephone rings; I pick up)
K—: Hey, hon, I have a question for you. Is there a way to calculate just how fast a car would have to be going to jump over an obstacle?
Me: Yes, of course there is. You don’t think Evel Knievel’s stunts were all just trial and error, do you?
K—: Hmmm. I guess that makes sense. Well, could you figure out how to do that? I need to know.

Then again, even later the same day…

(Telephone rings; I pick up)
K—: Hi, hon. Say, do you know anything about rocket propellants?

I probably don’t need to share the rest of the conversation with you. Actually, there wasn’t much. He was awfully light on the details, and I didn’t press. As the message on the birthday card I just sent my brother went, “Here’s another good thing about being family—I’m pretty sure we can’t be forced to testify against each other.” The less I know, the better.

I’m not the only one in my circle who’s noticed a change in her husband after a few years of marriage. A woman I know once commented wistfully, “What happened to the adventurous, risk-taking man I married?”

That’s easy: he had kids. That’ll knock the stuffing out of anyone.

K— and I didn’t do that. In a way, the midlife crisis business might be the only negative about being childless: K— is even freer than the average guy to think about (and act on) all the things that men seem to think about when their temples start to turn grey: fast little cherry-colored cars, bleached blonde bimbos, fast little cherry-colored cars, getting into the Guinness Book of World Records somehow, fast little cherry-colored cars…you can see I’m fixated on one of the things on this list.

When a man starts to think too much about the difference between who he is now and who he was when he got married, something’s gotta give. Some wives might discourage a husband from engaging in a few hijinks, but I say what’s the harm in wanting to have a little reckless fun again, only with enough cash in your pocket the second time around to meet bail if you need to? If K— wants to indulge a resurgent interest in attending weekend-long rock festivals (but this time in an RV so he and all his similarly aged buddies can sip Chardonnay in comfort and get a good night’s sleep!), I think he should go for it.

The evening after the telephone conversations about K—‘s unidentified but evidently rocket-propelled enterprise, I told him, “Darling, I love you and want you to be happy. Whatever crazy thing you’ve got in mind, it’s fine with me. Please just do me one favor: try not to make me a widow.”

After all, I figure, I can do that for myself if he ever decides to seriously explore the rejuvenating potential of a bleached blonde bimbo.