12.07.2010

The Mother Of All Arguments, At Christmas No Less

The Wife's college supper club Christmas party was over the weekend. It's a good group and we enjoy the event. Both sexes have one of those gift exchanges where you can "steal" someone else's gift or choose from the unopened ones. It's great fun unless your gift is the one that keeps getting handed over for a "better" one. I usually gift some eclectic CD and pass on the cigars, which finally are loosing favor as a gift to bring.

The event does bring back some bad memories. In fact, the Christmas party opens anew each year a "wound" that I will never let The Wife forget. As you know if you frequent this blog(and thank you for that!) I am a huge fan of the late Warren Zevon. If you are familiar with only his hit Werewolves of London you are depriving yourself of some wonderfully written and executed Americana rock music and many a touching ballad.

Warren Zevon was a true song smith and penned such well know hits as Carmelita, Hasten Down the Wind, Poor, Poor Pitiful Me and the lesser known Lawyers, Guns and Money (my favorite) whi
ch begins....

"I went home with the waitress, like I always do
How was I to know she was with the Russians, too

"I was gambling in Havana,
And I took a little risk
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money
Dad, get me out of this"

The song, and specifically those last two lines are my cell ring tone and it's a hoot when it goes off around people, who seem to enjoy it. It is not a hoot, however, when the phone goes off while meeting with a prospective older client with no sense of humor, as once happened. Oh, well. It's not so great when it goes off in traffic court, either. The judge was the only one not amused. I pleaded guilty, which I had not intended to do.

Several years ago Warren came to Chapel Hill's Cat's Cradle for a solo gig. I didn't know about it. Somehow I missed it even though I often troll the Internet sites of the local music halls looking for who's coming to town. She--The Wife-- did know about it, as she's fond of reading The Independent cover to cover.

But she didn't tell me. Because the supper club Christmas party was that same December Saturday night.

As someone who also likes to read The Independent (but unfortunately, not on a timely basis in this case) I saw the ad the following Tuesday.

"Damn!", I hollered, so belligerently that the beer can flew right off the side table as I jumped up.

"What's the matter, Honey!?" She's so sweet...

"I missed Zevon! He was at the Cradle!"

Silence on the other end. My ESP kicked in and I immediately knew...she knew.

"Did you know?"

Silence.

"You Knew!"

She walked in to the den and just stood there, head down but with a furtive look toward me. And, like the father accusing the mother in the great movie A Christmas Story of purposefully breaking the infamous leg lamp, I quietly yet angrily muttered "You...knew!"

"I knew you wouldn't go to the supper club party if I told you. It was on the same night..."

And then ensued the Mother of All Arguments. I slept on the couch three nights, barely spoke to her and when we passed as we made our way around the house I continued to mutter "You...knew."

The anger passed, of course. But I mark that episode as our worst argument ever in 30 years of marriage. I will never let her forget that. I know; I should let it go. I don't bring it up often but the music in the car on the way to the supper club Christmas party is and will always be Warren Zevon's Greatest Hits.

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