One item topping my list of New Year’s resolutions could potentially alter my life, as I now know it. And it has to do with my relationship to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
I’m not inferring any trouble in paradise these days; I wouldn’t know if there was trouble, anyway. Nevertheless, I think my relationship to her could improve 100 percent — which needs a foolproof plan. Being a certified fool, all I need is a plan.
Back in October, the folks at the church we serve sent my wife and me to St. Augustine as a gift from the congregation. It was a delightful surprise. We never tire of spending time in the Ancient City.
One negative aspect to the whole plan, no provision was made for our return. However, to quote Martha Stewart, I told my congregation, “I’ll be back.”
Nothing is more relaxing than taking off for a few days of reading, writing and just plain goofing off. I have the latter down to a science. At least that’s what my wife tells me, and no one has ever accused her of lying.
It did not take us long to pack a few things in a suitcase and head for our mini-vacation.
We arrived at one of our favorite motels, registered at the front desk and quickly went to our room and unpacked all our things. For me unpacking meant unlocking the door, walking inside and throwing myself on the bed. It doesn’t take me long unwind.
However, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage takes more time and effort to get into the vacation spirit. She has to unload the car, unpack the suitcases, clean the motel room, and make sure we have enough towels and washcloths.
I got tired just watching her go through her routine. In fact, it was so bad I had to leave the room and go out to the pool.
Three hours later, I returned to the room and found her sitting on the bed, watching TV.
“Aha,” I said as I entered in the room, “I see you’re finally in the vacation spirit.” And so our mini-vacation was under way, full steam ahead.
Stretching out before us were five days of unrelenting loafing. We decided to make a game of it. We were going to see who could loaf the best during our week.
I assumed I had the edge on this game. After all, I’ve had more experience with loafing than my wife. I forget what the prize was but it seems to me it had something to do with serving breakfast in bed to the winner.
The chief object of the game was control of the TV remote control. The rule stated, at least my wife told me it did, you could not take the remote out of the other person’s hand. I agreed to the rules of the game and the game was afoot.
Fortunately, I controlled the remote control in the beginning. The cunningness of my wife soon came to the forefront. I had no idea that she, the mother of my children, would play dirty. At times, I regret being such a gentleman. Let me show you what I mean.
I had the remote control for about 20 minutes when my wife said, “Honey, I left a book in the car. Would you be a Dear, and go to the car and get it for me?”
Without pausing to think, something quite common for me, I laid down the remote control and headed for the door. Quick as a flash I retrieved the book from the car. When I get back to the room my wife was sitting on the bed, with pillows behind her and the remote control in her hand.
But more than that, a grin was smeared all over her face.
I had been snuckered. And this would not be the last time.
That was Monday. On Tuesday, I finally regained control of the remote control and was right in the middle of an old Western movie when my Beloved made her next move.
“Honey, I’m so thirsty, would you go and get me a soda from the machine down front?”
Again, without thinking, I rose to the occasion and bolted for the door on what I thought was an errand of mercy. When I returned with the ice-cold soda, there my Beloved was, sitting on the bed, with pillows behind her and the remote control in her hand.
By Thursday, I was catching up. Early in the morning, I possessed the remote. I think my mistake on Thursday was feeling a little too confident in myself. Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon my wife looked at me and said, “You really need to take a shower.”
The tiny gray cells were not vibrating, and I immediately headed for the bathroom and took a shower. On coming out of the bathroom, I was greeted with her sitting on the bed, with pillows behind her and the remote control in her hand.
Again, that familiar smirk was smeared all over her face.
I must confess, and it’s hard for me to do it, but my wife is a better loafer than I am. It looks like in 2005, control will be a remote possibility for me.
The key to a solid marriage relationship, however, is not control but consent to mutual respect. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5:21 KJV.)