About a month ago in Santa Cruz we were trying to go to the Boardwalk. So my lovely wife was the eye. Saw a car pull out and ordered me to stop. She got out and ran to man the spot while I figured out how to get back to park.
I finally get there and she is in a standoff with another vehicle. Walking toward me is a woman of about 45. I roll down the window. The conversation went like this:
Her: “are you going to do something?”
Me: “like what?”
Her:”she is your wife.”
Me: “that’s an antiquated way of thinking.”
Her: “you’re not going to do anything?”
Me: “she’s from New Jersey. Knock yourself out.”
Her husband exited the car. He went to stand by the meter. Didn’t acknowledge anything or anyone. I instantly knew this situation as I saw this Y chromosome doing what was good for him.
My wife then texted me. She asked me what I thought I should do. I had my idea. There were options, and the only good one I could think of was to just let it go. I could imagine cops getting involved. We (meaning the other husband and me) would get ticketed. Just conceding offered the solution that it just wasn’t that important to me. We had the advantage of looking elsewhere. On top of that, we have the advantage of knowing where they are parked in the unlikely event that we would want to exact some reminder that we were around. Hey, we all have those thoughts. It’s acting on them that is inappropriate.
That conflict was resolved. There were other possible conflicts. Some real and some imaginary.
My wife told me she through laughter (New Jersey girls enjoy that stuff) that she thought the guy might attack her. I told her, “no way. I was half expecting you and her to order us husbands to fight.”
“So what would you have done?” Obviously, she was not familiar with how guys work most of the time. Obviously, I had prepared for this situation should it ever occur. It turns out that spouses/significant others can often cause people to do things they just don’t want to do. I had observed the body language of the husband. He was obviously not interested at all in fighting. I had formulated a plan in my mind.
I told my wife the truth: “we would have gone someplace where you couldn’t see and apologized profusely to each other, shared a knowing look, shook hands, and would have agreed that neither of us get the spot.”
She laughed. She seemed to think I that was kidding. Every damned husband knows this. Which husband hasn’t had that acknowledgement of the other poor guy knowing that the wives want to scrap? Or, more accurately, want their husbands to throw down?
I wish I had the guy’s contact information. I’d send him some lilies. His wife won. But he sure looked defeated the whole time.