It’s as much an absolute certainty as rain coming with thunder or income taxes in April, when the wife says, “I’m coming,” you can be certain you’re in for a good long wait. Same thing with, “Just give me a minute,” or “I’ll be there in a jiffy.” The minute turns into twenty and “jiffy” gets stretched into an eternity. It’s cool your heels time. And I’ve found it makes no sense to time her because that’s an unspoken signal for her to take more time. And prodding her is even worse, a guarantee that she’ll stretch out your wait.
The best way to deal with your exasperation is to rid your mind of the intended destination and read a long article in the New York Times. Pick a five-pager, something about the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, for instance. Or anything that can keep your mind from dwelling on the fact that she’s now kept you waiting for thirteen minutes and counting. Because exasperation can easily morph into anger and you find yourself yelling at the top of your lungs, “C’mon, goddamnit, you said you’d be there in an effing jiffy!”
An outburst like that will extend your wait from thirteen minutes to thirty and now your heels are so cool they’re almost frozen. And you can rest assured that when she finally does show, you’ll get a retort like, “I was just putting a load in the dryer, you do want clean clothes don’t you?” Or, “I was just taking something out of the freezer, for our dinner.”
It’s punishment for not behaving like a mushroom and patiently sitting in the driver’s seat, stifling your frustration. She can extend your sentence by saying, “Honestly, I don’t see why you get so upset over having to wait for a few minutes, that’s pretty childish, don’t you think? I mean you’re acting like a little boy.”
And if you try to fight back with, “I don’t see why you have to make me wait all the time.” You can be sure she’ll hop out of the car, slamming the door and muttering, “You can go to Lowe’s by your goddamn self.”
Now you’ve got a marital calamity on your hands and you’ve given yourself no choice but to go into your penitent mode because now you’re the bad guy. What seemed to be a perfectly reasonable reaction to having to wait for twenty minutes she’s now turned into your fault. So now you have to clamber out of the car and hustle after her saying, “Look, I’m sorry, you’re right. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”
I was at an engagement party recently and I was talking to the prospective groom. He was talking about how he was looking forward to getting married and I had to resist the urge to tell him he had no idea of what he was getting into. If I had to add up all the time I’d spent waiting for the wife, I bet it would be a good three months total. Three months out of my life cooling my heels. After thinking of saying to the soon-to-be groom, “Delete three months from your life that you’ll spend waiting for you wife.” I decided that could only get me a puzzled look so I decided that learning to wait for the wife is something a husband needs to learn by himself.
I recently discovered some retaliatory tactics that can help the wife realize how her tardiness in showing up skyrockets my blood pressure.
Say she’s a good five minutes late to go out to a party. I hop on the Kubota and start mowing the lawn. When she finally shows, she’s standing there with her hands on her hips snorting, “What the hell are you mowing the lawn for, we’re supposed to be going to a party.”
“I’ve just got a few more rows to mow, won’t take long,” I shout over the mower’s noise. “Just give me a few seconds more and I’ll be ready to go.”
“But you’re not even dressed!” She says, getting more and more irritated.
“It’ll just take me a few minutes to get ready.”
Now she’s good and steamed up. I finish mowing, change clothes and open the fridge.
“I’m just going to grab a beer and I’ll be ready.”
“What? How long’s that going to take?”
“I’ll be finished in a jiffy,” I answer.
Of course, I savor every sip like I haven’t had a beer in years and now steam is coming out of her ears.
“Can you speed that up?
Now I’ve got her where I want her.
“You don’t want me to get indigestion, do you?”
“I couldn’t care less and listen, if this is one of your stupid payback schemes for having to wait a couple minutes here and there, it isn’t going to work. Okay?”
I never thought I’d grow up to be a waiter, but that’s exactly what I am and my new motto is: Later Than Sooner.