Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Fat Wallet Evening

For some reason that I can’t remember I was driving tonight. We were discussing how fat Beaven’s wallet is. I guess we’ve been retired long enough now that we’ve fallen into the “really boring” stage where you spend a lot of time discussing stuff like that. A few years ago we noticed that we’ve had some of the same conversations over and over and over again. Especially with our kids. I told Emily to clean her room so many times that I ended up assigning it Number 8. That way I could just poke my head in the door and simply say “eight.” Or, if I was really upset, I could say “Eight Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-Eight” Of course it never got the room cleaned but it saved a lot of time. So, here we are in the car with me giving him monologue number 25—the fat wallet monologue.

I quit carrying a purse years ago through a kind of gradual transition. I realized a purse wasn’t doing much for me but collecting a lot of loose garbage. Emily sent me the perfect wallet when she was in college. For what we spent to send her to a private college I should have gotten more than a wallet and about 15 credit hours out of the deal. But I love the style and I look for them now in every college bookstore I visit. It’s got a key ring connected to a thin wallet with (I love this part) a Velcro closure. It’s perfect for the no-makeup, no-hairstyle, no-checkbook life I lead. I have room for a couple of credit cards and my car keys. It fits in my pocket while I’m not driving and I never have to worry about having my purse stolen out of the cart at Wal-Mart.

Beaven, on the other hand, has ever piece of plastic and paper he’s ever owned in his wallet. The wallet is so big he can’t sit on it so he takes it out while he’s driving and is always leaving it somewhere. That’s what started the fat wallet conversation- he had left it somewhere. Does he really need his SCUBA diving card driving around in Sulphur Springs in the winter? Or his membership cards for the three or so professional organizations he belongs to and never goes to meetings? His Dallas Public Library card when we haven’t lived in Dallas for 30 years? Or his discount cards to stores that have gone out of business?

I’m going on and on about all the clutter he carries around with him and hear a funny noise. A kind of “blurp.” Three little blurps and I look in my rearview mirror. There’s a cop with his lights on to tell me that I’m going 43 in a 30 mph zone. Thirty miles an hour! On a street as wide as an airport runway and smooth as glass. With nary a school or hospital or old folks home in sight. Who in their right mind drives anywhere at 30 miles an hour?

Anyway, of course the first thing he asks me for is my insurance card. I’m OK with that because I always have it in my glove compartment. Right here in the tidy little group of Mapquest maps with the tidy little pink folder neatly wrapped around it with the word “Maps” on it in marker. I always keep my insurance card in there. Here’s 2003’s card. And 2001 and even 1996. Here’s the map to all my friends’ houses and all the businesses in weird parts of town with tricky turns. And my church directory. Hey, even gloves right here in my glove compartment! Don’t you think it’s cool I have a pair of gloves in my glove box?

Of course, I never found the insurance card and Beaven had one in his wallet. So I had to shut up permanently about the fat wallet.

But my day just got worse when I lost the temporary crown I got yesterday. I think this was the crown that put me officially in possession of more crowns than the Queen of England. Now I have to drive (very slowly) back to Dallas tomorrow and hope the dentist can put it back in. In the meantime, I’m scared to eat or drink anything. I’m scared to do a whole lot of breathing since the bare tooth is sensitive to cold and it is, after all, winter, whether it feels like it or not. And talking would call for breathing so that’s out. When you cut out talking, eating and breathing, there aren’t a whole lot of fun things to do in an evening.

So, here is your wit and wisdom for the week. Please don’t expect anymore from me. It’s been a hard day. Tune in next week and I’ll tell you the story of how I bored somebody to death once.

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