I know when this piece is published I’ll be in the doghouse. The original title was “My Wild and Wacky Wife,” but I thought the new title might at least get me out more quickly. To be fair, she generally treats me almost as well as she treats our dog.
Because I have muscular dystrophy, I must rely on my wife to do things most men do themselves. Like lawn care, plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. And Sharon is good-natured about doing such work. But imagine it being done by someone who is a mixture of Lucille Ball, Laverne and/or Shirley, and June Cleaver. With a dash of Steve Martin and a whole bunch of other people I’d prefer not to contemplate.
Take the Lucille Ball component. Sharon has tried her hand at about everything, including driving our boat. Fortunately, she hasn’t tried auto mechanics or surgery.
Where the Lucy really shines through is when my wife uses the riding lawnmower. Although she hasn’t killed anyone yet, I stay safely away when she’s at the controls. And though she hasn’t completely trashed the mower, she has done it some damage. Mainly during her ongoing battles with the steep slope in front of the house.
Once, as she was mowing around the mailbox post that sits at the top edge of the slope, she leaned over so she could pass under the box without hitting it. But she forgot about the contraption I’d added to the mower that extended the top of the back seat. It hit the mailbox and turned the mower down the embankment at a dangerous angle. I don’t know how she kept from turning it over.
I was worried that she would blame me. And she did. She said it happened because of the … “doohickey,” I believe she called my modification. I didn’t argue with her about it, except for her calling my wondrous invention a “doohickey.” Though I did take the doohick … I mean my invention, off the mower.
Another time she got the mower’s front wheel stuck in a small hole at the top edge of the slope. So she got off the mower to push it out of the hole. As she pushed it out, the front wheels turned and the mower raced down the hill. She tried to hold it back and it dragged her halfway down the hill before she let go. The mower ran down the hill, hit a short concrete wall, hopped straight up about a foot and stopped.
Fortunately, Sharon couldn’t blame that one on me, and she wasn’t hurt. More importantly, the mower wasn’t damaged too much. Just a severely bent frame. Nothing a come-along, a couple of chains, two trees and a few mechanics couldn’t fix.
Now I just stay in the back yard when she’s mowing the front yard, and vice versa. It’s much easier on my nerves, and I won’t have to see it when she rolls the mower into the lake one day (it’s just a matter of time).
'Laverne and Shirley'
Sharon’s Laverne and Shirley phase shows up best just before Christmas each year. She enjoys decorating for the holidays, but she has a love/hate relationship with the Christmas lights. She loves the way they brighten everything up, but she hates the wiring and the bulbs.
Although she tests the lights before she puts them up, invariably they quit working immediately after she gets them strung. She has to fight with them almost daily to keep them working. She even fights with them in her sleep. I wake up being choked, twisted and pushed. It’s like she’s trying to change a dead bulb. (No “dead bulb” jokes, please!)
Hello, Mrs. Cleaver
My wife’s June Cleaver side emerges when neighbor dogs visit. Any dog that shows up gets fed and petted and spoiled. If they want in the house, she lets them in. When they run off with things, like my shoes, she thinks it’s sooo cute.
As a result, when I’m outside and Sharon’s gone, dogs follow me around begging for food, jumping on me for attention, trying to get in the house every time I open the door, trying to run off with my shoes while I’m wearing them.
To her they’re little Beaver Cleavers, but to me they’re a bunch of little Eddie Haskells.
Sharon acts like a graduate of the Steve Martin School of Dance when she hears certain songs she likes. She starts dancing either her own version of Martin’s “King Tut” dance or some other bizarre set of moves that are hilarious as well as disturbing. She does have good rhythm, although with a Salvador Dali-type surrealism.
To be honest, I enjoy most of her weird dances. For a few seconds. But once she gets in the dancing “groove,” she has a hard time getting out of it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love her to pieces. She’s a fantastic partner and is very, very entertaining.