For every Christmas I am never asked what I want until a couple of days before. Usually I say, "Nothing." This year, to my old man's surprise, I asked for an exercise bike.
"Lo, I can't get you one of those. That is the worst thing a husband can get."
"No it isn't. I am asking for a bike. If I were overweight and not asking for one, that would be a bad gift and I'd totally kick your ass. But I'm telling you it's what I want. If you don't get me what I really want, that is the worst thing you can do as a husband."
"Babe, you don't need one."
"Yeah I do. It's too friggin' cold out to walk or run. If my body is idle the whole winter, by the time the ground thaws, my ass will look like a hibernating bear's, minus the tail and fur."
"No it won't. Come on Lo, what do you really want?"
"Is this the part where I say 'Nothing' and you run off and buy me a something I don't need?"
"You are killing my Christmas shopping mood."
"Sweetheart, it is the eve of the eve. If you don't have an unbreakable Christmas shopping spirit by now, it wasn't meant to be. How about this, since you aren't feeling well, you just stay home tonight. Then, after Christmas, I'll buy it for myself when they are all on sale due to the resolution crowd. Sound good?"
"And then give you what for Christmas? You can't have nothing." Frustrated he finally asked, "What kind of bike do you want?"
"Just a basic run-of-the-mill bike. I don't want any stupid arm things that move, or any jumbo fan to cool me down, or any fancy schmancy gages. Plain and simple... like I like my men."
"Way to kick a guy when he's down Lois."
He really did feel sick and was running a fever. His determination to purchase my gift before his alleged death was cute... in a whiny pathetic kind of a way. He called me from his cell phone moments after he left. "Babe, you aren't going to believe this!"
"You were driving to the store and saw an exercise bike on someone's curb awaiting the trashman?" I offered as a guess.
"Come on, you know I'm not that cheesy."
"Okay, you aren't that
cheesy. So what'd you find?"
"A bike! And it's just like you described."
"Cool. That was fast. Hurry home before your fever comes back."
"I have one more stop to make and I'll be there."
We hung up and my mind raced with how he was able to find exactly what I was looking for so fast. I'd actually been keeping my eye out for one at the first sign of frost and hadn't seen one anywhere nearby.
When he arrived with the biggest smile his face could hold, there was no way on earth I could not be thrilled about my Christmas present. With childlike excitement, he told me to close my eyes while he went back outside to get my gift. Even the kids were excited by his big smile and tone of voice.
He struggled to get the bike in the house. The kids were giggling in a whisper. I could hear paper and plastic being ripped open and more giggles. When I asked what was so funny, I was told to go in the other room. Blindly I went still listening to the sounds. It's funny what your mind can conjure up.
When I was released from the room, this is what I saw...
It's a beauty, huh? It's a DP Pacer 2000, which my husband calls a LO Racer 2006. Notice the purple streamers? How about the honky horn? Who could ask for anything more?
He picked it up for 20 bucks at our local thrift store, information he proudly shared. My little bargain shopper's fever must have spiked again. His stupid face was so smiley and cute, I couldn't even say, "You're fucking kidding me right?!" Instead I smiled back, kissed his forehead, thanked him and said he needs to go lay down so he could be well for Christmas.
He wanted to lay on the couch so he could watch me, "pedaling happily." The kids couldn't contain their laughter anymore. "That's enough guys. Sure, it's probably as old as me but if it works, it's all good."
"Ma the brown tire and seat match your hair," my son giggled.
"All the cool moms match their exercise bikes," I claimed.
"Mommy? Can I squeeze your honky horn?"
They were mocking me. I wanted to joke too but the old man was right there watching it all unfold and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. I put my shoes on and climbed aboard. I began pedaling. I smiled at him. He smiled back. The kids stifled their laughter with their hands over their mouths.
The seat, you know, the brown one that matches my hair color, was loose and sliding. Before long it was tipped upward making it feel like my cooter bone was about to be pummeled. I kept my game face on and told my old man I needed to adjust the seat. Before I could get to a wrench, my ass started to slide off of the back of the seat. Lucky for me there was a wall nearby to catch my fall.
The kids ran to their rooms because that was just too funny for them to bear. Mr. Lane began dosing off and didn't see me almost die at the pedals of his gift to me. I corralled the kids and we laughed.
After naptime was over for the sick guy on the couch, he woke up to find Lane 1 holding a stopwatch, standing at my left. Lane 2 was holding a clipboard and cheering at my right. I was sitting on my LO Racer 2006 with a motorcycle helmet on and was pedaling like the wind while honking my horn.
He blinked a lot and rubbed his eyes. I was smiling like crazy under that hot helmet. The kids were trying not to piss their pants. He offered an uncertain, "Hi?" And that was where we all lost it completely.
My buddy William
not only nominated Home Fires for a BoB Award
but also entered me into the Bloggies
. I believe both intend to eventually open a voting option to readers. I'll try to keep you updated as I learn about all this stuff. Thanks again for nominating this ol' blog.