Recently a friend of mine was talking about how proud she was of her son for working and earning the money to buy his first car.

Recently a friend of mine was talking about how proud she was of her son for working and earning the money to buy his first car.  This is a big deal for a 16 or 17 year-old and I would have to agree that it is very commendable.

Having cut grass, cleaned toilets and sweated many a summer day to pay for the gas in my 150 dollar 1968 Mercury Cougar with flies sticking to the hood because it was painted outside – I understand.

If a teenager does this, they are going a long way to understanding how things work.

However, it was the background of the picture of the young man and his earned car that caught my eye.

This friend of mine is a little conniving in my opinion.  After studying the picture for a few minutes, I realized what she was doing.

She was bragging on her husband.

You see the picture was made in their garage, or possibly the garage of an unoccupied house.

It was spotless.

Whose garage is spotless?

It was so clean you could eat off of the floor.

Why do I say it was conniving?

Think about it…

Other wives will see that picture of the fine looking young man, his car he worked hard to buy, and then they will ask, “Why doesn’t our garage look like that?”

They will.  I know they will.  You know they will.  If you’re an honest wife you’d admit it.

So I had to ask her, “Why stop at the garage?” 

Why not go ahead and stage a few more pictures?

Perhaps, she could have pulled the car into the kitchen, propped her son against it and had her husband in the background doing the dishes – better yet, he could have been unloading the dishwasher with the trash under one arm while replacing the trash can liner with one of his feet.

Again, her one little picture of this proud moment was serving to beat up husbands everywhere and cause them all sorts of pain, punishment and scolding.

After they took a few pictures in the kitchen, they could have moved into the den.  Again, we would see the same car, the same fine young man who had paid for his first car working hard in the summer and in the background there would be a pristine den with no shoes on the floor and no dog on the sofa.  Her husband would be sitting goo-goo-eyed with one of those Batman speech bubbles coming out of his mouth.  It wouldn’t say “Bang” or “Pow,” it would say, “Would you rather watch Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail or What Women Want?”

Quite possibly, her husband would be rubbing her feet or handing her a bowl of ice cream – maybe even feeding it to her.

The “Bang’s” and “Pow’s” would be used by women whose husbands have garages that look like something from one of those television shows about people who never get rid of anything.

One more stop in the bedroom…

That’s right, just move the car into the bedroom and tell the commendable young fellow to strike a pose.  In the background, let’s make sure to have the husband’s closet doors wide open with every shirt, jacket and pair of pants neatly hung with some sort of color coding and organizational scheme that would make any wife proud.

Put a bouquet of flowers in one of the hubby’s hands and have the other arm around his wife – my friend.

I could think of a lot of things to put in that “speech bubble” coming out of his mouth,  but why not something simple and significant like, “Sweetheart, do you realize that 24 years, 232 days, 3 hours, 27 minutes and 56 seconds ago we shared our first piece of pecan pie together?”

In this picture, my friend (the one with the perfect husband) could have a sheepish grin on her face and have one of those “thought bubbles” coming out of the top of her head that said, “Do I know how to pick’em or what?”

All I have to say is – “Thanks a lot!”  Thanks for emphasizing the fact that many of my friends and I can’t find the floor in our garage, let alone a Phillips head screwdriver.

My daughters enjoy watching a show on The Learning Channel, “Say Yes to the Dress.”  If you haven’t seen it, this team of bridal gurus guides women and their families through the process of selecting a dress for their wedding.

They sit around and talk about how beautiful certain dresses are and how they are cut and if they show too much or not enough.  It is entertaining to me (for about five minutes).  Having two daughters and hearing them talk about how much these dresses cost makes me want to go sit on a stack of old paint cans in my garage and cry.

Honestly, there ought to be a show about folks like me and my fellow husbands who can’t remember their own birthday, whose closets are a disaster area and have no idea what’s in “that corner” of the garage.

We’ll just call it, “Say Yes to the Mess.”

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