A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away we lived in married student apartments at Ole Miss. Yes, on campus there were housing units built after WW2 for former soldiers and their spouses. They were located across from the new law school. Many of our friends lived there also. A few units still exist. Years later on a football weekend we drove past the units and showed our children where we resided. They were incredulous and thought we were kidding.
“You were poor,” the oldest son said.
“Yeah, but we didn’t know it.”
Ours was a one bedroom upstairs unit. The rent was seventy five dollars a month and utilities were included. The stove was a built in contraption and the cooler was about the size of a small dorm component. The dryers in the laundry room downstairs were decrepit and wouldn’t produce enough heat to melt an M&M on a good day. Most of the time we hung our laundry outside in the back. This worked great in the summer but in the winter blue jeans stood straight up and bras, according to my wife, were not suitable to wear for 6 or 8 hours until they completely thawed. Failure to abide by this rule resulted in sudden fearsome yelling, goosebumps in uncomfortable places, and the most unmitigated shivering.
Upstairs there was brick latticework separating the apartments from view on the street. You could see clearly through them from the parking lot below though. The space between the front door of one apartment and the next was just a few feet and our neighbors were constantly coming and going.
One Summer day my wife was mopping the ancient linoleum floor. After finishing she was hot and sweaty and was planning on taking an immediate bath. She stripped down to nothing because she was going to throw all her clothes in the laundry basket. She was bare ass naked. Ah, a most pleasant memory, if I do say so. She was – and is – a pretty girl.
“Honey, do you think anyone will see me if I just reach out and hang the mop on the nail out there?”
“No, babe. Go ahead. Nobody can see a thing.”
I lied. A big lie. A lie that seldom avails itself of proper deployment. One must be circumspect when lying to your spouse. My wife has for years claimed she could tell when I lie by some sort of line etched near my mouth. I think this is not true and she asserts this to make me think twice about lying to her. But, here was my chance. She could not see me. I was sitting on the couch 15 feet away and her back was turned. Now, I am not advocating lying to one’s spouse, partner, or live in significant other. Far from it. But a strategic lie used for placing the “liee” (a word I have just coined meaning the recipient of the lie) in a funny situation is worth it. Sometimes. And, this was going to be a funny, real, real funny result. Such an opportunity does not come but once or twice in a lifetime. I was not going to pass it up.
I sprung from the couch quicker that Superman bounding over a tall building. The Flash would have been left in my dust. Spider-Man’s sticky net could not have contained me. In one flowing movement I shoved her naked out into the hallway and shut the door locking it in the process.
“Let me in,” I heard in a deep whisper designed not to alert the nearby neighbors. “You let me in damn it. You let me in. I mean it. Open this door now.”
“What?” I pretended not to hear.
“If the neighbors come out you will never go to sleep in my bed again.” She threatened.
“What?” I pretended.
“I will never cook again.”
“What? Who is that at the door?” I faked.
“If you don’t let me in this minute sex for you will be a fond memory.”
That one hit the mark. Meekly, I opened the door to a furious wife who grabbed her clothes off the floor and stormed into the bathroom without a word. That’s not good. After two days of begging and uncounted apologies I told her I was truly sorry. (This was a lie, of course) We finally made up and I pledged sacred oaths never to do that to her again.
All was well after that. We were love birds once more. Life was bliss.
Many years later I was asked to speak at a large convention and give a short humorous story as a warm up to the main speaker.
Yeah. I told the mopping nude housewife and leaping husband story. It was a mixed audience and the roar of laughter was gratifying when I sat down. My wonderful wife even smiled a little. I think. She is a good sport and mostly tolerates me. Afterward, a large crowd of ladies surrounded my wife. At the same time, a great many gentlemen came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed my story.
Driving home I asked my wife what all those women said to her. She looked at me, smiled with sweet and knowing amusement and said, “Oh, they asked me how come that bastard is still alive?”
She sure enjoyed those roses I sent her the next day.