My sweets and I just celebrated our nine-year anniversary last week.
It’s in the context of health and wellness and committed marital longevity that I publicly chew on a recent matter.
Now, I’m not writing for sympathy. No, sir.
I merely seek an impartial arbiter to rehabilitate some vivacious moments between me and Dear Drew.
I will be very careful how I unwrap this unbiased account.
Which is precisely why I’m not telling you that our Life Group sided with me on this.
I’m not telling you that.
* * *
One recent Sunday after church, Drew and I needed to stock the house with a handful of necessities following our move.
Like waste baskets.
Do I hate the store? Oh, do I.
Nothing good happens to me there. I’m not exaggerating. I have compelling anecdotal evidence of terrible events that occur when I enter any building that sells groceries.
It’s like I walk into grocery stores with a t-shirt that reads: Ruin my day, please.
Two weeks ago, the cashier randomly started berating attorneys because she had a bad experience with a rusty washer and dryer.
It’s a reaaaaalllly long story.
One that I stood there painfully enduring as I tried to slowly back pedal away from her because I’m a terrible person.
All the sudden she yells, “And can you believe, HE WAS AN ATTORNEY?”
“You gotta watch out for them,” I squeak.
Her eyes got bigger, motions more demonstrative.
“You’re telling me,” she points.
(If she finds out I’m an attorney, I’m fairly certain she can take me.)
I quickly hauled my cart to the car.
* * *
Trust me that I have a story for nearly every grocery store visit.
Very frequently, Dear Drew goes to the store for me. While it’s an extremely noble exercise, I’ve learned his main motive is to buy name brand groceries–something I tend to skimp on if quality is competitive.
We agree to disagree on this issue.
On this particular Sunday, I had an especially detailed list. One I wanted to execute because certain purchases required discretion.
Our church service had just dismissed. We made our way to the store, where I expected Drew and our two little wardens to remain in the vehicle while I peacefully worked through my list.
Curiously, Dear Drew thought quite the opposite and preferred that I stay in the vehicle with the boys.
Differing opinions clouded our judgment, and we all four found ourselves in Wal-Mart on a Sunday about noon.
We initially divided and conquered with the agreement to meet in the Home section.
After making a few returns, I roll my cart up to the waste baskets in the Home section.
Dear Drew and our children are nowhere in sight, so I mosey up and down nearby aisles, confident Dear Drew will appear.
Quite some time passes, and there’s no sign of
my three sons Dear Drew and our two sons.
Eventually, I scour the store, attempting to retrace Dear Drew’s likely steps based on his name brand grocery preferences.
Still no luck.
It’s been over 30 minutes now.
And, uh, hold my place right there, please. No–no, you’re not interrupting me.
Sure, you can ask a question. Go ahead, please.
Can you speak up a little?
I can hear you now, yes. The question is: why didn’t you call Dear Drew?
Well, I want to choose my words carefully as I’m laboring very hard at an unbiased account, here.
I would never want to imply any culpability.
But, sure, yeah, okay, I’ll just come out and say it:
Dear Drew’s phone “somehow” did not make it to the charger the evening before and therefore the battery “somehow” died, so he left his phone in the care of our home.
Not that that caused this entire circus or anything.
That’s not what I’m saying at all.
I mean, it’s not like if he would have had his phone, this circus would have been avoided. . .
Let’s continue with an unbiased presentation of the facts.
After an alarming breadth of time had passed with no sighting of Dear Drew, I logically expected Dear Drew and the boys to be in the car outside because they had the keys.
Then one might imagine my emotions once I purchased my groceries and pushed my full cart to the outskirts of a congested and spacious asphalt parking lot in the dead heat of summer only to find the car locked and devoid of passengers.
One can imagine.
My last resort was to page Dear Drew.
Let me tell you that Dear Drew is a very private person that naturally would not enjoy being paged, which may have sweetened the gesture for me at this point.
As I’m standing next to an employee who’s dialing up my request to page “Drew Pippin for his wife,” I see a man who’s tall, slender, dark-haired, and around 30 in age, purchasing his groceries.
Dear Drew looks over his shoulder and flippantly waves, before flashing a special grin that means you’re in deep doo.
I imagine my countenance mirrored his.
Dear Drew then leans toward his cashier and tells her to cancel his request to page his wife.
Smoke’s coming out of both our ears.
We immediately start making our personal cases for why the other’s course of action was illogical and wrong and misguided and inconsiderate and foolish and nonsensical and lots of other argumentative, big, winner words.
And Dear Drew has the audacity to cite our church sermon from a couple hours before on “hypocrisy.”
Oh, he went there.
My eyes had rolled so hard so many times that I couldn’t see to drive.
“We’re just going to agree to disagree on this, okay, Drew? Okay?”
“We’re just going to agree to disagree on this.”
“Drew. Drew. Okay, Drew? Okay?”
We pull up to our house and mostly silently, mostly jeeringly, unload our groceries.
After I retrieve the final load, I return to find Dear Drew has locked me out of the house.
Yes, Dear Drew and both boys are standing at the kitchen door, silently staring at me through the glass.
“Apologize,” Dear Drew mouths.
Sometimes, you just agree to disagree.