My wife changed her clothes three times one morning before work.
“Weren’t you wearing something else?” I asked, wondering if all the reds, blues, greens, skirts, slacks and various types of shoes I’d witnessed were real, or if I were hallucinating. Either way, I thought my day was starting out as an adventure.
“Yes,” she said.
“But, haven’t I seen you in all those before?”
“Yes,” she said again like I’d asked something stupid. Pfft. I’d never do that.
She crossed her arms. “They didn’t look right today, OK?” She turned and went through the same routine with jewelry.
I really like being a guy. Not only for the driving and power tools or the flatulent stereotype and peeing outdoors, but for all the pressure we don’t have getting dressed. The biggest questions I face in the morning are why doesn’t the coffee pot work faster and what T-shirt will I wear with blue jeans today? Hmm, my Faber College shirt, or Polk High?
I’ve even solved that problem. I close my eyes, stick a hand into the closet and wear whatever T-shirt I pull out. Happy St. Patrick’s Day? But it’s Oct. 31? What a great costume.
This is typical of a guy’s day because all our problems are solved by discrete random variables. That’s why the NFL uses a coin toss to decide which team receives the kickoff. For the record, I voted for Jenga.
Randomness doesn’t usually work for women because “random” means anything can happen and “anything” roughly translates into “my husband’s an idiot.”
Let’s take, for example, dinner.
If a woman is the cook, there’s planning involved, sometimes for the entire week.
“Monday we’ll have chicken and potatoes, Tuesday we’ll have tacos, Wednesday tater tot casserole, etc.” The timeline for a meal is so precise, if frozen things aren’t set out in the morning to thaw, dinner’s ruined.
However, if the hubby cooks, dinner becomes a game of Tetris.
Wife: What’s for dinner?
Husband: (Shrugs) I don’t know.
Wife: But it’s 5:30.
Husband: Really? (Walks into kitchen and opens the refrigerator and every cabinet, even the ones that don’t hold food. Enter random variables.) OK, we have hamburger, bread, chili sauce, onion and an egg. That’s a meatloaf. Dinner in 35 minutes.
Wife: How did you do that?
Husband: I just made all the blocks fit together. (Holds up novelty muffin tin) Want your piece to be shaped like the U.S.S. Enterprise?
This method also works for highway driving.
Wife: We’re going to be late.
Husband: No, we’re not. What time is it?
Husband: What time are we supposed to be there?
Husband: No problem (turns car onto a rural road).
Wife: Do you know where you’re going?
Husband: Of course. The party is south and we’re going south.
Wife: It’s a gravel road.
Husband: No, it’s not.
Wife: You’re right. Now it’s dirt.
Husband: It’s rustic.
Wife: It’s going through a swamp.
Husband: We’re seeing nature.
Wife: We’re seeing Sasquatch.
Husband: What time is it?
Wife: Seven-twenty-seven. I told you we were going to be late.
Husband: (Points car toward broken bridge and guns the engine sending the family station wagon flying through the air while shouting) Smokey and the Bandit, baby.
Wife: My mother was right about you.
A discrete random variable works every time.
– Jason Offutt’s newest book, “Chasing American Monsters,” is available at amazon.com.