“You put it right on the counter, Larry. I moved it.”
“Moved it where?”
Linda let out an exasperated sigh. “I don’t know. But if you hadn’t put it on the counter, while was trying to make dinner, then I wouldn’t have had to move it.”
“So you moved my paper, but you don’t know where you put it?”
“That’s right. I’m not your paper keeper.”
“Well, sure ya are! That’s what wives are for.”
Linda turned away from the boiling pot of water, her color rising from the heat of the stove and the anger bubbling within her. She pointed her finger at him and placed her other hand on her hip. “Now is not a good time to mess with me, Larry! Contrary to popular belief, wives are not slaves designed to pick up and tidy after their husbands! They have other more important matters than keeping track of the stuff that husband’s lay around. If you left something on my counter and I moved it and now I don’t know where it is, then you deserve to have it lost!”
“ ‘Your counter’? I’m the one that works. Didn’t I pay for this counter?” Pushing the buttons just a little harder, Larry’s eyes twinkled with mischief, but his wife didn’t seem to notice.
“ ‘The only one that works’!” Linda quoted. “You know, you’re right. I just sit on the couch all day and eat bon-bons and watch soap operas. I never do the laundry, I never cook this family any meals, and I hardly ever clean ‘your’ house. What was I thinking?! Larry, dear, sit down on this chair. You must be simply exhausted from not having to keep three children out trouble all day. Here, you rest while I fetch your slippers and coffee. Would you like the paper, too? Oh, wait, I seemed to have misplaced it. Shame on me.” Her voice was as thick with sarcasm.
Larry knew he had gone far enough; perhaps even a little too far. Grinning sheepishly, he held up his hands in a gesture of defeat. “It’s no big deal, honey. I’m just teasing you, ya know.”
Turning back to the stove with a huff, Linda refused to acknowledge him any further.
Larry walked around the kitchen counter and placed a kiss on Linda’s ear. Still, she didn’t respond. “I love you, Linda. I’m just a big tease and can’t help myself. Don’t take it so personal.” He began to massage her shoulders. “Just relax.”
Linda closed her eyes and allowed some of the tension within her, to dissipate. But she still wasn’t ready to give up. “Women don’t like it when men tell them to relax.”
“I’ll try to remember that.” Larry removed at Hershey’s milk chocolate bar from his pocket. “Here, have some chocolate. Do women like to hear that?”
“Mmmm. They sure do!”
“So we’re good now?”
“Yep, all’s well, now.”
“Good.” Larry winked at the little freckled faced girl watching the whole exchange from the dining room.
“Wow, Grandpa!” she squealed in amazement. “You was right! Got her mad and calmed her down in five minutes flat. Can you teach me to do that?”