This week, Toronto businessman and philanthropist Pierre Lassonde brought in special musical guest Sting to serenade his wife for her 45th birthday, thus raising the bar of spousal expectation to impossible levels. Not all husbands are happy about it.
Hey Rich Guy,
Bet it was real hard throwing money at your wife’s birthday like that. Did you pull a muscle writing that cheque? Well, guess what? It’s still possible to make a woman feel special, even if you don’t have bags o’ money to spend. All it requires is a little something called imagination. Here’s how it’s done:
Honey, your birthday begins at the subway station, where you are chauffeured home by none other than me, your husband. You ride, queen-like, in your chariot, a Toyota minivan whose floor is covered in Cheddar Bunnies, crushed Smarties, and soiled wet naps. Alas, there is no parking, and I gently whisper, “Why don’t you head in with the kids and I’ll park.”
I take an unusually long time to get back. You imagine me lingering in the cool evening air, warmed by the love in my breast, but I am on my cell phone. Inside, the children are fighting. Our daughter’s pigtails dance adorably to the rhythm of her heaving sobs.
I cut a dashing figure as I walk in. I loosen my belt and yawn. You luxuriate on a kitchen stool, sipping a beer as you absently mouth the theme song to Dora the Explorer while I prepare a feast fit for a princess. “I was going to make your favourite,” I utter sweetly without making eye contact. You swoon, imagining what gourmet surprise I have in store. Is it scallop crudo in a Jerusalem-artichoke cream drizzled with hemp oil? Or magret de canard in an autumn-olive-berry jus?
“I figured I ought to make something the kids will eat, too,” I announce in a voice gentler than dewdrops. Hot dogs with oven-ready French fries and sliced cucumber. The wieners, they have boiled too long. The skin has split, revealing a meaty engorgement suggestive of the carnal pleasures to come. The children wonder, “Don’t you want ketchup, mummy?” You kiss their foreheads and open another beer.
In the dishwasher, plates stand like toy soldiers in their rows, the upright forks like little hands, reaching up hugs. You close the door and press the button and wait for the warm gurgle of the sump pump. It does not come. The dishwasher is broken. Again. You wash the dishes by hand, baptizing plates in the soapy, greasy water. They come out clean and new.
After 45 minutes of Fancy Nancy, the children at last fall asleep. Curled awkwardly in a racing-car toddler bed, you join them in slumber. When you awake, the kink in your neck is so severe you walk with a slight limp. Downstairs, your love awaits. Your sweet, sweet, everlasting love.
I am nestled on the love seat, watching TV. A romantic comedy? An iPhoto slide show of our favourite moments as a couple? Joyfully, I turn to you and utter the words you have been waiting all day to hear: “Phil Kessel is on fire. And The Monster is ten minutes away from the shutty.”
Later, upstairs, you slip into a negligee. Moonlight touches your skin. The HVAC exhales sultry air, as though trying to undress you with its hot breath. You approach the bed and behold your love. My eyes are closed. The scent of hot dog and beer swirls in the bedroom air. I am asleep. You crawl in next to me and listen to the see-saw rhythm of my snores. You fall asleep and dream of love.
Special to The Globe and Mail