I recently had a bout with the fever. Not a fever, mind you, but the fever. As usual, it started innocently enough. My wife had a long week at work, but this was Saturday. She doesn’t usually work on Fridays, but that and a relatively idle week for me probably caused the heat to rise a little earlier than expected. By Saturday morning, she was giving me all of the usual signs and then some. We had plans to go have dinner with friends and see a movie about an hour from home in the evening, so I expected to wrap this up early.
We had breakfast, did a few errands and some chores around the house. We hadn’t showered since we planned to do that at 2:00PM in order to leave by 3:00 for the 1 hour ride to our friends in Miami. At noon, I suggested we watch an episode of something on Netflix, leaving us an hour before it was time to get ready. In truth, I only needed 15 minutes to get ready, but I always leave an hour for my wife since she claims that it only takes her 15 minutes as well. To her credit, she has streamlined her 15 minutes to about 45. It was more like 75 when we married.
Now, prior to the TV show, it was like going to the airport on a Sunday morning when there are only a few cars on the road, all of the lights are green, and the school zones are dormant. My wife had cleared me for landing by presenting herself in the most overt way possible. She began by awakening next to me in a prone position, putting her arm around me and kissing me on the shoulder. While this may sound mundane to both of my female readers, I can assure you that the men will know what I mean when I relate that in rapid sequence, she removed her nightgown, put on a bra and panties, and wriggled into her housedress. I must add that along the way she bent down on at least two occasions to pick something up.
The first red flag was when the episode of The West Wing that we chose on Netflix, was part 1 of 2. I figured that we were intelligent enough to watch the first part and move on with our lives, catching the conclusion on Sunday. As I went to turn off the TV after the first episode I hear “What are you doing? We have to watch the second half. We have time.” Now, my wife is a superstar in nearly every respect. One minor deficiency is when she says “We have time.” We most assuredly do not. Also troubling is her need to immediately watch the second half of an episode that has patiently been waiting for us to get around to it since it originally aired in January of 2003. Adding to my incredulity is the fact that each episode is preceded by a 45-second recap that clearly states “Previously on the West Wing…”
At this point, I made a minor protest, but was shot down with the aforementioned “We have time.” Since I knew that we did not, I moved to Plan B. Of course, this is pure folly on my part, as there is no greater proof of the Bird in the Hand axiom than when applied to intimacy. Unfortunately, I am already beginning to feel the effects of the fever. We should be home by 11:00. Even with an early alarm for church, my wife should be able to spare me a few minutes before bedtime. And I have a Master’s Degree.
Here’s where I get confused. Due to some freak of biology, women appear to have some sort of pressure release valve, like the fail-safe on a hot water heater. Once we begin the “get ready” mode, all of her processors seem to reset, while she takes on new functions related to primping and accessorizing. Meanwhile, I continue to stew, watching her undress, shower and redress. I have my own pressure valves, but use them to deal with less important things, like rude waiters and missed anniversaries, things that drive my wife off the deep end.
As we head to our friends house, I continue to compliment her and to drop subtle hints like, “I’ll bet that top would look hot with nothing underneath” and “I emptied the dishwasher, yesterday.” I took a napkin from the glove compartment to mop my brow, be she looked as cool as well, a recently reset water heater. Our dinner goes well as does the movie and we return to our friend’s house for dessert and coffee. She asks for decaf, but I suggest regular based on our hour-long ride home. If you recall, I do have a Master’s Degree. At 10:00, she does that thing where she rubs her wrist where a watch would be, indicating it is time to go. I follow this with my usual “Oh, do you want to go, now?” She responds with the evil eye and says, “Oh, no, whenever you’re ready.” My fevered brain interprets this as a dance of seduction.
On the trip home, there is the usual amount of yawning, talk of having to get up early for church, and excitement regarding hitting her pillow. To me, it is the audio version of 50 Shades of Grey. Upon our arrival home, her undressing process takes considerably less time than did her preparation. Imagine Benny Hill on amphetamines. On top of that, she is wearing the least appealing of eveningwear, a large flannel ensemble with some sort of bells and Ho-Ho-Ho in large letters. My mind throws in one last gasp of a Mrs. Claus fantasy before coming to grips with the reality that I badly misplayed my hand.
After a night of tossing and turning, I awaken to my wife preparing for church. She gives me a sweet, “Good Morning”, with a smile as bright as the sun. I deftly dodge her kiss and harrumph into my pillow. Undaunted, she returns from church with bagels for me, but I am still in a snit. When she asks what’s wrong, I am happy to tell her about the fever. “Fever? Are you insane? What are you talking about?” I tell her about her giving me signs like a third base coach with the DTs. “Signs? What signs? I gave you no signs?” I try to explain about the pressure relief system. “Turned off? I don’t recall ever being turned on.”
Finally I realize the truth. She is embarrassed. She can’t admit to shamelessly leading me on. To do so would expose her for the temptress that she is, constantly taunting and casting her spell. The fever comes from her and not from me and she knows it. Yes, that’s the only rational explanation. I’m onto her game. Alas, this moment of clarity does me little good, for the next time I see her in the laundry room ironing her dress for work in her slip; I’ll still get the fever.
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