Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Marrying Kind? ...

Twice in one day.

Twice, yesterday, I was mistaken for the wife of the man I was with.

With the first, a friend, I was amused. It's happened before.

With the second, G, I was more surprised, though I should have been less surprised with G, and more surprised with the friend. But the friend and I have been friends for a long time, and there's a familiarity between us that my other friends comment on all the time.

But with G, given that we haven't been together that long, I was caught a bit more off guard.

We were at Home Depot, G and I, Home Depot on a Friday night. It's the essence of romance, isn't it?

He had come home from work to find me in the kitchen, chopping vegetables for soup. It was spectacularly disgusting in Chicago yesterday: rain mixed with snow, the city living up to its windy name. If ever there was a day for soup, yesterday was it. So I found a recipe on Epicurious.com and made a list and went to the grocery store around the corner and bought what we needed, then came home (or "back here" or "to G's place") and got the soup underway.

G, who worked at his office, not his client's site, yesterday, was home earlier than usual. So as I continued with the soup preparation, he asked when we would eat. I gave him the soup timeline.

"Because I was thinking of going to Home Depot, to try and execute the picture-hanging idea," he said.

"Go," I said. "This won't be ready for a while."

He gave me two options. "One, I can go alone, or two, I can wait until this is ready to be on the stove, and we can go togehter."

Noted. "OK, I'll go with you."

So we went. In the car on the way, I was uncharacteristically punchy. Almost everyting was funny. So when G's answer to a question (which eludes me at this moment) was "Abso-fucking-lutely," I almost died. It's not that it was the funniest thing I'd ever heard, but it was so out of character for him.

We must have spent at least 90 minutes at Home Depot, yet somehow, we only managed to buy a few things, though he did buy, aside from his picture-hanging supplies, a very nice new plant for his living room and a bulb-changing extension pole for me, since I've been meaning to get one. I had money on me, but as I've mentioned before, when I'm with him, my money is no good.

So we got in line, the only manned checkout line in the place. (There are many self-checkout areas at Home Depot; as a matter of principle, I am against self-checkouts. I'm already paying a ridiculous markup by buying retail, and now I'm expected to do all the work myself? No.) There were two customers ahead of us, the first of which was buying sheetrock and PVC and 2x4s and other supplies. I suspect he's roughing in a bathroom. Suffice it to say, it was taking a while for the cashier to tally his order. G and I waited, chatting, joking, trading the occasional glance.

Later, when we were about to leave, we had to pause at the security guy who checked our receipt.

I helped G with his beautiful leather jacket, which I had been carrying, and the security guy said something to G that I couldn't hear. I caught the tail end, which was, "You guys look good together."

"That was nice," I said as we walked outside.

"You didn't hear all of it," he said.

"Yeah? What'd I miss?"

"Well, he thinks we're married. He named you as my wife."

"We're married? Did I miss it? Why don't have I have a diamond on this hand?" I asked, holding up my left hand for him to see.

"Maybe I'm too cheap to buy you one," he said.

"Or maybe I'm making you save up to buy me the one I want."

His face registered that comment and returned a look of "Uh oh."

"Oh, now," I said. "Have you ever known me to be demanding?"

We headed toward the next stop, and he commented about the romance of going to Home Depot on a Friday night.

"I like doing everyday things with you," I said. He looked at me. "I'm being serious."

He kissed my hand.

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