On The Side: Brad Hicks

My fellow husbands:
Some time on Saturday, your bride is going to come through the door of the house holding something she found at one of the Red Oak city-wide garage sales.
You have several options in terms of your response.
May I suggest that the one you desire most – the one that involves you continuing to watch college football and muttering “that’s nice, Dear” is not a good response.
Oh, sure, she won’t like it that you aren’t excited about her purchase. That’s a given. No, the reason it’s not a good response is that you have just green-lighted her to continue with her evil scheme.
Yes, it takes years of marriage to root out these under-the-radar activities that wives execute on husbands. And the truth is, even your acceptable responses can get you into trouble.
“Why, honey. That’s beautiful!”
“Hey, we really needed one of those!”
“Where did you find that neat whatever-it-is?”
“Did you get a good deal?”
Sure, you madmen think those will make her feel good about bringing home the bounty. You think your positive responses will put her in a great mood. You actually believe that your affirmation of her new-found treasures might put an end to her collecting.
You are wrong.
Trust me. I know. Women have affirmed this to me.
You see, they do want your affirmation regarding their successful hunts. Everyone wants affirmation. But what they are doing is measuring you. Because that item she is showing you is, most likely, just the tip of the iceberg.
Oh, I know there are women who can stop at one purchase or one item. My wife basically is a reformed garage-saler. When our kids were young and we’d drive through a town, one or the other would yell at her not to look if they saw a garage sale sign. Oh, she still likes to shop them, but she’s much pickier. She still can’t pass up a deal, but she is more into what she needs.
All that paragraph really means is that while I am going to give the following advice, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to have to follow it.
That advice?
Check the trunk.
You see, while she is showing you her new toy, jewelry, kitchenware, ceramic toad, or whatever-it-is, she’s measuring you. Are you going to ask if there’s more? Of course you won’t. Are you going to ask if she got you something? Of course you won’t. And here’s what will happen next.
A couple of days later, you will be walking through the living room and there will be a photo in a new picture frame or a new-to-you centerpiece on a table.
“Where did that come from?” you ask in poorly-structured English.
“It’s just something I picked up,” she says.
A week later, you will notice a new-to-you spatula, reading light, towel, rug, or whatever-else-it-is.
“From where did that come?” you ask in proper English.
“It’s just something I picked up,” she says.
And yes, it is something she picked up – at the same garage sale or garage sale day she scored that original trinket. She’s just leaking the pieces out of the trunk, one at a time, to avoid you giving her a hard time about her hunting trip.
Oh, you wives who are in denial of these words, don’t come in here making accusations of me. I know better.
I wrote about this in another community once. Yes, there were women upset with me. It wasn’t that I accused them of these sneaky activities – they were upset because I had exposed their plots.
Husbands, check the trunk!
Better yet, fill it with cement blocks ahead of time. The back seat is big enough – and visible.

Brad Hicks is the editor and publisher of the Red Oak Express. Contact him at publisher@redoakexpress.com.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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