One of the tiresome things about Facebook (and there are many tiresome things about Facebook) is the overuse of superlatives. “Joe bought me flowers! He’s the Best Husband Ever!” “Julie made the honor roll! She’s the Greatest Daughter Ever!” And so on.
Words have meaning. There can only be one “best” something or “greatest” something. You can’t just throw those words around. Not even the Grand Canyon calls itself the Grandest Canyon, even though it probably is.
So please — keep things in perspective. I’m sure your parent, spouse, child, cousin, friend, whatever is great. But greatest? You better be able to back that up with charts, graphs and other evidence.
And definitely don’t tell me you’ve got the greatest wife on Earth. Because I do. And yes, I can prove it.
First, she married me. That alone earns her 6 million sympathy points. Second, she’s stayed with me 25 years. My own parents kicked me out after 18 years and they brought me into this world. In four years of college I had 5 roommates.
But that’s not all.
A couple of months back we got an invitation to the Center for Autism Education’s first Holiday Gala. I had never been to a gala nor had I any desire to attend one. I assume galas are places where one dresses up and there’s food and drinks and lots of schmoozing and someone takes your photo standing with three other people and they put it in magazines with names like Town & Home St. Louis Style Fashion Magazine. I don’t read those magazines. I’m not good at schmoozing. I do like food and drinks.
I checked out the program: 6 p.m. cocktails, silent auction; 7 p.m. dinner; 7:30 program and live auction; 8:30 p.m. entertainment. About what I figured. Cost: $125.
Right. The other reason I don’t attend galas.
Laurie gets home and looks at the invitation and quickly contacts the center to tell them she’s available to help set up tables for the event or wait tables or whatever service it is they need her to do. Because that’s the way she is. There isn’t a single event that takes place at the CAE that she isn’t there, working.
Time passes and, strangely, no one takes her up on the offer. A week before the gala the director calls to see if we’re coming to the gala.
“I’ve offered to help out but no one’s got back to me,” The Wife says.
“Oh. Well, we’d appreciate the help but we really want you to be there as our guest. We’re giving you an award as Volunteer of the Year.”
Volunteer of the Year? Which year? They might as well just name the award after her.
Now at this point you’re probably thinking, “Ronnie, where’s your award?” Good question. It’s not like I haven’t done my part. Who do you think stays home with Andrew so Laurie can go wrap hot dogs in foil at the golf tournament? And don’t think I haven’t personally suffered for her good works. We would have crushed Team Spaulding every year at Trivia Night if only Laurie would have been on our team instead of walking around the hall selling raffle tickets.
But for a change we won’t make this all about me.
The day of the gala arrives and Laurie takes a vacation day so that she can arrive at the country club at 9:30 a.m. to help set up tables for the event. Andrew and I got home at 3:30 and she still wasn’t home. She arrived shortly thereafter and confirmed that she had indeed spent most of the day putting corks in vases and cranberries in water and other things one learns on pinterest to make tables look festive.
“Well, at least we’re not paying for our tickets,” I says.
“Oh, I gave them a donation to cover our tickets,” she says.
We arrive at the Old Hickory Golf Club around 6:30. We register and get our auction cards and Laurie is schmoozing before we get though the main doors. I go look at the auction items. Nice stuff but nothing comic book or dinosaur related, so I head over to the open bar. There’s a nice spread of cheese, fruit and crackers that I avail myself of while Laurie continues to schmooze. There’s a duo in the corner performing music but you can hardly hear them over the din of the crowd.
Dinner begins with a salad and rolls followed by steak, green beans and sweet potatoes. I’m not a big steak eater, especially pink steak. I’m not big on eating anything pink except Laffy Taffy. I ate what I could, which was fine, and wished I had grabbed a piece of pizza before leaving home.
The director then gave a nice speech and slide-show about the CAE which ended with a call for donations which Laurie answered. She also wound up winning a wine-tasting party for 12 during the silent auction. Good luck finding 11 friends who will drink wine with you, I says.
They then give an award to Darryl and Tracy Strawberry for all their hard work supporting the CAE. I’m told Darryl Strawberry is a famous baseball player but to me he’ll always be that guy in “The Simpsons” episode where Mr. Burns hires a bunch of professional baseball players to beat the Shelbyville team.
Man, remember when “The Simpsons” was good?
The official program is now over. I get some coffee to go with my chocolate cake and Laurie does some more schmoozing. I take a good look at her plaque.
Laura Roy Volunteer
Of The Year Award
Why is her name on there twice? Is that a typo? Wait, did they actually name the award after her?
And that is why, no matter how great your wife may be, she can only reach as high as No. 2.