By DAVID GREEN
Let me introduce you to my other wife. Her name might be Lynn or Linda or Lucinda, or perhaps Chris or Kay or Cindy, etc. We’ll stop there. No use in pushing the issue any further.
My real wife, Colleen, often mentions my other wife. I’ll say something along the lines of, “Remember when we visited so-and-so?” and she’ll have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.
“That must have been with your other wife,” she’ll respond.
Here’s a recent example. We were driving south through Indiana and I suppose we passed an exit sign for Bloomington.
“Remember when we visited John in Bloomington?” I ask.
“That must have been with your other wife,” she answered.
I thought long and hard about that one. Of course I’ve actually had no other wife and I didn’t see how she could have forgotten that trip. It was lots of fun. It’s a great city. She loved it.
The trip was made shortly after college graduation. John Robertson was working in Bloomington for a couple of years and we went for a visit.
There was good food in Bloomington—of utmost importance to a traveling Colleen—and some interesting places to visit. The huge expanses of forest were impressive. The rock quarries were spectacular. Didn’t the stone for the Empire State Building come from the Bloomington area?
Wait a minute. Did I say shortly after graduation from college? That means the visit to Bloomington happened a good five or six years before I even met Colleen.
But I don’t think any of my other “wives” were there, either. I think I drove alone. And Colleen only talked a lot about going to Bloomington because she wanted to taste first hand (first tongued) the poppyseed cake John gave us as part of a wedding gift. It’s made by a Bloomington bakery.
The most frequent mention of my other wife comes from imagined conversations. Colleen will tell me some news from around town and I’ll say, “Yeah, we talked about that yesterday.” Or I’ll grow a little annoyed that she was just tuning me out when I talked about such-and-such and she’ll claim that I never told her anything about it.
Perhaps I was talking about it with my other wife, Kim Ekins. If you spend several hours a day with someone at work and you’re both sitting at desks in the same room, you tend to talk about this and that. And a few days later when the topic comes up at home, you know you’ve already discussed it.
In a related matter, I remember sitting in the car in our driveway one day many years ago. We were buckling up ready to depart for somewhere and the song “Cherish” by the Association came on the radio. I stupidly said, in reference to my high school girlfriend, “That’s Cindy Dickens’s favorite song.”
“What’s my favorite song?” Colleen asked.
Happy Birthday? Mary Had a Little Lamb?
She had me there. I really didn’t know. Those darn other wives. They should just clear out of my head.
I heard today about a Morenci native who is trying to write a book about her former relationships. She has plenty of material, I was assured, and she could probably write an entertaining tale. And her husband doesn’t mind.
I would never head down that road. It’s bad enough with the occasional blunder. Take the leg scar incident, for example.
It was probably one of those 3:33 a.m. moments. Colleen had finally come to bed and either awakened me or I was already awake and now had more of a reason to be awake. If I give a good back massage, it often puts me back to sleep.
I was rubbing and mentioned something about the scar on her leg from the motorcycle. I must have been half asleep. Colleen has never been on a motorcycle, but I know I’m not making this up. Someone, one of my other wives, was once burned by a motorcycle exhaust pipe. If you’re reading this, let me know. I’d like to clear this one up.
Knowing that I was going to write this column, I tried to think of some “other wife” incidents, something along the lines of “Remember when we...?”
The ending of the Doors song “Wild Child” popped to my mind. I said out loud, “Remember when we were in Africa?”
“That’s not your other wife,” Colleen answered. “That’s your other life.”