I hate making excuses. It’s the worst part about having to pull out of an engagement. Especially when your excuse is…well…a little shite.
“I don’t think we can go tonight,” I said to my wife when she arrived home from the shops. I told her about the pain I was in and how it came about. A younger me might have expected sympathy, but we’ve been married a long time so her laughter wasn’t unexpected.
“I’ll give them a call,” she said.
“Wait up,” I said. “We have to work out what to say.”
Our Saturday night was supposed to be great. We were meeting a group of friends for a curry night. I was doing Beef Massaman and had two bottles of home brew to wash it down with. Did I say it was going to be a great night? I meant it was going to be fantastic!
Instead, my Saturday night saw me strung out on painkillers: my beer and curry night ruined because I’d selflessly spent the day pouring concrete for Tracey’s shed/studio.
I suspect a sainthood is not out of the question.
I knew this was going to be a big job so I asked my mate, Rob, to bring a friend to help him. My plan was to have this ring-in do all the manual labour I would have had to do if it’d just been the two of us.
And it worked well.
For the most part I got to walk around behind them, sipping coffee, organizing hamburgers for lunch and asking dumb questions.
And fetching the occasional tool, which was where I came to grief.
“Bruce, can you bring me the tape measure?” Rob asked.
I was just telling him how tape measures are my thing when disaster struck.
Which was why, two cement trucks and eight hours later, Tracey was having to call up and make excuses for us not making it for dinner.
“Bruce wants me to tell you he’s exhausted after pouring nine cubic meters of slab,” Tracey told them – exactly as we’d rehearsed. Totally true, and she should have left it there. Right? Yeah, but where’s the fun in that?
“But the truth is,” she added, chuckling, “he tripped on a garden hose and did his knee and back.”
Which begs the question – why would I go out to a friend’s place for dinner when my wife can give me curry at home?
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”