shameSo many insidious sitcoms and romantic comedies are based on the put-upon, far-too-hot-for-him wife and the bumbling/goofy/fat/incapable-of-communicating husband. As an hombre, I find this stereotype funny, reasonably accurate and at the same time far too formulaic. But then, how else can you keep someone amused for 23 minutes, if not by pointing out how inept the man is and how the woman is but one salvation away from saint status?

So I sat back and watched with a smug laugh as Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) threaded the line between being “adorable” and “a horses ass” in the eyes of his wife. I thought Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) played the lovable relationship ignoramus very well as he learned to deal with a woman he impregnated after a one night stand. But these buffoon-like caricatures were merely an exaggeration of the notion of the clueless male, right?

Turns out once again, truth can be more idiotic than fiction. I am living proof of this. I wanted to write the tale down, so that as it gets embellished over the years, I’ll have something to point at as a way of keeping the story from growing too fantastic. It went down like this: if you’ve been reading these posts at all, you know that recently I became a member of the local Cross Fit Gym here in Springfield. I did this for several reasons, but primarily to keep from achieving a weight that is greater than the scale is able to produce. I’d like to be around for the kids, too. The Wife is joining the same gym this Saturday and is harboring great fear as to what the trainers are going to make her endure, and with good reason. Those trainers are sadistic health enthusiasts with a drive bordering on zealotry, and a knack for producing results. So, as I limp home from each session, I report to The Wife, giving her the details of the torture while moaning all the while. She’s flat out terrified, a fact I don’t help by pointing out to her that the gym is filled with like-minded youth, getting all fit and looking far too good.

I was excited to tell her yesterday, then, that I’d met a very nice lady working out there, around our age, who was interested in getting a new hair stylist. I piped up that my wife, soon to join this entourage of pain, is a stylist always happy to meet a new client. The Wife was pleased with this effort. And it was only in the summation of the story that I committed the ultimate faux-pas and made a statement that will follow me to my grave. When asked about this new acquaintance, I gave a brief description and ended it with….“she’s very attractive, an attractive older person”. TO BE CLEAR – I MEANT THIS IN TERMS OF THE NORMAL “YOUNGER SET” THAT IS AT THE GYM. When quizzed as to just how old this older person was, I said…..

“oh, you know, late thirties, maybe forty.”

This was not my finest hour.

The veritable shit-storm that followed, both in the house and online (thanks, Facebook status update followers! Glad to know just what an idiot I am!), has only served to further diminish whatever dignity I once held. There is no backpedaling from this one. There is no excuse. There is only one option, and that is to go down with the ship, which is not a problem for me, since I seem to step in it more and more these days. I’d like to think that our lives are reasonably more intricate and complex than a sitcom could successfully portray, but I’d just be wrong about that, too. And, unfortunately for her, it seems I never learn.