I made some joke about the sophisticated equipment it took to fix these fancy new fridges. “A Coke bottle,” I said.
“That’s not a Coke bottle,” he replied.
He was right. It didn’t say “Coke” on the label. “But this is the South. All the sodas are called ‘Coke,’ aren’t they?” I asked.
“Yes, but that’s not a Coke bottle. That’s a Dr Pepper bottle,” he said.
“Trust me,” I replied. “I’m a Texan. I know the difference between a Coke and a Dr Pepper.”
“I know you’re a Texan.” He grinned at me. “I read the paper.”
I forget sometimes that I live my family’s life in public.
This can be a good thing. I have friends I’ve never met. Y’all send me the sweetest, funniest emails. After I wrote about my 50th birthday, one of you dropped off a birthday card for me at the office.
But this can be a bad thing, too. The first time I got recognized was at the grocery store. I was humbled and flattered to think that I had a fan. And then I was filled with dread when I realized I could no longer run to the store in my pajama bottoms.
Last weekend, I started to worry the whole thing had gone too far after my husband went over the handlebars of his bike. He was participating in a charity ride for Alex Trippe, a little boy in Glencoe who has been diagnosed with brain cancer. My husband was about 30 miles into the ride when the front wheel of his bike sheared off, and he pitched onto the pavement at 20 mph.
As his cycling buddies saw him off in the ambulance, one of them said, “Oh, this is going to wind up in your wife’s column.”
I was horrified. My husband had just had an accident. He could have been seriously injured. I would never joke about that. Would I?
It turned out that my husband was extremely lucky. No concussion. Nothing broken. Only needed a few stitches.
And, well, people were counting on me to write about it.
I was quite proud of myself in the aftermath of the wreck; I reacted like a cyclist’s wife. When my husband called me from the ambulance, after determining that he was in no immediate danger, my second question was, “Do I need to go get the bike before I meet you in the ER?”
When I told my daughter about the wreck, her second question was, “Which bike was it?”
The bikes are members of the family, you see. They even live in the house with us, on a bike rack in the den.
Photos of my husband’s wrecked bike were making the rounds on Twitter while he was still in the ER.
The owner of Mellow Mushroom has asked if he can put my husband’s trashed front wheel on the wall of the restaurant.
My husband, who is no fool, has taken the opportunity to convince me that he really needs to upgrade to a more expensive bike.
He picked out one with a titanium frame, which won’t break as easily. Plus, he pointed out, the silver finish will go much more nicely with the furniture in the den.