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My husband has gone bonkers. Now, don’t sit there shaking your head at me, you know I don’t mean this in the literal sense. We’ve been married nearly 25 years, so it stands to reason he lost his mind a long time ago. At the moment his craziness has to do with the Internet and anything he perceives to be a bargain.
I was mildly amused when he would spend hours on Facebook feeding his imaginary fish. I still had a smile on my face when he mentioned how excited he was to discover he could have more than one imaginary tank and that he could teach his fish to do tricks. Isn’t that precious?
I didn’t blink when he announced he had over ten million farm bucks on Farm Town, or that he had reached a level where he could have other people harvest and plow for him. For some reason just hearing he had over ten million bucks, even if they aren’t real, made me feel I had bragging rights.
By the time he’d gotten to the fake pet stage, I wasn’t nearly as amused, but I was still fairly tolerant. I mean really, it could be worse; he could be gambling or watching porn. I felt like his preoccupation with all things virtual and Internet-related was pretty harmless.
That is, until he somehow stumbled upon a site called Overstock dot com. Overstock does not provide fake fish, furry playmates, or even flashy farms – although now that I’ve said that it’s probably possible to purchase any of those things from them.
What they apparently do is purchase all the things other companies can’t unload and then convince people like my husband that he is getting the deal of a lifetime. If he only got one deal in his lifetime, I might still be smiling. Unfortunately, he appears to have a penchant for thinking he needs at least a deal in a lifetime once a week.
In the beginning he was like a proud schoolchild bringing home his prize. When I questioned why we had 100 pounds of wild bird seed in the closet, he nearly crowed (I hoped he hadn’t been eating it) he was so thrilled with the deal he’d gotten. We live in a small house, so finding a place to stash 100 pounds of bird seed is no small feat (or perhaps in this case, tweet). The alternative wouldn’t have been what I call eco-friendly, because I figure we would have obese birds flapping their wings like crazy without ever being able to take flight. While the neighborhood cats might have loved us, I’m pretty sure this would be considered a no-no in most circles.
If only it had stopped there. Before long, I had Chinese vases showing up. When I mentioned that they matched absolutely nothing in our décor, he just as quickly assured me that someday I would be thankful because they would be worth a lot of money. I didn’t have the heart to argue with him. I just hoped someday we wouldn’t find out they were painted with lead – you know when they are carrying us out on stretchers after we’ve inhaled the toxic fumes for too long.
Suddenly, this past winter, he decided we needed flannel sheets and a copious quantity of bath sheets. There are only two of us. I’m not quite sure if he’s thinking of starting a motel or a commune, but if the number of items he’s ordered is any indication, I’ll have my work cut out for me either way.
Ever since I had breast cancer, I’ve been a fan of bath sheets. I like something that makes me feel small and swaddled – and believe me – that’s not easy to find. So I could put up with the fact that most of the bath sheets he ordered came in hideous hues that bore no possible resemblance to the color scheme of our bathroom. In fact, I’m not sure if there is a bathroom on this planet where these colors would look good – but who am I to judge?
The flannel sheets were the last straw. As is my custom, I washed them before putting them on the bed. My lint trap was filled with enough brown fluffy stuff for me to knit someone a sweater. As is also my custom, I made sure to mention this to my hubby. I tried my best not to sound too condescending or bitchy when I yelled from the garage it looks like a bear died in our dryer. He reassured me the worst was probably over and commended me on being smart enough to pre-wash new bedding. Again, isn’t he precious?
To say I was a bit apprehensive about putting said sheets on our bed is an understatement. I did everything possible to avoid doing so, short of moving to an unknown location and changing my name to Smith. Finally, I could avoid it no longer. My husband kept saying when are you going to put those great new flannel sheets on the bed? They are so thick and luxurious; I just know once you’ve slept on them you’ll love them. As I’m sure you can tell by now, he is ever the optimist!
So I finally put them on the bed and that evening settled in for a good night’s sleep. Admittedly, they were very soft, so it wasn’t long before I drifted off into the land of nod.
I get up a couple of hours before my husband so I can put the coffee on, take the dog for a walk, read the paper – and on the morning after trying the new sheets – run screaming from the mirror. When my sleepy eyes made contact with said mirror, there was a brown, fuzzy creature staring back. It took me a moment to gather my wits (or perhaps in this case, my fuzz) and realize it wasn’t Punxsutawney Phil. I was covered from head to toe with bits of brown flannel. The only solace I had in that moment was the realization that when Bob woke up, he too would think something akin to Big Foot had invaded our bathroom. There was actually so much brown fuzz on us, the sheets were nearly threadbare.
I’m hoping this has taught him a lesson. He’s certainly been on his best behavior for the past few weeks. Nary a box or bundle has arrived with the offending Overstock dot com packaging, so my hopes are high. Let’s just say if you hear I’ve changed my name to Smith and moved to some unknown destination (or you happen to see me wandering around covered in lint), you’ll know I was mistaken.