Friday, April 13, 2012

Stereo but no Tom Petty!

Saturday morning, I woke up excited.  I have saved enough “pinch money” to buy my husband a gift.  (My Hubs is awful about leaving money in his clothes or lying on the floor.  It is nothing for me to pull something out of the dryer to find a $20 nicely washed and dried.  So I “pinch” it and hide it away to use when we are in a “Pinch”.)  The son is the same way, I made more off them doing laundry than Birthdays, Mother’s day, Anniversary and Christmas combined.  That might be a slight overstatement.  Okaaay the time I found the $50 bill in the dryer I returned it.  But $20 and under was mine.  After I reach a set amount of “pinch” money I permit myself the luxury of doing something I want to do…whether it’s nail polish, lipstick, hair cut or a gift for someone.  But I try to keep that reserve for those days we are in a pinch.

The old Stereo
His little commuter car has a schizophrenic stereo.  Some days it plays fine.  Some days it plays LOUD and you can’t turn down the volume. Some days it picks a station and refuses to budge. Some days I will play cd’s that I want to listen to.  But it always refuses to play that horrid Tom Petty cd that my husband has played over and over.  That makes me laugh.  But alas, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth last Thursday, when the stereo refused to power on.  This was a crisis you see, because the Cardinals were playing.  In our home, all activities cease, all conversation related to anything other than Cardinals must stop…unless it concerns blood, severe pain or a broken body part.  He will assess to see if the emergency can be put off until the end of the game.  J

He has complained about the stereo for 6 months or more. So I decided to replace it as his Father’s Day gift.  He was so pitiful to miss the call of David Freeze sliding into second base that I decided to surprise him on Friday. I was going to wrap it splendidly and take him to dinner to give it to him.   (Beautiful gift wrap and gorgeous bows can make gift wrapped socks a festive occasion!)  Unfortunately, I did not clear my schedule with my gut.  My …ahem bowels decided that on Friday it would contract a virus that would make me tremble in angst over being more than 6 feet from the St. John.  (My mother thought it was sacrilegious to name the porcelain throne…St. John.  But I find that when I need one in a serious hurry, I have no problem blessing the darned thing, so St. John it is.)  So I put the occasion off until Saturday.

Saturday was a much better day for me, but Mr. Rosey decided he wanted to go shopping with me.    So I set aside my expectations on how this would go and allowed him to accompany me.  As I gave him partial directions, he began to grin.  It wasn’t far before he figured it out and assured me he knew how to get to Best Buy.

Upon arriving, he was approached by a very rude and snotty clerk, who set my husband’s anger on its edge.   Rather than politely tell us that he was booked up and could not install our purchase that same day, he had been quite abrupt and claimed he REFUSED to install our stereo purchase.  Before the conversation was over, my mate could have frothed at the mouth.  I still showed him the stereo that I had researched and chosen for him.  He was thrilled with my choice.  But he was still ranting about the rude clerk, totally disregarding that I was getting him a stereo.

Apparently I had enough because he stopped his ranting, looked at me and asked “what?”  I assured him I had said nothing.  He nodded but answered, “Yeah but you are giving me the Shepherd Hairy eyeball.”  To understand that phrase, it helps if you knew my father.  He had an accusing glare that if directed at you, had you confessing to sins and misadventures that you had forgotten.  His eyeball had a way of jumping out at you, grabbing you by the shoulders and shaking some sense into your fool head.  My father had that way about him.  At his “Going Home” services, his former pastor would explain it as this…”Ivan Shepherd had a look and a way about him.  He would tell me I was wrong, and how he came to the conclusion of how wrong I was and I would wind up agreeing.  And thanking him for pointing it out for me.”

So …I had the good fortunate of inheriting this amusing little trait as well.  It came in handy while raising a child or teaching a Sunday School class.  You do have use to it with caution, as overuse will cause a drastic drop in your likeability.  It comes in quite handy when dealing with rude hellions that other people raise.  In a restaurant, or store, I can shoot the "hairy eyeball" and the child in question scurries for momma claiming "That woman is mean!"  The parent glances at me and tells the child, "that's not nice, she didn't say a word to you."  Which is true.  It's also equally true, when the child complains "She looked at me mean."  Most parents roll their eyes and shush the child claiming that was not possible.  And I smother my chuckle because this momma has never met my hairy eyeball.  No one else in my family has mastered the gift of the Hairy Eyeball. (Although watching my husband attempt it is guaranteed to send me into fits of hysterical laughter until I have to run to …you guessed it – St. John.  The best he can do is the “stink eye” which is a much lower grade of the Hairy Eyeball.)

So apparently, (coming back around to Saturday) it also works on husbands.

I admitted to him that I had been standing there, thinking that I should have stuck to my first plan.  Buying it in secret and giving it to him over dinner instead of letting him come with me.  That way, he would have got his stereo but would also know right at the start that he would have to schedule an appointment for installation.

He visibly altered his attitude and said, “I’m sorry hon.  I just sucked all your joy out of giving me this gift, didn’t I?”  I agreed with him that he had indeed taken my joy, and turned it into something more like paying a bill.  It was getting done, but it wasn’t fun anymore.  He sincerely apologized. We started over as I showed him, his new stereo with the MP3 player jack and all the other doodads and whoseywazits, it came with.  He then began to exhibit the appropriate excitement over getting a gift of such magnificent proportion.  I love it that after thirty two and a HALF years, he is still teachable.  lol

New stereo all installed!

However, he is not aware that I have made a special arrangement with the new stereo.  It too has agreed to never ever play that horrid Tom Petty cd!


  1. I love this! I wish I had the 'hairy eyeball' I don't think I could keep a straight face though:)

  2. Very nice writing! Love the story. Love the thought that we are always teachable. On a side note, if you ever need a new one installed, let me know, I would be more than willing to assist.

  3. Love this, even though there was great admiration for the Cardinals blatantly exhibited (GO CUBS!). Funny as always!. Can I get eyeball lessons from you to use with my 3 yo?