You know youíve been married for a long time when your husband thinks giving you your very own shredder is akin to presenting a big, beautiful bouquet of red roses. I donít care if identity theft and government surveillance are now commonplace in our nation, and personal privacy is the very last bastion of freedom we are all now scurrying to protect. Shredders are just not romantic.
A box addressed to my partner for life appeared on the porch a couple of weeks ago, so I brought it in. I pondered its tall size and medium weight, wondering what was inside, but left it on the bench by the front door for him to see. Just the thought of wrestling with packaging makes my fingers spasm.
When several days passed by and its recipient kept walking right past it, I carried the mysterious package to the kitchen island. Surely, even the slightest trace of eye-level scanning would catch sight of the now ugly brown pillar. To my great pleasure, the package eventually disappeared, that is until I stumbled over it when walking into my study a couple of days later.
On Sunday, my darling man said the obstacle I had been circling was a gift for me.
ďI got you the shredder you wanted. Remember?Ē he implored.
I stared at his generous, gleeful smile and anxious brow. With no acknowledgement nor recollection returned, his brow began to furrow.
ďRemember? You asked me for one because you didnít want to go down to the basement to use mine? You said you wanted one upstairs.Ē
Like all the other times when my other half says I said something I donít remember having said, I strained to entertain the idea he might be correct. This is when I place myself as an actor in a short indy film and direct various scenarios where I may have, possibly could have, or actually did say something of the sort. I suppose I vaguely remembered placing a paid bill or a credit card offering on his desk, advising him and or asking him to either file it or throw it away as need be. Did one of these pieces of paper came back to my desk with the directive, SHRED, written on top? Maybe. Did I say the shredder located down in his man cave was too far away? Possibly. Did I say I wanted one of my own? Highly doubtful.
Yes, indeed, a new hum had begun emanating from the deep dark caverns of our basement earlier in the year. Because it didnít happen regularly like the water pump, the water heater nor the dog moving around in his kennel, I would be surprised each time I heard it. The sound was similar to the on and off again drone my sonís toy remote control cars used to make. Once I became cognizant of it occurring only on Sundays when my husband disappeared, I ventured downstairs to have a look. There I found him gleefully feeding papers into a shiny, new shredder; slicing, obliterating and destroying each page as if every last molecule of testosterone depended upon it.
Kidding aside, the fact is I am proud my husband is taking this protective precaution. A couple of years prior, our credit card number was stolen from either a gas station off I-84 or a store in NYC where I had made purchases. It was used by someone to buy something for $6,034 in Hamburg, Germany. We have disputed numerous other credit card charges, many to online shopping sites we donít recognize on our bill, and have had to cancel the card several times over.
They say records need to be shredded every seven years, so with 24 years of this particular document-accumulating union, I suppose the job now requires two machines. However, if Iím going to get into the act, and confess to a hormone-depleted memory, will he confess to damaged eardrums from all the drum pounding and guitar-screaming rock and roll concerts he has attended? Surely thatís the problem in this and every situation when your spouse canít hear what you canít remember saying.
Flowers and romance aside, that alone is a good indication itís time to begin shredding, I mean spicing, things up.