Before the Mrs. and I got married, we did the honorable thing and lived in sin for a while. I highly recommend it. But this isn’t a post about that, this is a post about this:
Men aren’t big on decorating. I never was. My old condo had white walls in every room, Berber carpet, and black furniture. Oh, the dining room was oak. One thing noticeably absent (I know this because people came in and said I notice that absent is . . .) from my condo was wall art (no pictures or paintings) and knickknacks (you know, little things that sit on your end tables). All that was on my furniture was lamps, coasters, and the occasional glass. My condo was, to use the phrase of a friend, very Spartan.
Then the soon-to-be Mrs. moves in. Suddenly, my natural habitat was disturbed. I now had on my furniture many knickknacks, such as various framed pictures of people I didn’t know, a basket for remote controls (I stored them in seat cushions), and various ceramic/glass/porcelain things strewn about the house in a seemingly random (though entirely purposeful) fashion. Also, I had wall art: pictures of flowers, more pictures of people I didn’t know, and a painting of this solemn looking boy staring out into the sea. And candles. Lots of candles. Single men don’t have candles, they like to use Mag-Lites and other gizmos when the power goes out. The candles were scented too.
Then the painting started. We spent an entire month painting every room in the condo but one, which we left white. It was my toy room/office. The wife said the white walls made it look like a hotel room. At the time, I was working in public accounting and traveled a lot. So, I found the hotel room look familiar and comfortable.
After the placement of various knickknacks around what was formerly my bachelor pad, me and the soon-to-be Mrs. were watching television. It was winter. I was laying on my black leather couch and the Mrs. was on the matching love seat. I started getting hot. So, I shifted my blanket a bit. Then I was still getting hot, particularly my feet were really warm. I shifted my feet again.
That did the trick, I was comfortable. A minute or two passes and my feet feel as though they are on fire. I re-situated my feet again and all of a sudden from under the blanket erupts a giant fireball. I, understandably shocked that a fireball had just come from my blanket and having watched one too many Discovery Channel specials on spontaneous human combustion, was a bit alarmed. I leapt to my feet (bad move, my socks were on fire), grabbed the blanket and threw it on the floor. Then I jumped up and down like a mad man on the blanket in an effort to extinguish the fire on the blanket and my feet. I then grabbed the blanket, used it to extinguish my feet, and rolled it up with the fire in the middle. The fire was out. By the way, I doubt stop, drop and roll works on feet.
You would think that the love of your life would notice that her soon-to-be husband was on fire. No, she intently watched Friends while I was trying to put myself out. Then I started cussing. She, concerned now, asks What’s wrong?.
I was shocked. She missed the fireball, missed me extinguishing myself, and missed the smell that burning blankets make because she was watching some tired, old repeated joke on Friends.
I instruct her (and by instruct mean yell loudly) that I was on fire. I show her my socks (which are burnt black), I show her the blanket (which was burnt black), and I showed her the armrest of the leather couch which was singed in such a way that the mark looked remarkably like a Christmas tree. Then, she starts laughing hysterically.
You’re probably wondering how my feet caught fire. Actually, you’re also probably wondering why my feet exploded into a fireball. It puzzled me too so I put on my arson investigator’s hat and determined that:
I was laying under a blanket that had little, frilly threads on the end. One of the newly acquired candles mentioned above (an item only recently introduced into the SayUncle habitat) was on the end table by my feet. I had apparently re-arranged my feet and, while shifting, the candle ignited the frilly threads. Then when I noticed my feet were a bit warm, I rearranged in such a fashion to place the end of the blanket under my feet where it smoldered for a bit, burnt my couch, and ignited my socks. When the heat was unbearable, I arranged my feet again at which point the oxygen hit the smoldering cloth and ignited a fireball.
The moral of this story: your future wife may or may not notice that you’re presently on fire. And if she does notice, she may find it funny.