Old Man Defends His Wife’s Honor

by Miguel Cruz

This isn’t a complicated, detailed, or incredibly long tale, but I thought I should at least document the incident for my own personal posterity. A few years down the road when we’re recollecting it, we can turn to the blog (if it still exists) and go, “Oh yeah, that happened on March 27, 2010. I can’t believe that was X years ago.

It was the close of a rather long day. Kim had a pretty grueling day serving up nachos and hot dogs at the PTA carnival and then shuttling Lauren off to the soccer team photo shoot and game. I had a rather routine day delivering Bank of America advertising disguised as official, important looking letters and Oriental Trading Company magazine-size catalogs. You know stuff that very quickly ends up in America’s trash cans and recycling bins, but which comprises 95% of the Postal Service’s business.

The week itself had been full of conflict and loss (as compared with real life rather than the average episode of As the World Turns). Kim’s Aunt Katherine died and Kim had to take a day off to go to her funeral. At the funeral, I showed a couple of relatives the video I shot from the day before of Kim fighting with her brother Steven. A growing dissatisfaction Kim had with Steven had finally hit the tipping point. To give an example of one of his most recent transgressions. Steven and his wife Julie had stopped by for one reason or another. They were short on money and didn’t think they’d have enough gas to get back home. Kim and I went with them and put about $10 into the tank. Literally I waded up a Hamilton and inserted into the little hole where the gas nozzle goes. That actually works as fuel.

The next day or a couple of days later, Kim is on the phone with Steven and he’s talking about having gone riding around with Julie and otherwise driving to relatively far flung places when considering the supposed no-money situation and near-empty gas tank. It’s all part of a pattern that has made little sense: Steven brings in X amount of income that on paper should cover all their expenses. Steven falls short on some bill, presumably because he had no money left over after paying the other bills. Except for the fact that the other bills didn’t get paid either.

And last week, the guy they were buying their house from has started foreclosure proceedings. They are supposed to be out the day of Julie’s 40th birthday. There has been some concern that on that day they will have nowhere else to go and will end up wanting to occupy our extra bedroom. The week before they had wanted to come over when their cable got cut off. Kim figured that this must have caused him to miss Dancing With the Stars. I don’t understand how that and American Idol are the two most highly rated shows in America and yet two-thirds of all Americans are opposed to gay marriage. We would be damned if our TV was going to get monopolized by HGTV.

The imbroglio started on Tuesday morning with a routine enough phone call in which Steven was angrily lamenting the hard times that had befallen him and the fact that no one was able (willing) to help him out. He started talking bad about another one of their relatives calling her a “lesbian” and exclaiming, “Fuck her!” This was all Kim could take and an exchange of words ensued. It was at this point that I decided to pick up the camera and at least get Kim’s side of the conversation. At some point, Steven demanded that a painted portrait of their mother be returned to him which has been hanging in our extra bedroom for the last couple of years now. Kim flatly refused.

About 20 minutes later, Steven was at the door step. I was at the other end of the house trying to get the camcorder turned on and rolling. The video starts with me walking down the hall toward the door. Kim has opened the door and yells, “Get off my property!” She is about to close the door, but he forces his way into the opening. He is insistent on getting his picture back. Kim yells for me to get the phone so she can call 911. I run into the computer room right next to the front door to find the phone. When I return he has given up on his B&E. I’m zooming through the narrow opening in the door above Kim’s head trying to catch a glimpse of him walking away. Kim hurls an accusation at him, which I will not repeat as it is potentially libelous. If true (we’re certain it is) it serves as an explanation for his and Julie’s problems. As much as I would love to, I won’t be posting this video anytime soon. Most who have seen it have found it funny, but I made a promise.

So onward to Saturday night. After a 3-2 loss at the soccer game on and dinner with Kim’s folks at the Circle S Catfish, we stopped off at the Saginaw Wal-Mart for a few items. Earlier I had decided to bring my camcorder with me and stashed it in my jacket pocket. It’s a fear I have anytime I bring the camera with me that the car will get broken into or completely stolen altogether. And you never know, maybe something YouTube worthy will happen that I’ll be able to capture, something like the Epic Beard Man video.

We’re on our way back to the car, midway down the aisle. An SUV cruises along close to the grocery entrance of the store. The passenger window is rolled down and a teenager is calling out to Kim, “Hey, Big Booty Judy!” Kim was going to let it go, but he kept on. I didn’t catch it the first couple of times. I sensed that Kim wanted me to do something and so I turned and yelled, “You got something to say!” Obviously he did. A short exchange of words followed. I told him to go fuck himself and called him a cocksucker. He got he last dig in with “Fuck you, old man!” I hate to say it, he won that one.

All around a moderate defeat for me because somehow it stung. Other than all the douchebags on YouTube saying that to me, I never took it all that seriously. After all the video isn’t particularly well-lit. They can’t really see just how youthful I really am. Well that’s not the case apparently. I had also been thinking earlier that day about my as-of-yet unfinished entry on Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild”. When they recorded that song they were in their 20s. Now that they are all in their 40s can they really, truly lay claim to the anthemic proclamation, “We are the youth gone wild!”? Old and young are somewhat subjective terms. As late as last year, I had people telling me that I was still young. Of course they were all in their 50s and 60s, but comparatively that’s how they saw it. Now tonight here was this guy, born when Forest Gump and Pulp Fiction were still in theaters, setting me straight

It was a defeat for me on three other grounds. I didn’t really have anything clever to say. It’s not like in the movies where the hero is able to dress down his opponent with his wit. I guess if I had had time to prepare I could have come up with some zingers. He had a passing resemblance to one of the Jonas Brothers. I could have said that he looks like their retarded brother. I mean anything but the standard issue stuff from the white trash repertoire that I could fire off.

It wasn’t exactly what Kim had hoped I would do. She envisioned me approaching the SUV, menacingly as if I was about to give this guy a little what for. Had she communicated that I might have been ramped up enough to do it. Whether they would have driven off in fear as Kim surmised is another story. I might very well be writing this today with a my ass fully kicked. The other shoppers said there were 5 guys in the vehicle. I haven’t practiced my martial arts since I took Tai Kwon Do in the third grade. Even then I never advanced past a white belt.

The biggest loss: not once did it ever occur to me to pull out the camcorder from my pocket and record any of this.

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