I’m resting this week, or in court jargon, seeking a continuance or something like that, in regard to the Aransas County District Attorney (ACDA)/Rockport Police Department issue because I’m still trying to figure out exactly what ACDA Kristen Barnebey said in her quest column last week. I’ll give my take on it next week, with the hope that this stalemate magically disappears by next Wednesday … any bets?
This week, instead, I’m going to focus on my wife’s (I mean my) recent “midlife crisis.”
Two weekends ago my wife and several of her colleagues had to work a booth at the San Antonio Boat and RV Show. I was coerced into making the trip due to my excellent driving skills.
Prior to spending a late afternoon and early evening with her (as in, somewhere in the building) as she worked, we managed to squeeze in a visit with my sister and brother-in-law, as well as a visit with my parents in the senior care facility (Eden Hill) in New Braunfels.
Trips to New Braunfels are getting pretty routine these days. My sister and brother-in-law’s house was our home base the first five days after Hurricane Harvey (drove back and forth each day), and any time we have visited since the storm, my sister tells me, “The green room is ready for you.”
It’s become sort of a routine to drive up in time to visit my parents before they go to sleep, and then meet up with my sister and her husband for a late supper before heading back to their house for the evening. The cost of the meal is nothing compared to what we’d have to pay for a hotel, so I call it a win-win situation.
Anyway, the history of these RV shows and my involvement goes way back to the early 1990s when our family would go to the Rio Grande Valley for an RV show. My wife (as well as any other volunteer who worked those shows) got a free hotel room, so we would just turn it into a weekend vacation.
Money was pretty tight with two young daughters, so that arrangement worked out okay for several years.
In later years, I would call ahead and secure press passes at amusement parks in Texas, which they eagerly gave away at the time, and we’d save a few bucks on those trips, as well.
Fast forward a couple of years to some type of boat, RV or outdoor show at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
At that show I got real interested in the wide assortment of blow dart guns sold at one booth … so I bought one. It helped keep critters away at our old house, and was actually a lot of fun using it for target practice. When we moved to our current home, after spending our first 29 years in our first house, I found that blow dart gun in some back corner of our garage.
Fast forward again, but this time almost two decades, to the San Antonio show two weekends ago.
I tired quickly of sitting at the booth and told my wife I was going to walk around. I wasn’t impressed with the RV selection (i.e. – there were only trailers), so I made my way over to the boat section of the show.
(Note: Prior to our girls’ arrivals in the 1980s I bought a small boat. Shortly after they blessed us with their presence, I sold the boat … I know many of you understand that).
After about an hour in the “boat section”, I made my way back to the booth, and told my wife I had learned a whole lot about personal watercraft.
My wife suddenly went quiet (i.e. – she was not impressed), and basically didn’t acknowledge my vast array of newfound knowledge.
After almost 35 years of marriage, she knew what I was thinking, and I guarantee you I knew what she was thinking.
When her replacement arrived she quickly grabbed her purse and other essentials and said, “I’m tired, lets get back so we can have a relaxed day at home tomorrow.”
I quickly reminded her that whether we left at that moment (it was roughly 7 p.m.) or waited 30 to 45 minutes (so I could share my newly acquired knowledge about, specifically, Yamaha Wave Runners) she would sleep the whole way home.
She rolled her eyes ever so slightly and begrudgingly followed me into the “big boat hall.”
I pointed out I had no interest in the $180,000 pontoon boats we had to walk past, or any of the other expensive boats.
My wife smiled, but only slightly.
Then it was off to the back corner of the exposition hall where the “much less expensive” wave runners were located.
I put my sales cap on, and my wife knew it was over.
“Honey,” I said. “Look at what I’m about to say with an open mind.”
I then proceeded to transfer my new knowledge to her and she was slowly transformed.
I even tried to make her feel bad that she had been promoting Rockport-Fulton for going on 29 years and could not fully “sell” the water side of Rockport-Fulton because she hadn’t really spent a lot of time in or on the water.
I think what made her finally agree to consider buying a wave runner was my suggestion to “only pay a down payment” that we could easily have returned if she could convince this almost 60-year-old man he didn’t NEED a wave runner.
Fast forward to this past Saturday.
We drove up to Selma (between San Antonio and New Braunfels) and picked up my wife’s new wave runner!
While there, the cold front blew in.
After a quick trip to New Braunfels for a short visit with my parents, and the obvious query from my dad, “Mike, tell me again why Diane wanted this wave runner?” we headed back home.
On the way back we passed through the frontal boundary and the rain and the temperature started to rise.
By the time we made it home, I figured we had about an hour before the front hit. I fed the dogs, we piled back into the car with wave runner firmly attached, and headed to the ski basin.
We flew around the ski basin a couple of times riding tandem, and then I rode solo several times.
The teenagers at the ski basin camped out with their jet skies were in total awe of my obvious skills.
In case you care, the sucker runs 53 mph with just me, and 48 mph with an adult passenger.
On the backside of the rookery islands in the ski basin, on my final run, the front hit.
The wind howled, the rain was going horizontal and I was getting soaked. My wife was soaked as well, on shore, but laughing harder (at me) then she has laughed in a long time.
The teenagers and their jet skis scattered when the front hit, and this old man calmly and ever so professionally trailered “his new machine.”
Unbeknownst to me, my wife had sent our daughters video of my maiden voyage.
There response was immediate.
“Is dad really wearing denim on a jet ski?”
Yes, I was, but for good reason. If I had wasted time putting on proper attire, I never would have made it to the ski basin before the front hit. I knew I wouldn’t be able to take it out for a spin for several days because of the weather, if I didn’t jump at the opportunity.
I’m comfortable knowing I gave a few teenagers something to talk about with their friends.
I’m equally comfortable knowing my wife will probably never ask me to drive her to a boat and RV show again!
Until next week, have a good week.
Mike Probst can be reached at email@example.com.