The Saga of the Sexy Sunglasses
Ai-yi-yi! I don’t know what to do. One minute I’m happily married, the next minute I’m headed for divorce court. You know how I’ve been purging drawers and cabinets, throwing away useless, outdated and un-used stuff—the stuff we tend to shove away to deal with later? Maybe I got carried away. Maybe I went too far. I didn’t mean anything by it.
(This message was sent to me by Kathy, my friend, who with her husband Richard, lives on Pender Island in British Columbia.)
I threw away an old pair of Richard’s sunglasses. He hadn’t worn them in years. I put them in one of the bags of miscellaneous junk I took to the New-To-You thrift shop yesterday after a morning of mad sorting and tossing. At least I didn’t send them to the landfill! I meant for someone else to maybe actually wear the things. My good works and best intentions have created disaster.
(Kathy and Richard have been married nearly twenty years. It is a second go-round for both of them. This very human couple embodies a success story that makes everyone who knows them smile. Richard, a physician, works in Victoria three days a week so stays over and ferries home to the island for his days off. They are besotted with one another. Sometimes it is embarrassing to be around the twittering love birds.)
When Richard came home he told me those sunglasses were his best, his favorite pair. He is very upset that I tossed them out. I raced back to the thrift store minutes before they closed. The glasses were gone. Mark, one of the volunteers at the store, collects old sunglasses. Maybe he took them. Maybe I can buy them back. But Mark is gone until next week. Help!
Trying to be helpful, while I was laughing about their situation—hey, I thought it was funny—I wrote back: Get a grip, Kathy. Put on your sexiest negligee, mix Richard a strong gin and tonic. Use your wiles and imagination. It’s just a pair of sunglasses.
Richard responded, that may be all well and good but what about my sunglasses?
Thinking this was still part of the fun story, I wrote to Richard: They are not even prescription glasses. How important can they be? Richard, I know you have excellent taste. Maybe you paid a thousand dollars for the sunglasses. Me, I would have bought mine on the beach from a vendor selling knock-offs made in China or off the rack at the discount store for a buck or two.
So, Ricardo, as we say in Mexico, tranquillo, tranquillo. Let’s look at the consequences of divorce by sunglasses arithmetically. You would each have to hire an attorney. That will wipe out your savings for the trip to Australia you were planning plus knock back your retirement a year or two. Then you would have to split all your assets at fire-sale prices. Add up heartburn medication, valium for those sleepless nights wondering where you went wrong, and the cost of an alcoholic treatment center to deal with the results of the despair of losing your spouse.
Then, don’t forget, you have the costs of setting up two separate households. Don’t negate the expenses of dating the swarms of wrinkled blue-haired gold-diggers who will swarm around you once you become an eligible bachelor. How much is this lousy pair of sunglasses, a pair you’d forgotten you even had, worth? Think of your finances!
I was just trying to be helpful. I thought it was a joke. In a spirit of fun, I offered to go down to the beach tomorrow and buy Richard the sexiest pair of sunglasses I could find.
Richard stipulated they must have an appropriate brand name.
I promised to go the extra mile and have the case engraved with his name. I haven’t heard from either of them since. You don’t think he was serious? Do you?
HDN: Looking out my back door
March 5, 2015