I recently took up shuffleboard and among the nuances of the game is something called “drift.” Few shuffleboard courts are perfect. Some have very pronounced irregularities in their surfaces that cause the discs to veer left or right. Speed is a factor in how much the disc is affected by the natural drift of the court.
Occasionally, I play on one of those courts and attempt certain shots where my disc moves as much as six inches away from my target. I think I’m making the necessary adjustment, and still I miss the target by a large margin.
When it comes to people, their “emotional drift” may alter considerably depending on what’s going on in their life at any particular time. A comment might be laughable one day, but may get quite the opposite reaction another time. Conversely, a situation that wasn’t humorous at the time may eventually become funny in retrospect. This is really one of the definitions of comedy: Tragedy plus time = comedy.
I think about this whenever a special occasion arises between my wife and me. I have a history of making classic blunders on Valentine’s Day and our wedding anniversary.
Let’s start with Valentine’s Day. I have a poor memory, plain and simple. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, my memory. One year I picked out a sweet Valentine Day’s card for my wife. I wrote something appropriate inside and on Valentine’s Day presented it to her with a small box of chocolates.
Turns out I not only gave her the exact same card the year before, but I wrote the same thing in the card, word for word! She saved the previous year’s card and brought it out to show me.
Chances are I would have bought it a third year in a row if it was still available.
Another year, I bought the card two weeks in advance so I wouldn’t forget, and then on Valentine’s Day forgot where I put it.
One morning at approximately 4:00 am we lost power. Back in Missouri, during winter, heavy wet snow on tree limbs would cause them to break and fall across power lines. We had gone through outages that lasted for several days and had food spoil in our refrigerator.
Consequently, on this particular morning we decided to move all of the perishable food out to the screened-in breezeway and store it outside in coolers. We were all rather stressed at this time, and while I was moving a cooler full of food through the kitchen, my wife happened to be standing in my path, filling the next cooler with food.
I thought she was aware of my presence and I waited a minute, and then, for no explicable reason other than a secret death wish, I said to her, “Can you move your fat _ _ _ ?”
As soon as the words left my mouth I realized that was so very wrong on so many levels. The worst of it was that this was the morning of our eighth wedding anniversary. YIKES!
She got unlimited mileage on that one. Oh yeah.
Then the following year I didn’t do much better. On the morning of our anniversary I walked out of the bedroom and she greeted me with a wrapped gift. I suddenly realized I had forgotten our anniversary! I looked at the gift and my immediate response was, “Oh _ _ _ _!” To which my wife simply replied, “And a happy anniversary to you too.”
Fortunately, we can laugh about this now, but at the time that it all happened, not so much, if you catch my drift.