Last night Mrs Stevie began issuing instructions.
"Flowers are a waste of money. Don't buy me any flowers!" she said.
"Hadn't thought of doing so" I said. "Why isn't the TV working?"
"Your daughter was playing Pokemon Challenge 2010 Ultimate Edition earlier. She must have changed one of the remote control settings" said Mrs Stevie. "I don't want any gifts either. No DVDs, like The Bridges of Madison County or Like Water For Chocolate . No books either. I don't want to find you've wasted a lot of money on one of those historical novels or biographies I like".
"You won't be disappointed then" I answered as I checked the TV was plugged in.
"No cards either. They are too expensive."
"Fear not" I answered. "As it happens I forgot to go out at lunchtime and get one for you. This year you shall be conspicuously cardless". I turned the TV on and off, then on again.
"Don't buy chocolate" she admonished me. I'm on a diet and I'm not eating chocolate so don't waste your money."
"A diet?" I said absently as I tried to figure out which of the umpteen remotes would unlock the fiendish TV/Video/DVD combination The Stevieling had left for me, so I could watch Scrubs. Since there are five remotes, the chances of that were slim, there being around twenty billion different combinations of button-pushes possible, only one of which would route television signals from the reception circuitry to the viewing/transcription unit. "Really?" I walked over to the cable box and began pushing buttons speculatively in the hope that the system would spontaneously begin conducting entertainment to the house. "What on earth for?"
"I'm a little overweight." she sniffed. "I want to look good for your sister's kid's wedding in the summer. I need to lose about twenty pounds."
"Per limb" I jocularly murmured, which is when I think I sustained the concussion.
I woke up in the early hours of this morning with a splitting headache and a goose-egg on the back of my bonce. The new skillet, so delicate it had to be hand washed under pain of sanctions, was lying beside me, and it now featured the domed base that gave the old skillet so much character (and also to the food cooked in it). I guess the break-in period for this item of gourmet cookware has passed and we may now safely put it into the dishwasher. I doubt anything that the Maytag could do would cause it any further harm.
I surmise I have once again suffered one of Mrs Stevie's signature attacks. I had been lulled into a false sense of security because of the regard in which she held the new pots and pans. It was inevitable that this attitude would change with the tide of Starbux Mochaspresso Clawhammer Grandes (now available in sugar-free formulations and hence not interdicted due to calorific boycotting it seems).
The irises of my eyes are each of different sizes this morning. Not only that, I am suffering a certain degree of...personal discomfort shall we say, that, in conjunction with the mysterious disappearance of the remote control for the DVD player, leaves me with a very ugly suspicion of dastardly behaviour on Mrs Stevie's part while I was hors de combat and she overly exited due to endorphin imbalance exacerbated by coffee-induced rage.
Lesson learned: Dieting obviously reduces brain chemicals moderating the temper of women.