I am a simple woman. It doesn't take moonlight dinners over the Seine River to make my heart warm, though it would be nice. For that reason, I only have a few earthly things I hold dear: my darling children, of course, my family and friends, hearty laughs, good literature and, above all, beer. Perhaps you noticed that my husband Rowdy isn't on that list. Well, as you read, you'll understand why. He committed the cardinal sin against me, as well prophetized in Shonda Chapter 6(pack): 12(ounces). Like it's my religion, get it?
Anyways, Rowdy's known since day one about my love affair with beer. And I mean since DAY ONE. Although we'd met a few days before what we consider our "first date," we made no plans to see each other. He knew where I worked, came in for lunch and decided not to leave until I got off work. It was a marshy April afternoon, midway between noon and the socially-acceptable 5 o' clock. I'm too cheap for pop, so my only available amenities were limited to tap water and Bud Light. No ice, of course, that shit's just a waste of freezer space.
Never one to charm a suitor with the false perception of being ladylike, trust me, I showed Ole' Rowdy what I was made of. After we sucked down the few brews in my barren refrigerator, I suggested a trip to my favorite watering hole, The New Oasis, which was just a few blocks from my bachelorette pad. The Oasis is a classy establishment, to say the least. Decades and decades of molded smoke has penetrated even the beer koozies and most of the regular patrons are 10 years older than my grandfather and possess the same infectious charm as Marty Crane. I love it there! After a couple hours of shuffleboard fun, Rowdy opted for responsibility. He decided to go check his cattle a solid hour's drive north from where we were. But, the charmer that he is, he persuaded me to come along. I think he was trying to exploit labor, really. Without a doubt, he bought those two 30-packs as a means to impress me or possibly stocking up for the weekend. He quickly realized that was the wrong move. Contrary to his account of the night's wobbly events, I swear I only drank my 30-pack. We'll debate this to our death. Rowdy stopped drinking before we went to bar #2, Cheyenne's local haunt, the Boyett Tavern, or before someone suggested we venture over to bar #3, The State Line Bar. Needless to say, I've been to a honky tonk or two and this is the one and only time I've been to the State Line. But from that sole experience, I can truthfully proclaim it the most frightening salon I've ever been in. Through all of this, I feel confident that I can pinpoint the exact moment Rowdy fell in love with me. Around 1 am, a few hours after Rowdy had started drying up, a skinny old man who kinda like resembled a less frightening version of Charles Manson stumbled into the bar and, naturally, pulled up a chair beside me. With a salt-and-pepper beard longer than any member of ZZ Top, this gentleman of the wilderness looked like he'd been trapped in a cave for the last year. We hit it off! This lead me to repeatedly ask the man if Jimmy Hoffa was hidden in his beard. Thank God he thought it was funny. And, considering that his name was Jimmy, my new friend and I were totally bewildered by this coincidence. In hindsight, it wasn't a coincidence at all, but I honestly believe it was in these moments that Rowdy took the crazy bait. Poor bastard.
Now, the reason I rambled through this ancient piece of our romantic history is so that you, my devoted readers, are supplied with ample evidence that Rowdy damn well knows the cardinal rule: NEVER TOUCH MY BEER!
He started off this day screwing with me, revving his jalopy 4-wheeler mercilessly by our bedroom window, ripping me from my sleep like a tornado through a serene dawn. ASSHOLE. Keep in mind this was ur-lee, before 7 am early. I was up until 2 in the am working. But, I knew he needed me to help work cattle, so I was on board. I just think a gentler wake-up call would've started my day off on a more chipper note. Instead I leaped from my cuddly covers as though my room was a second away from mortar fire. Then, after I woke two sleeping angels from the quiet rest, thus morphing them into rumbustious hyenas, I wandered to the cattle pins, only to be greeted with a full team of big grinned, wide brimmed cowboys. Rowdy had more than enough help. He knows I hate taking the youngest boy down there, as keeping him out of vet supplies and, literally, bullshit is like keeping Britney Spears out of the tabloids. You can pray for it, but it's just not gonna happen. I threw Rowdy a glare, he threw me his saving grace grin, the keys to my heart. I was happy to be there.
"Okay," I think to myself, "he just wanted us down here."
Cattle worked, I headed back to the house with the baby boy to start writing my articles for the paper. When Rowdy is about to head to the north end of the county to check cattle, he calls to see if the little guy wants to go with him and the bigger boy. Hell yes he does. It's a rare gem to write without a live monkey in my lap.
Rowdy and the boys are gone for the bulk of the day. I finish my newspaper articles, consider folding laundry and go to town to vote. Not long after I returned home, Rowdy showed back up with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
As I removed steaks marinading in teriayki sauce from a fancy glass bowl, a Bud Light caught my attention. Well, hello lover! You are right, this has been a long day. Some of your tender affection would do my heart well.
I crack the frosty can, the cool ale flows like a river of sweet goodness down my throat. I set the full beer, minus one tiny drink, down on the counter and turned toward the stove to start our meal.
I don't know if my sudsy beverage gave Rowdy the same idea, but he then got into the refrigerator, taking the last of the two beers and pouring it into a frosty mug.
"Shit," I thought, "I wanted both beers. Oh well, Rowdy's worked hard, he deserves that one."
From my experience, drinking beer from a mug is typically like unleashing the dam. In one second, the beer is gone. Like I said, I was busy cooking, so my beer remained untouched as I jabbered on the phone with Lyndi. As I was turning to grab sliced pineapples, I spotted the sinful criminal in the act. Rowdy, that asshole, was pouring MY beer into a second frosty mug.
I was dumbfounded in the way most women are when they catch their men in bed with their friend. Oh no he di'int!
"Ummm....did you just pour my beer into your mug?" I asked in total dismay.
Then Rowdy, all indignant and, frankly, a bit cavalier with his physical well-being, "Yup!"
And just when I thought he couldn't go any further of the line, this smart ass pops back with this pearl, "Sure did, go ahead and tell Lyndi about all the sacrifices you make for this asshole," he paused for a minuted and then, with a mocking tone, resumed, "Girl, you should know I'm always giving stuff up for him. I prepare his meals, I clean his clothes and now he's drinking my beer."
It has now occurred to me that I haven't freaked out on him in a totally righteous, fear for your life, Whitney Houston on the crack-is-whack in too long. That's really the only explanation for our break in command here. It's on now, bitches.