Laurie and I were married 30 years ago this week. On Thanksgiving morning, I reminded myself — once again — that she is just the girl for me.
Let me explain. Everyone has always come to our house for Thanksgiving. This year, that was 14 people, spanning four generations. Laurie went to the store and got everything we needed: turkey, potatoes, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, and all the things that go into the desserts.
At 4 o’clock on Thanksgiving morning, we both got up, boiled the giblets, neck and liver, chopped them up, diced the celery and onions, and made the dressing. I stuffed the bird, and we put him in the oven.
Then it happened. Laurie opened drawer after drawer, looking for the turkey baster. She knew right where it was, and it wasn’t there.
“Huh!” she said, fumbling around. “Where in the world could it be?”
“Hmmm,” I said, fumbling some more. “That’s weird. Where could it have gone?”
Just as I said “gone,” it hit me. It was not only gone, it was really gone, forever gone, never-to-be-seen-again gone.
“Oh man,” I said as her head slowly turned my way. “Remember, about six months ago, when the black car needed some power steering fluid?”
She just stood there as I explained that somehow, someway, I had grabbed the bottle of brake fluid, and filled the power steering reservoir with it. I knew that if I started the car, I would probably ruin something, so I had to get the brake fluid out, then refill it with power steering fluid. I tried siphoning it with an old plastic drinking straw from McDonald’s, but that didn’t work at all.
What I really needed was one of those automotive rubber suction balls that they used to sell at Lehmann Brothers’ Ace Hardware when I was a stockboy there. But I didn’t know if they still made them, and besides, I didn’t have a car that I could drive to go looking for one.