“You know what we need? A compound mitre saw,” my artist wife told me a couple years after moving into our suburban bungalow.

I paused, wondering if this was some type of trap. 

She’s giving me permission to go buy a power tool, I thought. What’s the catch?

This required a delicate conversation to make sure no bubbles would burst. One mis-step might cost me a wife-approved power tool. 

I proceeded carefully, not wanting to say anything that could jeopardize this magnificent opportunity. 

“Oh really?” I asked. 

“Yes, really,” she replied

So far, so good. 

“You sure?” I said, continuing to tread delicately. 

“Yes, I’m sure,” she replied. 

Everything was going perfectly.

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“For what?” I asked, diving in deeper, but not caring “for what” to any degree. 

“What do you mean, ‘for what?’” she retorted quickly. 

Uh oh. Was that a hint of aggravation I heard in her voice? I better scale back my inquisition. 

“Oh, oh, uh, ah, nothing,” I stammered, hoping to recover.

“Nothing?” she asked. 

Welp! Now, I’d done it. Opportunity lost. 

With a tear tucked in the corner of my eye, I continued.

“Well, um, I just never, ah, thought the day would come,” I said, hoping straight-up honesty would help. 

She just stared back at me. 

Her mouth closed tight, her arms folded, and her eyes, oh boy, her eyes bore holes through my noggin.

Her mouth closed tight, her arms folded, and her eyes, oh boy, her eyes bore holes through my noggin.

After what seemed like several agonizing hours, her body language relented its onslaught; almost like she was taking sympathy on me or, perhaps, coming to some understanding like one does when they realize their dog wasn’t the smartest mutt in the litter. 

“It’s not for you,” she said. “It’s for my art.”

Clearly, I had become the mutt in this scenario. 

“It will allow me to construct the stretchers I put the canvas on so I can make paintings to sell,” she explained.

Ohhhh, I thought. Yup, I missed that boat. 

Nonetheless, I filed this delicate conversation in the back of my mind and she never brought it up again. Probably for good reason.

Months later, on our anniversary that year, with an ear-to-ear smile on her face, my artist wife unwrapped a shiny, new compound mitre saw.

After 14 years of marriage, it remains among the best anniversary gifts I’ve ever given myself her. 

Meghan gazing at her mitre saw.
My artist wife gazing longingly at her mitre saw.

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