Despite the fact that this is the 19th anniversary of our first date, Jamie walked out of the bathroom this morning and announced that she’s leaving me. I know this comes as a huge shock to our friends and loved ones and I’d like to give you more details, but I’m unable to do that until I tell you this story:
When I was fourteen my family took a driving vacation across the country. We timed it so that we could go to a Los Angeles Dodgers game in Cincinnati and I even talked my dad into staying in the same hotel in which the team stayed. It was called the Netherlands Hilton.
My dad was a Dutch dairy farmer which by definition means he was tight with a buck. Our typical vacation accommodations were some low-priced, no-name motel along the main highway. So we knew that a downtown, brand name hotel like the Netherlands Hilton would be a move up in quality, but we didn’t know how big a move up.
When we rolled up to the hotel’s front door, a uniformed valet came out and drove the car away. That immediately made my dad wonder what he had gotten himself into. When we walked into the lobby my mom and dad’s eyes bugged out. It was huge. It was ornate. It was beyond anything they had ever experienced.
My mom turned to my dad and in complete horror said, “Bill, let’s get out of here.”
I, being sophisticated far beyond my fourteen pimply-faced years, tried to act as if I was used to walking into grand hotel lobbies. I tried equally hard not to let anyone see my legs shaking.
There is, of course, a point to this detour into history:
No matter how far and wide I may have traveled, no matter what degree of success I may have achieved, and no matter how sophisticated my friends may be, I am still my father’s son. The old saying “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy” really is true. In other words, I have no trouble admitting that our hotel in Shanghai, the Waldorf Astoria, is not only far beyond my expectations, it’s far beyond my comfort level. This level of luxury just isn’t me.
With that in mind, let’s get back to the headline: Jamie announces that she’s leaving me.
She didn’t say she was leaving me for another man. She said she’s leaving me for our Waldorf Astoria toilet. And I don’t blame her.
This is the fanciest toilet I’ve ever seen. When you open the bathroom door the toilet lid raises automatically. The seat begins to warm automatically. A soft light turns on automatically. And it flushes automatically. It has a control panel that would look at home in a jumbo jet. It’s so smart that it may win a Rhodes Scholarship. And to top it all off, the little son of a bitch has apparently whispered sweet nothings in my wife’s ear and caressed her anatomical nether regions. And it has cuckolded me in the process.
So although I will miss her tremendously, I wish Jamie the best in her new life. She clearly deserves something better than what I am able to provide. I’m sure she and the toilet will have a long, wonderful life together.
I’m sure you join me in wishing them well.