When I tell stories about my husband I often refer to him as “Fang”. It’s my homage to Phyllis Diller. Not everyone “gets” the reference, but that’s okay.
This is my current favorite Fang story.
What you should probably know about Fang is that he is kind of tight with a buck. Mostly because we don’t have a whole lot of them. He likes to say he’s frugal. I explain that frugal is a synonym of cheap. We are not destitute. I like to remind him of when we truly were.
He used to expect me to feed us for $60/week. I explained that we could do so as long as he was inclined to forego meat, learn to make his own shampoo, and be willing to use generic toilet paper. He thought I was exaggerating. So, I made him do the grocery shopping. After we were out of food by Tuesday (it’s so annoying that children expect three meals a day, isn’t it?) he saw the error of his ways. I made him beg for forgiveness and agreed to go to the grocery store once again. Labor unions have nothing on wives. I contend that if you want to get your way do NOT negotiate (in good faith or otherwise), instead, withhold food, sex, laundry, etc. Hit them where it hurts, I say!
I recently wanted to go to a concert. I told him that the tickets were $75 apiece. He reminds me that he saw Black Sabbath AND AC/DC for $12.50. I remind him that that was in 1975. Today you probably can’t even buy a joint for that. He told me to go ahead and buy myself a ticket (no comment on the weed). Seriously. He expected me to go alone. As both of the friends that I can usually rely upon to accompany me to these sorts of things would be out of town at the time of the concert, I decided not to go at all (I never did tell him that he was my third choice).
Not long after what I like to refer to as “the great concert controversy of 2012” he asked me if I would be interested in seeing “Jersey Boys”. He says he feels bad about giving me a hard time about the concert. My teenage daughter, who is my usual theatergoing partner, overhears him and asks if she, too, is invited. He says, “of course”. I was immediately suspicious. After some questioning I am satisfied that it is indeed the “Jersey Boys” that is currently playing on Broadway and that, indeed, we will be seeing it there (we live ten miles from Manhattan), in the actual New York City theater district. Because I had visions that a road trip to some crazy amateur production outside the standard one-hundred mile performance radius was in the offing. Nope. He was suggesting an outing to the bona fide “Jersey Boys”. Giddy up!
We start discussing dates and it is revealed that this “Jersey Boys” thing was never his idea. It was his sister’s idea, as she will be in the area with her husband and teenage daughter that weekend. Fang’s brother and his wife are also on board. Now, my daughter and I often go to the city and see shows and we do it on the cheap. There are various and sundry ways to see a show without paying top dollar and I know them all. Of course when we do this we don’t do it with six other people in tow. That would be impossible. I explain to Fang that the ticket cost will be considerable. He says that his sister is in charge of getting the tickets. Oh, brother. This is a woman for whom money is no object.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. I go to the mailbox and discover a missive from my sister-in-law. I open the envelope and see that it contains our tickets. I nearly drop dead when I see the price. Each ticket is nearly $200 (way more than I had estimated) and I know that there are other costs/fees associated with them. I read the note that came with the tickets. We owe her $630 for THREE tickets AND she is looking forward to dinner at Carmine’s (cha Ching!). By my calculation this will be about an $800 day for my family of three. I am worried that Fang will succumb to a stroke upon hearing this news. Seriously. I am worried.
I had asked him to stop on his way home and pick up a loaf of bread, a specific bread. It is a bread that I really like. I eat generic Cheerios while they dine on name brand Special K, but I am very particular about my bread. I was actually trying to think of a way of breaking the ticket cost to him gently when he walked in the door and handed me my “$4.29” bread. Yeah. He said it that way. So, of course I said, “well, if you think this bread is expensive I don’t even want to tell you how much we owe your sister for the tickets”. Instead of the flabbergasted reply that I expected, he shrugged and said that he knew, that she had emailed him and his brother prior to buying them. But, I should eat inferior bread? I think not.
Oh, and I already warned them, Fang and Fangette, that they had better have $270 worth of fun!