"That's the part that really gets me," she said. "She doesn't insist you wear these horrendous shoes, she just recommends it. So you're a bitch if you don't but you can't complain because she didn't make you wear them."
She was teetering dangerously close to that place where anger turns to tears, which is a bad place to be when we are due in Fairfield, Connecticut, in two hours and the traffic on the parkway is guaranteed to be a nightmare.
"You know what?" I said, as gently as I could. "I think they look great."
She gave me a look that said: How could I have married someone with as little sense as you have?
But I hung tough. "I know it isn't your style, but it's actually a nice look, especially with your hair up like that. You're only having trouble with it because it's so different from what you usually wear."
She softened. I was getting to her.
"I'll be waiting downstairs," I said. "You do whatever you want, but I think the shoes look great."
I left her staring at her feet. Now it's been forty minutes and we are guaranteed to be late to this wedding, which will create endless strife in the family. Our tardiness is sure to be the topic of conversation at holiday gatherings for twenty years, but she's still up there struggling with the shoes. I'll say one thing: If she comes down wearing the green ones, then there is more power in hormones than there is in an atomic bomb, because under normal circumstances there is no way I could convince her to make even an insignificant change in her life, much less something as enormous as wearing green shoes.
I hear her coming. I'll let you know what happened.
The following day
What a horror show that proved to be.
It began before we even left, when a moth flew in. We both saw it go past us into the living room and disappear near a light fixture. Now, I hate moths but I must say this did not cause me nearly the consternation it did my wife. Before I could stop her she had kicked off her black shoes and climbed up on a kitchen stool, swinging a broom over her head. Mind you, we were now inside of an hour from the time we were supposed to be at this wedding.
The notion flashed through my mind that the pregnancy was making her delusional. "Honey," I said, "this hardly seems worth the trouble."
"We have to get rid of it!" she shouted, swinging the broom like Derek Jeter.
"It's a moth," I said. "Are you worried it's going to steal the television?"
Well, as it turned out we were a good half hour late to the wedding, my wife refused to wear any shoes at all during the ceremony, the best man made a drunken toast in which he reminisced too fondly about the groom's womanizing, and I got a speeding ticket on the way home because my wife had to pee really badly.
Oh, and the moth lived.
Then I was in bed, just on the verge of falling asleep, when I heard her burst into the room, crying loudly. (I should mention that my wife cries every time she sees the movie Rudy, so upon hearing her cry I was not panicked.)
"I'm bleeding all over the place!" she shouted.
That is when I panicked.
It turns out she had been in the kitchen and opened a cupboard, then bent to pick something up and cracked her head when she stood. I got dressed as quickly as I could and raced her to the emergency room, where we were seated amid a collection of gunshot-wound victims. She had a bathing cap filled with ice cubes against her head.
"Honey, are you feeling faint?" I asked.