January 9, 2011 by David Gillaspie
They thought the BCS National Championship Game was in my front yard.
I didn’t try and change their minds, just showed them a nice room with a view of Mt. Hood.
The couple, a married man and woman, had more problems than geography.
As good hosts often do, I showed them the difference between Busch Light Beer and the local Bridgeport IPA. The woman could tell one was better than the other, but wasn’t sure why.
“I think the IPA is colder,” she said.
“I don’t drink beer,” the man said.
Later I asked him what he liked to drink when his wife wasn’t around.
“I like beer,” he said, ” but the wife thinks it’s the root of our problems.”
We walked out on the deck. He cracked a cold one.
“Are you married?” he asked.
I said yes. My wife was on a long run, then a workout at the gym.
“Then you know what it takes. If one of you think the other has a problem, why not address it up front? She thought beer was a problem.”
I asked if it was beer, too much alcohol in general, or spending too much time in bars.
“I don’t know. I just stopped drinking,” he said, taking a big chug of his Bridgeport.
“Does she like sports?” I asked.
“Nothing we watch together.”
“Not any more. We try to do things together. She can’t stand seeing a lot of guys together having a big time.”
“What do you do together?” I asked.
“We raise out kids. We clean house.”
“You clean your house together?”
“Sort of. I clean it, then she finds things I didn’t do and starts over.”
“You know how to clean a house, but she knows better? Is that it?”
“Let me know if she spots any dirt around here. Back to sports. The University of Oregon Ducks play for the national championship tomorrow. You know that, right?”
I opened another beer and handed him one.
“That’s how we got here.”
“Where are you from?”
“And you figured the game was in Tigard?”
“We needed to get away.”
“You can see Beaverton from the here,” I said. “The ridgeline is Portland, the flat land is Beaverton.”
“It’s a change of scenery. We have a relationship book that says a change of scenery is good.”
“What’s the book?”
“She saw it on Oprah. I don’t know.”
We hung on the deck a few minutes, looking at the Portland ridgeline, at the Beaverton flats.
“I’m no expert, but I might have something to help your relationship. Want to hear it?” I asked.
“As long as it’s not something like ‘dump that bitch.’ I’ve heard that before. That’s why I don’t have any friends,” he said.
“I believe in marriage, brother. Stay married, but get it right. Here’s an idea. Take an event and make it matter so much that she has to join in.”
“Like kids? We do that.”
“Like kids, or like something else. Sports are a good choice. The Ducks are up, jump on the bandwagon. Get her fired up about the Ducks. It got you here. That’s something.”
“Five miles? I could walk home from here.”
“We’re not talking miles on the ground. It’s miles in your imagination you need to share. Start with this.”
I handed him a green Sharpie.