All I said to my wife was, "I am going to buy a motorcycle." We were in bed with the lights out when I said it. This actually worked to my advantage because her long-standing argument against me having a motorcycle is that I have the natural reflexes of paint.
But I sensed something there in the dark. I rolled to the right just as it struck the pillow where my head had been. It was her way of reminding me that we have a contract.
It's actually more of a post-nuptial agreement. Shortly after we got married, some friends and I did something that landed me in the emergency room. My wife had to leave work to bring over some insurance papers.
Thirty stitches, five hours and a spectacular fight later we entered into an agreement whereby we each conceded certain behaviors in order for our marriage to continue. I have a copy right here.
My wife's requirements take up most of the page. I won't bore you with the details except to say that she missed her calling as a loan shark.
Among her demands are no more blowing up stuff, testing reloads in the house, jumping out of airplanes, pet snakes, drinking chip dip with a straw, road trips longer than four days, crossbows, spear guns, and absolutely no motorcycles.
My entire list of demands reads, "Hunka-Hunka Burning Love."
It seemed a fair bargain at the time. But then I was young and believed testosterone was an inexhaustible resource. And there's my signature at the bottom of the page.
I love my wife and want her to be happy. I'm also smart enough to know that a big reason I have a marriage, a home, grandkids and all my arms and legs today is because of our post-nup agreement.
But last week I was with some friends who stopped at Timpanogos Harley Davidson in Lindon. While they were doing whatever, I threw my leg over a 2008 Nightster 1200N. I haven't had a motorcycle since a 1971 accident on Wasatch Boulevard so spectacular that I still have leftover Sky Miles. Everything came back in a rush the open road, freedom and the feeling of power under me.
Back home, I explained to my wife that I was still too young to be old. My head needed to go 90 mph again before I was ready for a walker. Ever the practical one, she said she could make my head do that with a baseball bat and save us $12,000.
"You're expensive enough alive," she said. "We can't afford you dead. And I still like waking up next to you."
Cool. If that isn't hunka-hunka burning love, I don't know what is.
Robert Kirby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.