Hard line

The Carpenter and I were watching a movie Saturday night. It featured a scene between a husband and wife, who, to protect one another from bad news, chose to lie to each other. 

Eventually the lie was exposed.  It nearly broke them up, because the one rule in their marriage was that they would never lie to each other. That was a hard line. No lies.

Huh. That is a hard line. 

Never? Like, ever?  Wow. 

That set my mind racing, pondering what would be the hard line, that one rule in my marriage to my Carpenter that would be a deal breaker. 

Surely, we had one, probably a few come to think of it; like not using that one swear word against each other, even when we’re mad; not buying no-name cereal and insisting it’s “as good as the brand name;” no stealing the emergency coffee money we each stash in our vehicles, because it’s embarrassing when you can’t pay at the drive-thru. 

But we’ve never had to state lying was a deal breaker. 

It’s a given. It’s understood. 

It’s wrong.

I looked over at my beloved Carpenter, reclined in his leather chair, absorbed in the plot of the film. It wasn’t staring so much as it was eyeing my man with sincere curiosity, looking for clues. 

I examined his side profile, the softness of his face, the lines etched around his dark eyes, the silhouette of his long lashes and straight nose, the thin outline of his lips. He’s been my best friend for nearing 30 years now. 

We know each other better than anyone else could. We don’t lie to one another, do we?

I knew that he knew that I knew he knew I was looking at him. The Carpenter has an amazing ability to ignore me. 

He wasn’t going to give into my distracting behaviour because he knows a quizzical look is always followed by a question that then turns into a discussion, which isn’t really a discussion so much as me explaining the context of the question before theorizing his response before he has offered one. 

This would interrupt the film that I picked for the night that he reluctantly agreed to watch, because compromise is key to our relationship. 

That’s a lie. He painted the living room grey while I was away last summer without any discussion or input from me. 

Grey. And not a nice deep grey, either. Think watery grey, like something you’d paint your garage floor if you were the kind of freak who paints your garage floor. I bet the paint chip name was “Watery Garage Floor” in a flat finish, or “Your Wife is Away, Do What You Want” in eggshell. 

Yeah, well now that’s my living room. When he asked if I liked it, I lied. 

I also lied about tossing out his lucky work pants because the duct tape that held the crotch together would unravel in the washing machine. That’s my hard line: duct tape crotches. But, if I am capable of such a lie, what does he lie about? 

The Carpenter knew that I knew that he knew that I was reading his mind in that moment.

And now I know the truth of what happened to my favourite yoga pants. Hard line.

WriteOut of Her Mind