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The whole truth and nothing but the truth … sometimes

Jeffrey Bergeron
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Anyone who has ever been faced with the question, “Do these pants make my butt look big?” knows that sometimes a white lie can actually strengthen a relationship.I hasten to add that (for the most part) honesty is the glue that keeps a marriage together, but I also believe that what you don’t know won’t hurt you.For instance, I don’t want to know if my mate ever fantasizes that I’m some thick-haired, Hollywood leading man while we cuddle on the couch. What good would it do for her to admit that she sometimes imagines me as Brad Pitt, Paul Newman or Kermit the Frog – or for her to discover that when we make love, I’ll occasionally fantasize about myself?It’s best to love your mate unconditionally without over analyzing or ruining the mystery with too much truth. I made the mistake of invading my wife’s privacy and frankly it creeped me out.

Ellen has always been a little secretive about the contents in the top drawer of her bureau in our bedroom. While everyplace else is common ground in our home, that area has been off limits. We’ve always had an unspoken agreement that this was her private place where I was not to tread. I had an idea of what she kept in there, but I was curious how many, what kind. Had she been more forthcoming when I asked about the contents, I might have been less interested. Her secrecy made me all the nosier. Finally, I could stand it no longer. While she was at work, I opened the Pandora’s Box and was shocked at its contents. I took out the items one at a time and placed them on our bed. They were as varied as her moods – different colors, shapes and sizes – some looked to be older than our relationship. The sheer volume shocked me. It was like clowns spilling out of a Volkswagen. They just kept coming – I stopped counting at 25. Some of those items I had never seen before; I couldn’t help but wonder who had. As I looked at the array spread out over our conjugal bed I was struck with the question, why would a happily married woman need more than 25 ski hats?Where did she get them?

How could she have accumulated so many without my knowledge? They say the husband is always the last to know.I think my mistake was forgetting that in addition to her strength, brains and political activism, my mate is also a woman. Yes, she is strong willed, smart and no nonsense, yet beneath it all, she is a grown-up girl. Where girls in the city might have fancy shoes, curling irons and pants that look painted-on, girls in the mountains have ski hats. Or at least my mountain girl has ski-hats, almost 30 in all. I was reminded of times that I asked to borrow a bonnet when I’d misplace mine. I remember her putting her back to me and rummaging around in her stash and picking out an old and faded chapeau for me to wear. When the day was done she would always ask for it back and return it to its proper place often commenting that I had stretched it out due to my large head.



At the time, I would feel terrible thinking I might have ruined something she cherished. Little did I realize that she owned more hats than I have hair follicles. Before she returned home from work that night, I had returned her hats to their resting place. After she walked in the door, we performed our usual post-work ritual of a glass of wine and a debriefing of our various evenings. All the while she wore a ski-hat I had never seen before. It is exciting for me to know that I’ll never know all there is to know of the woman with whom I share my life. I will say I am thankful that her secret drawer contained ski-hats and not human body parts.Forest Gump was fond of saying, “Life is like a box of chocolates; you’re never sure what you’re going to get.” After looking into the soul of my mates secret drawer, I’d paraphrase that by saying “Love is like ski hats. The more you have, the more you want.” Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of “Biff America” can be seen on RSN television, heard on KOA radio and read in several mountain publications. He can be reached at biffbreck@cs.com.


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