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A Different View

Hello, for those of you who don't know me, I am Rob Chapman's better half. Most often he refers to me as “The Wife” in his Lifeprints column featured in this space in alternating Friday editions.

Rob has his silly moments, which-when he's desperate for material and hasn't turned over space to his Shaflin alter ego-he writes about. He can throw himself as much under the bus and laugh as much at himself as he wants, that's OK by me; I'm just thankful he only refers to his family as “The Wife” and “Daughter” in his column.

To be honest, I'm not a writer and this is actually Rob's effort to pen what he thinks I would say if I would say it at all. He thinks he knows me-well, we have been married 21-plus years and should have some clue by now. Let's just see how he does.

First, let me say, I love my husband. He's creative and witty in a punny sort of way that sometimes makes me cringe a bit. He's the best speller in the house, top Wii player, poisonous snake slayer and official spider squasher. He's mister fix-it when he needs to be, and is the one and only official grass cutter. There aren't too many jobs he won't at least try to tackle.

Have I said enough good things about you Rob? Keep going, you say?

Nah, that'll have to do for now. Rob does have a little bit of an ego and I don't want to feed it too much. In that vein, here's a story he wouldn't want to tell you about himself. For all his up side, he's not such a good navigator. Whereas I follow directions using the tried and true landmark method, he would prefer a map and the GPS.

My way works well and Rob's does too-when he sticks to it. Take the other week when we were attempting to go to a wedding in Williamsburg and I trusted him to do the navigating.

Yes, I said “attempting.”

In fairness, he did get us through some sticky turns around Richmond and he sure seemed to know what he was doing, but somewhere along the way the man had a brain hiccup and believed he knew better than the GPS. I know, I should have insisted he drive and I navigate, but what's a wife to do? Sometimes the better half has to trust the other half in areas they're not so good at.

When we went over a bridge I had never seen before I even gave him the “are you sure?” look, which he dismissed holding the GPS in his hand. Granted, I didn't force the issue (opting to continue dropping subtle hints instead) as we passed by landmarks that should have looked familiar but didn't. The arrival times got later and later on the GPS he had refused to believe and eventually Rob grudgingly abandoned his internal compass. Trouble was, even with the course correction, we soon found ourselves locked into creepy-crawly traffic creating even more delays and, for goodness sakes, we just couldn't make it to the church on time.

Husbands. What are you going to do with them? Just love them and overlook their faults, I suppose.

Rob does have his faults-like his not always returning his empty cereal bowl to the kitchen. But I can't say too much. I still have to live with the man. Besides, I figure, sometimes you've just got to focus on the many positive attributes and just deal. Nobody's perfect.

Rob took credit for the mix-up and kept apologizing about the being late thing, of course. I really think he was rather sick about missing the ceremony (though we did make the reception-had plenty of time to figure that out). Hey, I'm sure glad he warmed up to trusting the GPS again.

So there you have it: The Wife's not so perfect man. I have plenty of other stories to write, of course, from the wife's perspective, but let's just see how many ripples in the pond this causes.

Keep care.

The Wife.