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Getting the Gasket (standard:drama, 2869 words)
Author: Paddy65Added: Mar 08 2004Views/Reads: 2130/1283Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The story of meeting inlaws, small towns, cigerettes and gaskets. Exciting stuff.

Getting the Gasket 

Paul Deere stepped out of the shower in his parent's-in-law's bathroom
and performed the hygienic tasks that dignify all men.  Even in an 
unfamiliar place - he had never before visited his wife's parent's 
house – his routine was unchanged.  He dried off very thoughtfully, 
spending considerable time on his legs and feet.  He wrapped the towel 
around his waist.  He looked at himself in the mirror while skillfully 
applying shaving cream across his face.  So neatly did he do this, that 
if the cream had somehow transformed into hair, he would have sported a 
very respectful and neat-looking beard. 

The razor ran across his cheeks, neck, upper lip, and chin.  He did not
leave the water running continuously, instead opting to turn it on and 
off every time he had to rinse.  This part actually was a diversion 
from his normal routine because usually he liked to keep the water 
piping hot, as he enjoyed how the hot metal massaged his face.  But 
here, he did not do this because he did not know whether his wife's 
parents placed a premium on conservation for ecology's sake and/or in 
regards to their water bill. 

In the room where he and his wife were sleeping during their stay – it
was her childhood room – he dressed, putting on his favorite dark blue 
polo shirt and jeans.  He looked pretty good; somewhat attractive for 
his age and respectful.  This even crossed his mind for a second as he 
combed his hair in the mirror. 

Around him were all of his wife's childhood things – old pictures of
family vacations, posters of old movies she liked like Breakfast at 
Tiffany's and Singin' in the Rain, etc.  It appeared as though the room 
had been unchanged since the day she moved out for college all those 
years ago.  Paul smiled as he looked around the room.  He felt as 
though he was now experiencing new connections with his wife.  
Connections he had not had before.  Things one can only get by seeing 
someone's childhood home and sleeping in their childhood bed.  He felt 
bad that this was the first occasion he had to visit her parents at 
their house.  After all, he and his wife had been married for three 
years and knew each other for five.  It wasn't an affront to her 
parents.  Not at all.  Visiting had never really come up.  And when it 
did, circumstances at the time did not allow for a visit.  He saw them 
often enough, though.  He knew them fairly well and they got along.  He 
wasn't deep friends with them or anything, like some spouses are to 
their in-laws.  But, certainly they were nice to each other. 

Besides, it was they who insisted on doing the visiting.  They enjoyed
to travel.  The point is that, the fact that Paul had yet – until this 
occasion – to visit his in-laws at their house was not a scandal or 
anything.  Just a fact.  And Paul had been looking forward to this.  He 
felt as though it offered him a chance to become closer to his wife's 
parents, not to mention some of her other relatives, many of whom still 
lived in town. 

Not that he wasn't slightly apprehensive about certain things.  He was
very particular about trying not to rub her parents the wrong way; to 
continue to prove that he was an upright citizen and worthy mate for 
their daughter, hence the business with the faucet.  He would be living 
on a day to day basis in their home, demonstrating to them all his 
little mores and routines for living through the days.  The ones that 
their daughter would have to see for the rest of her life.  He felt 
comfortable about this, though; he had always been able to be at least 
marginally charming to his girlfriends', and now spouse's, parents. 

Paul continued to look around at his wife's old things and tried to
imagine her as a child.  Then, the door opened and she came in. 

“Are you ready, Paul?” she said, holding a cup of coffee. 

“Rarin' to go, Babes,” he said as he walked over to her and took the
coffee from her hand, placing it on a desk.  He put his arms around her 
and kissed her on the forehead. 

“I love your room.  It seems like you were such a happy child.” 

“Most of the time, I guess,” she cooed as they continued to embrace,
swaying slightly. 

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