A long boring "Who's on First?" type story that could be called "Inane Conversations that Almost Caused a Full Blown Argument" or "The Trouble One Little Word Can Cause".
First, a little background info so that this tale might make some sense.
A few weeks ago a brush fire started across the road from where my husband often works. In the rush to get to the fire, my firefighter-husband-who-knows-better didn't stop to grab his fire gear out of the car. Not to mention the safety rules he broke, he basically ruined a fairly new pair of $100 shoes and a tore the back out of a good shirt. In a very weak attempt to defend my husband, this fire did need to be jumped on extremely fast because the wind was blowing, and the fire was very near houses and businesses.
Jump to this past Thursday (the day before Halloween) at about 5:15 a.m. Husband, just before leaving for work, says to sleepy wife (me), "I'm staying at your folks' tonight so that I can catch up on some jobs in the area. Also, I have several stops to make after work on Friday, so I'll be home pretty late. I know it is Halloween; sorry I won't be there to help." Me to husband, "That's fine. I'll see you tomorrow night. Watch for rocks and deer. Love you."
Later in the day it dawns on me - my husband has been home to help on Halloween maybe twice? in the past 15 years. The last time he stayed home he complained for days about the interruptions and how he couldn't get any work done. So, of course, I got to wondering why in the world would he even mention that he was sorry for not being home on Halloween. Also, I realized I hadn't asked where he would be stopping nor had he told me.
Jump to five-ish Halloween evening.
By now I'm a little annoyed and concerned. I haven't heard from my husband, and he is out of cell phone range. Then, Mom calls to tell me that just after lunch, my husband had taken one of the fire engines out to a fire. She hadn't seen him, so she figured he was still on the fire. And, at this very same time, trick or treaters start knocking on the door. And, the business phone starts ringing. While trying to keep the dogs quiet, answer the door, and hand out candy, I'm trying to apologize and explain to customers that 'J' was on a fire and that I didn't have a list of his stops so that was why they hadn't been called.
Much later in the evening while children were still trick or treating, J pulls in.
The first thing out of his mouth was, "What do you have fixed for dinner?"
I see a flash of red, but just say, "Leftovers."
He grumbles and says, "I had leftovers last night. Is there enough?"
I come back with, "Yes, and I hope you didn't ruin your new shirt."
My husband said, "No, this time I wore my jacket."
In my husband's fantasy world, a hot meal would have been waiting for him. I would have completely ignored the trick or treaters. I would have known which stops he was going to make, and I would have called those customers. In reality, while answering the door and listening to his fire-war stories and grumbles, I sort of helped warm up his dinner. He insisted that I eat, too, (I really didn't want to) so I reluctly shut off the porch light so we wouldn't be interrupted.
Another little tidbit to know is that in our house there is a door between the entry hall and the landing to the upstairs where our bedroom is. My husband always hangs his jackets on the door knobs so that when there is a fire call in the middle of the night he can quickly grab a jacket as he rushes by. (He is a voluteer on three fire departments.)
Jump to this morning.
I was looking at the two jackets on the door knobs and asked, "Which jacket did you have on the fire? I'll need to wash it." (They both looked a little dirty, but not fire-filthy.)
Husband says, "The cloth one." (Hello, they're both cloth - one is nylon, the other cotton drill.)
Me, "Do you mean the bright red one?" (The cotton drill.)
Me, "It's too clean. I thought you said you wore your jacket. Did you have your fire gear over your jacket? Weren't you too hot?"
Husband, "I had on my fire gear. I had my jacket with me in the truck. I didn't say I wore it."
Me, snottily, "I just asked a simple question."
Lunch time comes and I'm thinking, "Without starting a fight, how do I ask him what he actually wore on the fire?" Ahh, okay.
Me, "Did you wear your fire shirt? Do I need to wash it?" (Yellow fire shirt is worn for wild fires vs. bulky heavy protective clothing used for fighting structure fires.)
Husband, "No, I wore my structure turnouts. I'll need to take them to the dry cleaners one of these first days."
Ahhh, he had on his structure turnout coat. So explains the use of the word jacket.