When Push Comes to Shove

KDBarn-210x300Saturday night I dreamed I smothered my husband with a pillow. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I didn’t want to smother him to death, just into silence. And to be entirely truthful, I actually dreamed that I got out of bed and went to sleep in another room, until he’d either snore or thrash around and wake me up again, and I’d remember we were in our pickup camper and there was no other bed let alone another room, and I’d try to force myself back to sleep while fantasizing about the pillow.

The only thing that saved him was knowing he was even more miserable than me. Well, that and the fact that we forgot to pack pillows and were making do with a rolled up sleeping bag. He was coming down with a cold, plus his bad knee was giving him fits. If he slept on his right side his knee hurt and if he slept on his left side he couldn’t breathe, so he spent the whole night flopping back and forth between the two and flinging the comforter off onto the floor in the process, leaving my exposed butt pressed up against a very cold window in the nose of the camper.

So, yeah, I understood, but at 3 a.m. compassion is a pretty weak defense against the desperate, near homicidal need for an hour’s undisturbed shut eye. Lucky for him, I couldn’t muster enough energy to turn fantasy into reality.

Such was apparently not the case for a woman just over the mountain from us in Columbia Falls. First, she reported her husband missing, saying he’d gone out hot-rodding with some friends. Then she, of all the searchers who’d been deployed, happened to find his body at the base of some cliffs in Glacier National Park. After a series of increasingly conflicting stories, the police have now arrested her for pushing him off. They didn’t mention motive, but one can only assume failure to do his own damn laundry was somehow involved.

There must be something in the air. My coworkers’ husbands have been on a real roll this past week. First I heard the girl in the next office give a muffled shriek and come stomping out into the hall.

“I cannot believe that man! He called to tell me he’s going golfing tonight.”

“He’s not?” I asked.

“On his daughter’s first birthday?”

Ah. Yeah. That could be problematic, not that the kid is old enough to remember, which was no doubt his reasoning because yes, men have that way of being practical and yet totally misguided all at once.

Later the same day I was filling in at the front desk when my fellow receptionist’s significant other called. I put him on hold. She picked up and said a very abrupt, “What?”

She listened for a minute. Then she said, “No!” and slammed down the phone.

I waited, figuring she’d spill without any encouragement from me.

“Honest to God!” she exclaimed. “I set out everything he needed for pot roast, all he had to do was toss it in the crock pot and turn it on, but did he? Of course not. And now, to top it all off, he called and wanted me to look up the phone number for him so he could call out for pizza!”

Because apparently boys don’t do directory service.

Even taking all that into consideration, I can’t imagine reaching the point of pushing the man off a cliff. Really, lady. A divorce isn’t that difficult or that expensive to obtain in Montana, especially when you’ve been married less than two months. She wasn’t completely heartless about it, though. When the FBI asked why she chose that particular scenic overlook, she had the perfect answer.

“He always said it was someplace he wanted to see before he died.”

Too bad she shoved him off in the middle of the night.


Kari Lynn Dell – Montana for Real