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Fortunate to have a better (best) half

The Sunday Column

Going on 11 years, Mrs. Ann Marie Franco has had her fair share of columns featuring her 29-year relationship with yours truly in this newspaper.

However, this time out, this is a pure love letter to her, because in my mind, though she might not agree with me, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

What am I trying to say?

My wife is also my savior because she keeps me from embarrassing myself on a regular basis. I still do it, but just on an irregular basis … like when she’s not with me.

My wife has pulled my fat out of the fryer so many times that my nickname should be “Funnel Cake!”

Just recently, I was trying to find something to do the week after the Super Bowl.

In fact, I was feeling so generous that I thought I would give her some time to herself and hook up with my buddy, John Dibert, for a Sunday of watching Penn State basketball.

I told her she could stay home and watch her Lifetime movies all day long. She kindly asked if I wanted to join her, but to me, those movies seem better at night because they put me in a mood to … sleep.

When she realized that I was getting ready to leave John a message, she basically told me I couldn’t do that.

My first thought was that she really wanted to hang out with me … I have that effect on women, you know.

But she asked me, “Do you know what day it is this Sunday?”

To which I replied, “Yes I do! It’s the first Sunday after the Super Bowl, which means there is no football on, and I’m hoping to drown my sorrows with some college basketball on TV.”

But I was wrong.

Instead of leaving a phone message that would have upset Mrs. Dibert, my wife said you can’t ask a guy to blow off his wife on Valentine’s Day, which just happened to be Sunday, Feb. 14.

It’s also another example of her being right and me being wrong, but since I’ve covered that theme so many times before, I had to come up with another way to work my stupidity into this column.

For instance, a couple of years ago, my boss, Neil Rudel, was hosting the editorial department Christmas party at his home like he always does.

Guess who is in charge of organizing and running it? That’s right — me.

And though I’m the only one who worries about the event way more than any human should, my wife tries to keep me grounded.

I always want to know who is coming to the party so I can arrange for them to get a gift. If I know you’re coming, you’ll get a gift.

One time, one of our young reporters showed up late, but she wasn’t on my list, basically because she didn’t think she was going to make it.

I was upset because I didn’t have a gift for her, and here I was, handing out presents to everyone but her. She was cool with it, but I panicked.

I started asking myself if I could just talk Neil into letting me give her something from his house that he and his lovely wife, Dianne, would not miss, then I’d be fine.

Of course, when I ask myself something, I usually do it out loud because the Francos do absolutely nothing quietly. My wife was with me and basically said you can’t give away other peoples’ stuff.

Just recently, I really put my foot in my mouth, and I blame Ann Marie more than anything because she wasn’t with me. Really, with all the times I’ve done that, maybe I could get a local podiatrist to sponsor my column.

Anyway, I bumped into an acquaintance that I had not seen in some time. Making casual conversation, I told the gentleman I just saw his wife and granddaughter going into the pool at the YMCA. Part of that was true.

With me, sometimes my brain knows something but has trouble saying what it knows. By the time the little guy inside my head gets to deliver the message to my mouth, he usually stops along the way, maybe feeds the ducks, and just completely forgets what he wanted to say or do.

What that acquaintance should have heard from me was “I saw your wife and daughter going into the YMCA,” not your granddaughter, but bless his heart, he said nothing and moved on.

When I got home and told my wife, she was floored by my stupidity, which I took umbrage with because after 29 years together, you would think she would be used to it by now.

Mirror Staff Writer Scott Franco is at 814-946-7528.

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