Light Notes

Wild Bill: My husband's first tat

He loves me! It says so on his chest.
He loves me! It says so on his chest. Special to the Herald/Lucy Luginbill

I married a strong, silent type of guy. One you can count on to be dependable.

But the other day, I couldn’t believe my eyes!

“Is that real?!!!” I exclaimed as Bill pulled off his T-shirt to reveal a tattoo — his first.

“Of course it’s real,” he said, a look of amusement on his face. “I always said that someday I’d get one. Today was the day.”

I peered closer, still not believing the heart design wasn’t hand-painted just to play a trick on me.

“Are you sure?” I queried, thinking I might be the target of Punk’d. “You told me you were going into town to get a canoe hat, not a new tat,” my eyes searching the room for Ashton Kutcher.

“Well, the tattoo parlor was on the way, so on a whim..." the words lost in his laughter.

I studied the tattoo — and my husband, too.

What was it with him? He’s been a man of few words and predictability throughout our marriage. But I’m beginning to wonder.

For instance, not too long ago we were sitting on the sofa watching TV and he suddenly turned and told me how much he loves me. Since he was a bit choked up and we weren’t watching Old Yeller, my reaction was to ask if he was getting ready to die.

Shortly thereafter, I insisted on his getting a physical.

Now, follow that sofa scene with a trip to Men’s Wearhouse in Kennewick to buy a dark suit. (Were funeral arrangements not far behind? Bill NEVER goes shopping.)

At the suit store, it’d been so long since they’d seen him that he’d been deleted from their computer. They were quite happy to put him back in.

Out he came with two suits, three ties and enough dress shirts for a month of Sundays. He even threatened to go back to church to wear them.

Now, I knew we needed a doctor’s second opinion.

It’s not a mid-life crisis. Could it be an end of life crisis? Even our daughters said, “What was he thinking?”

So I asked him.

“I thought that after almost 44 years of marriage, it was time to make sure you know I really love you,” he explained. “Instead of asking all the time, now you just have to look at my tattoo.”

Well, as I said, he’s a man of few words — even fewer now.

But his love — just like the “I love Lucy” tattoo — is real.