Get the picture? … by Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 27, 2010


Captain Delusional and his occasional lapses into denial

“If my arm was longer I could see better,” Dear Don informed me.

I stopped reading and looked back at him. “What did you just say?”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I’m trying to read this and I can’t quite make it out. If my arm was longer, I think I could see it,” he repeated, pushing and pulling on the paper like a slide trombone player in a Mardi Gras parade. He looks dumb.

“Why don’t you put on your glasses?” I inquired.

“Don’t need ‘em,” was the brilliant delusional answer I got back.

“Uh-huh, I can see that you don’t.”

 “Too bad your arm isn’t longer,” I assured him.

“Please don’t eat that whole bag of candy tonight,” I begged Dear Don. I sound like his mother and not his wife.

He looks at me with astonishment as if the thought of eating a whole bag of Kraft caramel candies in one sitting never occurred to him. But he isn’t fooling me. I’ve seen it happen too many times. I’m just trying to help. You know.

But Captain Delusional isn’t seeing things my way and he plows through that bag and just as he gets to the last few he closes it and sets it aside. But I know the ploy, the good intentions, and the game, as it were. As soon as I leave the room he will gather up the rest of the candies, and close the bag as if undisturbed, thinking he has tricked me into believing he hasn’t eaten the whole thing.

But I’m crafty and wily. He won’t fool me this time.

“I don’t like all this getting old stuff,” Dear Don informed me later as he rubbed his aching elbow and then his stiff knee.

“Yeah, well you’re preaching to the choir,” I told him.

“I got ten years on ya, been there done that,” I added without much sympathy. “You’ll make it through.” I tried to encourage him a bit.

“Are you going to take another nap today?” I asked Don as he moved the recliner into nap position. He looked at me like I just asked for a divorce or for help cleaning out a closet.

“No,” he replied, “I’m NOT taking another nap today.” Seven minutes later Captain Delusional is snoring and I have changed the TV from football to home improvement. He never flinched.

What makes a man fight to keep from owning up to his habits?  A wife who is constantly questioning him about them? Probably so.

But I am under similar delusions myself. I just don’t let others see that side of me. Captain Delusional could really care less what side of him I see.

Last Sunday we were at a local restaurant waiting for our order. I was looking around at the décor. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Captain D running his hands all along the tabletop as if he were looking for something. I decided just to watch and not comment. In a moment he found the straw he was so obviously looking for.

I turned to look at him. “That was the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I don’t have on my glasses and I couldn’t see my straw on the table so I had to grope around like a blind man.”

“You need help,” I told him, “lots and lots of help.”

“I think I’ll go out to the truck and get my glasses,” Captain Delusional said.

“I think that would be smart,” I replied.

You get the picture.

(Contact award-winning columnist Sherry Hopkins at