By: Mary Fran Bontempo
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Laura walked into the kitchen to find me rummaging through the freezer.
“Hey, Mom. Whatcha doin’?” my daughter asked.

“Just grabbing a few ice packs for your dad. He hurt himself today,” I answered. “He’s in the family room,” I said, leading the way.

“Hi Dad. Are you okay? What happened? Did you start spring training with the soccer team? You weren’t trying to play with them again, were you?” Laura asked as I handed her father the ice packs for his knee.

“No. It wasn’t that,” Dave said, looking uncomfortable.

“Were you moving stuff around in the basement?”


“Cleaning out the garage?”


“So you weren’t running with the team, lifting anything heavy or messing around in the garage. What happened to your knee?” Laura insisted.

Dave looked away, sheepish. “Flower Show,” he muttered.

“Flower Show? What do you mean, ‘Flower Show’?” she said.

“Your mother and I went to the Flower Show today and I hurt my knee, okay?” Dave answered.

Laura covered her mouth with her hand trying in vain to stifle a snorting giggle. “I’m sorry, Dad,” she blurted. “I know your knee must hurt, but the Flower Show? Seriously?”

“Hey, it might sound innocent, what with the whole ‘flower’ thing, but that Flower Show is a combination endurance test and contact sport. It’s hour after hour of wandering around. Every time I thought we were at the end of it your mother would say, ‘Oh look, we missed that exhibit over there!’ and off we’d go again. It was exhausting.”

“What’s the point of paying all that money for a ticket if you’re not going to see everything?” I interjected.

“I know. I’m just saying it was a lot of walking,” Dave replied.

“So now, just walking does you in?” Laura said. “That’s pretty bad, Dad.”

“No, it wasn’t just the walking,” Dave said indignantly. “You have to adopt a defensive position at all times and be ready to cut and weave to get out of the way,” he added.

“Get out of the way of what?” Laura asked.

“The little old ladies elbowing their way to the front of the exhibits. They’re ruthless. The shorter they are, the more dangerous, because you can’t see them coming until they’re right on top of you. And if they can’t get you to move with their elbows, they just toss their fifty pound handbags in your direction. I was knocked off balance at least seven times. I’m telling you, a man doesn’t stand a chance in that place!” Dave blustered.

I rolled my eyes while Laura stifled another snicker. “But I heard they had a ‘man cave’ there this year so guys could get away to sit and relax for a while. Why didn’t you take a rest in there?” she asked.

“We stopped by there, but—and I mean no offense—they let women in. So there were still elbows and purses flying around in an effort to sit in the lounge chairs or get a spot at a table. No offense to you ladies or anything, but frankly, I think a man cave should be off limits. We need someplace to go to get away from all that estrogen.”

“Maybe you could suggest that to them for next year,” I said.

“I could suggest it, but what they really need in there is a triage unit. Believe me, I wasn’t the only guy hurting after a day of looking at flowers,” Dave said, wincing as he adjusted his ice pack.

I looked at my aching spouse. “Honey, I think you’ve done your duty by me and the Flower Show. Next year, I’ll just go with my friends.”

“Oh my god; do you mean it?” Dave asked. “If I’m going to be hobbling around on a bum knee, I’d at least like it to be because I was doing something manly, not fending off an old lady at the Flower Show.”

“Yes, I mean it,” I answered as Dave sighed with relief. “To tell you the truth, that story wouldn’t play well for either one of us.”

So if you happen to see my husband limping along and he tells you he injured himself running with his soccer team, I’d appreciate it if you’d smile, nod and murmur sympathetically. Because in this case, the truth really does hurt.

Has your guy hurt himself in an “unmanly” way? Click “comments” below and share!