Editor's note: Damara Hutchins and her husband, Chris, will trade places writing columns each week. To Damara's loyal readers: Don't worry she is not going anywhere, she just decided to let me write this week. When my wife started writing for our local paper, I was pretty happy for her. She was excited and enthusiastic about the prospect of writing a weekly short essay about life in general for our community. That was over two years ago. Back then, I was a little jealous of her opportunity to address the masses. Working as a DJ, I hadn't really had any close calls with stardom in my two years at a small country station, but immediately after beginning writing for the paper my lovely wife was getting all sorts of attention and public notice. She even had people identify her in the grocery store and tell her how much they liked her column.
I had never had anyone hear my voice and say "Hey, I know that voice! You're the radio guy right?" Well, that's not entirely true but it's a story for another day. Admittedly, while I was happy for her and excited to hear what she would have to write about, I was at the same time, feeling quite left out. It has been almost three years now and my love has sufficient articles published that she could produce a book from them, plus she has a weekly journal to look back on and remind her of the "good ole days." That monster jealousy has grown and turned the deepest shade of green you ever imagined. I have often thought it would be neat to have a paper that features a weekly column by both the husband and wife, each writing on their own, or in response to each other, sort of like a "he said, she said." Lord knows, I have my own opinions about the topics she's discussed practically every week, and (men, back me up on this) besides, she doesn't tell the story like I would. I mean, yes, I did buy that boat without discussing it with her but it's not like the money came out of the house budget and when I sold it later that year I actually made money on it. She didn't mention that did she? Okay, I know I should have discussed it with her first. The ladies at church the day after her column was published made that quite clear. I will never forget when I was walking through the door to our sanctuary and one of our fellow worshippers said, "I think she wanted carpet instead." Not "hello" or "good morning," just a gentle admonition from a woman who until that moment had never spoken to me before. There have been other encounters with Damara's readers; more on that later. I want to have my forum, my soapbox, my platform. Is that too much to ask? A few weeks ago my wife mentioned my Christmas gifts, and how I supposedly "terrorized" the house with my spotlight and rubber band gun. What she didn't tell you is the rubber band gun is only a few inches long and shoots the retainer sized rubber bands, it doesn't even shoot 'em that hard. You have to aim for the tender parts, and the spotlight doesn't get hot enough to burn anything, it just feels like it. I can honestly say I have only barely abused that power. I possess amazing restraint. She may recall the battery powered bullhorn she got for me once; I voluntarily took it to work because I knew it was just too much power for home. She started it, I swear.