I don’t like to brag, but I located my wife in less than fifteen minutes in a large antique store. I did it without the use of trackers or electronic devices that beep out her location. I didn’t even bother to covertly tape a string to her purse and let it spool out as she wandered around.

I can hear a bunch of you husbands out there hollering, “Horse manure! No way you can locate your wife in a large antique store in under 35 minutes – 55 if you desperately have to use the bathroom! Even if you could, you’d need a team of trackers to find her and flush her out of the antique lamps section or wherever it is she spends hours and hours of time meticulously pouring over things she has no intention of buying.”

I don’t blame you for your disbelief, but it is true.

Of course, I am sure there are any number of you who also said, “How long has this guy been married? He shouldn’t have let her out of his sight in the first place.”

I have to admit, you got me on that one. We all know the trick is to not lose her in the first place. In my defense, though, I ran across a bunch of old, vintage fishing lures. They were made by hand – hand-carved, hand-painted, hand assembled. When I saw them, I awoke from my usual antique-store torpor and momentarily lost myself in them. Then I saw the price tag which, believe me, was neither antique nor vintage. The spell was broken. When I looked up again, she was gone. I had lost her.

At least I didn’t lose her by falling for the old, “I’ll be back in one minute” routine. Husbands still wet behind the ears in the matrimony game fall for that one – not veterans like me. It is the most frequent untruth ever told by wife to husband.

A newbie allows his wife to disappear out of sight and actually believes she will return in the promised minute. What he fails to realize is she did not specify as to which minute she plans to return. In his naivete, he assumes she is referring to the next chronological minute. In reality, the minute in question can be many, many minutes away from the time she left. How many minutes can elapse you ask? Archeologist recently discovered skeletal remains on a bench in Macey’s. DNA tests showed it was a husband still waiting for his wife to return from a “one minute” trip to the shoe department that took place some time during the Truman administration.

The question in the minds of many husbands is where does she go when she disappears? I once lost my wife in a small dress shop – a store so small the rational mind would conclude you could not possibly lose her there. But lose her I did. I made several laps around the place and found nothing. Right as I was on the cusp of pulling out follicles mode, she came walking out of the bathroom. My reaction got me permanently banned from the store.

Bathroom visits don’t explain the majority of vanishings. My friend, Tommy, an intelligent, rational man not given to flights of fancy, swears his wife is capable of slipping in and out of parallel dimensions.

“It’s all I can think of,” he tells me after a particularly bad episode involving a Walmart and some bath salts. “I think she slips into an alternate shopping universe where the sales are better then slips back again.”

So, how did I achieve my record? I committed the unpardonable sin. I called out for her in the middle of the antique store.

I imagine many of you veteran husbands are clutching their chests and muttering an incredulous “No? You didn’t.”

I know. I know. It was a dangerous gambit, but I was desperate. I was bored to the point it constituted a medical emergency. I wasn’t sure I could stay conscious much longer.

“You’re embarrassing me,” she hissed when she rounded the aisle. Her cheeks were red with shame or anger, probably both. Of course, I was frustrated by then and I responded in manner I knew would bring me nothing but trouble.

The good news is I will never lose her there again. I have been banned from the antique store.