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Pete Thunell: What if my wife lost her memory, like the woman in 'The Vow'?
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Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum star in Screen Gems' "The Vow." - photo by Peter Thunell
So the other day, this movie comes on TV called The Vow. The rundown on it is basically this: Guy and girl meet, fall in love, get married and remain crazily in love. Wife gets into an accident and the accident wipes her memory of the past few years of her life. She can remember everything else from the rest of her life from before, but its like someone took a magnet and rubbed it all over the file in her brain marked met and married husband.

So the rest of the movie, the husband has to make her fall back in love with him. As is the case with most movies, this should not be much of a problem considering the male lead is insanely hunky, in this case Channing Tatum. Sure, your wife may say oh hes too muscular or he just looks like he knows hes good looking and that makes him less good looking, but those are the kinds of lies we tell our spouses. To boot, Channing in the movie is also a touchy-feely, arty musician, because of course he is.

So all this got me thinking, what if my wife Tammys brain got wiped out and she went back to college-Tammy brain not remembering ever meeting me, how would that play out? Heres how I kinda figure it would go down.

(Tammy laying in a hospital bed slowly waking up. Me and the four kids all are piled inside to be there when she wakes up. She opens her eyes and looks around.)

Tammy: Excuse me sir, whats going on.

Me: Tammy you were in a terrible accident.

Tammy: Why are all these small children hanging on my IVs?

Me: Honey, these are your kids, and Im your loving husband. Dont you remember us?

Tammy: These are my kids? Ive been in a terrible accident and my kids (she actually does the air quotes with her fingers) are so broken up about it that two of them are fighting over the TV remote, one of them just knocked OJ all over me and the other is talking at length and in detail to the comatose woman in the bed next to me about which plants to use in something called Plants vs. Zombies. These are my kids?

Me: Honey, theyve been sitting in this room all day. Trust me, they are thrilled you are awake.

Tammy: Wait a second, I know what this is, youre trying to Overboard me. Holy cow this is just like in Overboard where Kurt Russell fakes out the amnesiac Goldie Hawn to get her to take care of his insane children. Doctor! Doctor! Someone is trying to Overboard me in here!

Me: Tammy, were not trying to Overboard you, youre not Goldie Hawn.

Tammy: (under her breath) You sure aint Kurt Russell thats for sure.

Me: Dont you remember we fell in love years ago at college?

Tammy: So you must have had way more hair and a way tighter body back then, right? I mean, my type is waify, brooding, quiet guys with long bangs.

Me: Ummm, for reasons Im still not totally clear on, you ended up with a beefy, bald guy who is fairly well-adjusted and chatty.

Tammy: Well you at least know how to ballroom dance, right? I love to ballroom dance. Or you are a handy fix it guy. I love it when guys can fix things.

Me: Ummmmm, yeah, not so much on either count. But I really do make an effort! I suppose if we are being honest, most of my good qualities would be classified under effort-based.

Tammy: So youre like the participation ribbon of husbands? Nurse! Nurse! Im being Overboarded in here!

Me: All right, time to bring in the big guns. Kids get over here. Now everyone get on this bed and hug mom.

(The kids all get on top of Tammy and smother her with hugs and kisses and tell her how much they love her. Tammy eyes slowly focus into recognition. She reaches around and starts to hug them all back. Shes remembers it all now. Shes back.)

Me: We cant wait for you to get home.

Tammy: What is this home place you mention? I think I need at least two more weeks lounging around here before Ill be ready to go back to this home you speak of.

Me: Im just saying Im barely keeping it all together there without you.

Tammy: Dont push your luck, flabby Kurt Russell without the sexy mullet. I think my memory may just come and go at this point. We cant be sure. Lets make it two weeks here, a ballroom class for you and you finally hang that shelf in the garage. And you go to Zumba with me.

Me: Deal. Ill start that Zumba next month for sure.

Tammy: Nice try, youll start next week. This brain injury isnt going to make me all doe-eyed Regarding Henry here. Im even writing it on my phone in case my brain hiccups and you try to Memento me and pretend you never promised. Now in the meantime, what can we do to get you to grow long bangs that cover your eyes?
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