An immodest proposal


The whole thing started like this: I'm watching TV and here's this commercial for this new movie "Indecent Proposal," and it shows Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson all over each other.

The movie is about this wealthy guy (Robert Redford) who offers this hard-luck couple (Moore and Harrelson) a million dollars if the woman will sleep with him.

So just to make conversation, I say to Nancy: "What about it?"

She's got her head buried in this book. But I can tell she wants to talk. Fifteen years of marriage, you can tell when a person wants to talk. I don't know if it's body language, the karma in the room changes, or what. But you can tell.

"What about what?" she says.

"Somebody offers us a million bucks to, um, y'know, fool around with you. Would you do it?"

"No," she says.

So I'm thinking: OK, that's cool. I mean . . . I'm pretty easy-going and all. But no guy wants to think that his wife would . . . you know. Even for a million dollars.

"Look," I say, "I'm not saying you'd want to fool around with someone for a million bucks. I'm not saying you'd have fun. I'm just wondering if . . ." "I wouldn't do it," she says.

"Fine," I say.

Then she goes back to her book. Like that's it. Like that's the end of the conversation. But I can tell she's got something else to say. Fifteen years of marriage, you can always tell.

"Wait a minute," I say. "What if the guy looks like Robert Redford?"

"No," she says.

"Look," I said, "this isn't Ernest Borgnine we're talking about. This isn't some guy with a hairy back and a beer gut and gold chains. It's Robert Redford, for God's sake!'

"No," she says.

Then she goes back to her book again. And I'm like: What is your problem? I'm trying to have a serious discussion here and you're . . .

"Let me ask you this," I say. "You don't think Robert Redford is great-looking?"

"He's OK," she says.

"Robert Redford is just OK?!" I say. "Women throw themselves at Robert Redford. Robert Redford could have any woman he wants! I was in a restaurant once and Robert Redford walked in and all the women in the joint went nuts!

"Here's all these women -- young women, middle-aged women, older women -- surging forward just to . . . but to you, Robert Redford is just OK?"

"Sorry," she says.

And she turns the page in her book.

So now I'm thinking: Maybe it's the money. Maybe a million bucks just isn't what it used to be.

Hell, with inflation and all, in terms of real, post-tax dollars, you're probably only talking, what, $700,000? If that.

"OK," I say, "what if it was more than a million bucks? Is that the problem? What if it was $10 million?"

"Still wouldn't do it," she says.

"OK," I say. "What about this: A Brinks trunk backs up to the house. The driver jumps out and it's, I don't know . . . Tom Cruise. OK? Forget Robert Redford. It's Tom Cruise. And he says 'Here's $25 million' and grabs your hand and says 'Let's go.'"

"No," she says.

Now I'm starting to get annoyed. And I'm thinking: What is it with this woman? Does she ever think about anyone besides herself?

I mean, we're doing OK financially, knock on wood. There's food on the table and we've got enough money to pay the bills. But we're certainly not rich.

We could certainly use an extra $25 million. Who couldn't use an extra $25 million these days? And here's an opportunity to . . . I mean, here's someone practically giving her $25 million. And she's like: No, thanks. Don't need it.

"You know," I say, "you could at least be civil to someone offering you $25 million."

"Uh-huh," she says.

"You could at least listen to what he has to say."


She's looking down at her book again. And all I can see is $25 million flying out the window, just like that.

"Look," I say, "I don't see why you wouldn't . . . aw, forget it."

"OK," she says.

"Do me a favor," I say. "Don't ever bring the subject up again."

"OK," she says.

"I'm serious," I say. "Because I don't need this aggravation."

"Fine," she says.

Then she goes back to her book.

And I'm thinking: Here's a woman who always says we never talk. But if all we're going to talk about is some stupid movie, what's the point?

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad