Don’t Mess With Donna Reed

, , , , , , | Working | February 3, 2021

I’ve been working here for almost two years, but due to her work schedule conflicting with any of our social events, no one has met my wife outside of her popping into the store to drop off my lunch or swap cars. My wife runs a side business making vintage-style dresses — which is almost successful enough to become her full-time job now! — which she started because she loves to wear those 1950s swing dresses anyway. Because of this, my coworkers have only met my wife fleetingly, dressed like a 1950s housewife and being her sweet, polite self as she’s a little bit shy.

Our local council has put together a fun sports event where local businesses can put together a team of their employees and their families, and everyone can compete to both raise money for charity and win the donated prizes. Our store has signed up for two teams: cricket and field hockey. The cricket team immediately fills up as our boss is from India and has a large family filled with people who are absolutely mad for cricket. I quietly sign up my wife and myself for the field hockey after confirming with her, which my coworkers laugh about.

Coworker #1: “Is she going to play in one of her pretty dresses?”

Coworker #2: “I dunno if shin guards will go with those fluffy petticoats!”

The only coworker I have who knows my wife socially grins at me and we stay silent.

The day of the competition arrives. My wife has to work up until twenty minutes before we start, and she shows up at the last minute in leggings and a hoodie. My coworkers greet her and say something about her being dressed differently than usual. She just smiles; again, she’s a little shy. Our friend-coworker and I smirk and giggle when my other coworker offers her a stick and to go over the rules. She looks at the stick in his hand for a second.

Wife: “No, thanks. I brought my own.”

She pulled off her hoodie to reveal her T-shirt, which was from when her hockey team went to the state finals the previous year. She pulled her custom stick out of her bag, popped in her mouthguard, and walked onto the field with the rest of us.

It took about five minutes for my coworkers to realise that my shy, quiet wife is the most competitive person I know and is better at hockey than the rest of us put together. She actually wound up in a fight in the last quarter because one of the jerks from the air conditioning place on the other team tried to grab her butt as she ran past. She won the fight AND the game. During after-game drinks, she beat everyone at darts by a huge margin and wound up singing karaoke with my boss. 

I think my coworkers were more confused when she showed up on Monday to drop off my lunch again in one of her pretty swirly dresses and was as quiet as ever. No one ever considered her anything less than a total bad-a** ever again. The council said they’re bringing back the contest next year. My coworkers found out that she also does netball and volleyball and are fighting over which sports to sign up for so she can be our ringer again!


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