I had just returned to an empty house from a business trip; my wife was still on her annual “sister’s trip” and would return the next evening.
I don’t do well alone, I occupy my time in productive ways, but I am lonely in a house with just me in it. I was thinking good thoughts of my traveling wife, and in my mind, decided I might venture out of my comfort zone and express them when she returned. My son knows I don’t do well alone, and he and his wife came over to brighten my evening.
It was the Sunday evening before Halloween, and my wife returned from the airport. My 30 year old son had created a putting obstacle course which we were playing when she arrived. We were on hole number 10 in the basement; Ginger then walked past the stairs as I was looking up- I was about to go up and welcome here home when my eye was drawn to a very bright red object upon her head. I think I gazed in amazement for a long time without saying much.
I didn’t know how to react (obviously) so I laughed out loud and said “Is that part of your clown costume for Halloween?” She stomped off to her to the bedroom. I followed saying things like “What, did I say something wrong?” “Did you actually wear that on the plane?” “It looks like a hat a pimp would wear.” None of these statements broke any ice that had been formed from my initial response.
I stared at my son for relief and advice. He was almost convulsing trying to not burst out laughing, yet he was smart enough not to. I asked him if his opinion of the hat was different than mine. He said that it was definitely weird and he also thought it might be a joke. He also expressed amazement that I had ever gotten this woman to marry me- smooth talker that I am.
Turns out that she had purchased this on the sister’s trip and thought it was very fashionable and cool. It probably is- but she has NEVER worn a hat before. Since that day, the hat has remained high on a shelf in her closet. She has not yet forgiven me for my hat comments, and I suspect it will take a while. She has worn a different type of hat since, which I think is cute, but when I tell her so, she glares at me and says “Ya, right.”
I have pondered what lessons I should learn from this experience that I might pass on to anyone who may lack smoothness in opposite sex communications.
1. Don’t rush to judgments. Give every opportunity to listen and observe before offering an opinion.
2. Decide NOW to like what may seem absurd to you, especially if your wife wears it!!
3. Carry through on good thoughts, even if things like bright red hats are worn by the person you desire to pass on the good thoughts to.
4. Live with HOPE that the people you have offended might forgive quickly