Saturday, December 13, 2008


I am human, and therefore capable of mistakes. Although I consider myself to be a better than average husband and father, there are times when I manage to screw up royally. Sometimes I even know better, but allow my foolish pride to get the better of my clear judgment. And this is how it came to pass that I dared to criticize my lovely wife's housekeeping prowess.

I used to think that marriage would be easy. "All I have to do," I thought to myself, "is tell her every day just how much I love her." And I do love her in indescribable ways. But somewhere over the course of a marriage, the passion we once shared has turned into a calming comfort, a complacency, a sense of security that is easy to take for granted, and "I love you" becomes something you say when you don't have anything to say at all. I don't show my appreciation for her nearly as often as I should, and I owe her an apology for that.

So even though I prefaced the conversation with, "I know raising our kids is not easy, and I know you do alot around here, and I appreciate the fact that you cook dinner every night and all the other things you do, but... I'm a little frustrated. I just wish that when I came home, I could walk through the house without fear of stepping on anything, or fracturing a toe, or breaking something on the floor, or sitting on a stack of books on the couch. I don't expect a spotless house, but if you could just keep the living room from looking like a bomb exploded, that would be nice."

I obviously misjudged the impact of this seemingly innocuous suggestion, because her face turned crimson red and steam hissed out of her ears as the silence overtook the room. I couldn't tell if she was angry or depressed, or vehemently swinging from the first emotion to the latter. I just knew that I had messed up. "Oh, dear. Look at the time. Well, I must be going to work. Have a great day, sugar. I love you." Relieved to get out of the house in one piece, I crossed my fingers and hoped the cell phone would not ring. It didn't.

When I got home that night the house was spotless, although it felt hollow because I knew she had done it out of spite. The next morning when I awoke, there was still a tension in the air, but we managed to start up a dialogue in an effort to diffuse the situation. It turns out that at one point or another, all of her friends' husbands have made the same mistake. She had talked it over with all of them, blowing off some of the aforementioned steam that my blunder had built up in her boiler. It seems that inside of every husband lies a savage brute; an unthinking, unfeeling, emotionless and selfish caveman that considers his woman more like property than a partner. And I, for one, am grateful for that. Because if I were the only one, I'd still be in the doghouse. Maybe one day evolution will kill this inner caveman. Until then, we have only our wives to keep us in check. And I, for one, am grateful for that, too.


RJA said...

You said that? Out loud? Are you insane?

Renee said...

oh man.

Granny said...

Remember she has a mean right hook. Just ask her brother!

Sassy Molassy said...

Um...yeah. For future reference, you might want to go with the "I fel like you might be overwhelmed with the house and the twins. What can I do to make it easier?" approach.