Monday and I don’t get along, well. I am not sure when it started. If I had to pick a moment, it would be the time when it locked me in a locker-room full of bullies. I don’t harbour grudges. I would have let that one slide.
Only, Monday kept harassing me. It made me shovel the front-walk when I should have been sledding; burnt my toast and spilt my milk; created a misunderstanding between the cute girl, in class, and I. Monday did everything it could to annoy me. In return, I tried to go through most Mondays with a silly grin on my face, surely irritating it to no end.
On this particular Monday, when I was sitting in bed, enjoying my morning cup of coffee, I was wary of what new prank it might pull. We had passed two hours without incidence. That was a surprisingly long-time for us. I’m sure you must have had plenty of comfortable mornings yourself, when you’re resting, in bed thinking nothing bad could come out of the morning. Until she turns to you and says, “Honey, we need to talk.”
There, you thought wrong.
Men understand the dangerous results associated with this seemingly innocent phrase. Women may smile inwardly, aware of the inner turmoil the statement causes. It’s one of those thinly veiled hints that your morning is about to take a turn for the worse. I’ve heard that line plenty of times from women. Coming from your wife, the dangers implicit in the statement are huge.
I set my coffee aside first. I knew whatever was coming would make me choke on it. I silently cursed Monday. “Cruel pranks were okay, but now you’re starting to get serious,” I thought. Loudly, I said, “Sure, honey: what is it?”
As we took our places at the coffee table, a million possibilities were running through my mind. About what might she want to talk? Could it be about last night, when I wouldn’t let her have the remote? She had to suffer through two unbearable hours of me screaming profanities at the television set while the Chicago Bears made mincemeat of the New York Giants. No, it couldn’t be about sports. Last time that happened, she simply served me burnt meals for a week. Could it, then, be about something much more serious, like wanting a child? “No,” she said, “we were too young to have a child.”
Ah, I thought, it must be about me having refused her something. Like an expensive diamond necklace. Surely, she would launch into a tirade about how I never buy her anything nice, and how Mr. Dye, our neighbour, always comes home, in the evening, carrying a bouquet for his wife.
Content in my belief I would have to sit through a thirty-minute rambling, I settled, snugly, into the coffee chair, almost smiling. I looked across at her. Wait a minute! Was she? No, that couldn’t be a tear in her eye. Then why were her eyes glistening? Right away, I knew it wasn’t about bouquets.
A woman wanting to talk is a bad enough, for any man. When tears enter the equation, it almost turns into a crisis. Ladies, trust me, bury us neck-deep in hot lava instead of saying, “Can we talk.” Even after three years of marriage, I was still all at sea when it came to handling display of emotions. I put my hand on her shoulder and asked what was wrong; what else might I do. That’s what I did.
A few sobs and sniffs later, she blurted out, “My mom’s sick.”
Now, I hear plenty of men going, “That’s not so bad! At least it isn’t about you!” But those saying so surely haven’t been in a marriage yet. She didn’t say her mom was sick as a way of informing me. No, this was much more. Like the many masked insinuations that women make, this was an accusation in disguise. I knew what was coming - We didn’t visit her enough; we didn’t call her enough; we should have really gone for the Christmas dinner she invited us to. These would, doubtless, be blamed on me. So what if it was her who was too busy to attend the Christmas dinner? “You should have convinced me!” She would shout.
I knew better than to blame her in the first place. In fact, I knew better than to say anything at all. When women cry, you never speak. That’s one of life’s lessons. You simply sit and watch her cry. If you are lucky enough not to have been hit by a direct accusation, you may put one hand on her shoulder and wipe her tears off with the other. Otherwise it’s best to keep them folded, or maybe go back to your coffee while you wait.
Vezance Xocobs fancies himself a connoisseur of poetry, music and food. His taste, in food, is highly suspect after his last dinner party cost him several friends. He goes through most of his days doing nothing, passionately. He captures his uneventful experiences in pixels.
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