Every family has their legends. This is one of ours, but I’m absolutely certain it’s true.
My mother-in-law was one of the kindest, sweetest women you could ever meet. She was the quintessential housewife. Marie ensured that there was always great food on her table and good food available in her kitchen if she wasn’t there in that moment to prepare something for you.
Her freezer was never empty. In fact, she was so committed to having snacks available, that we deemed her freezer a “hard hat” area, in fear of all the goodies that would fall out onto your head if you opened the freezer door too quickly.
I was never fortunate enough to meet my father-in-law, but by all accounts they had a fine and long lasting marriage.
There were glitches, however. And when I hear stories like this, I am so proud of Marie. Words like moxie and gumption come to mind.
So one day, John, Marie’s husband, comes home from work and saunters out to his garden. Marie, who never learned to drive, has been home alone all day long with no one to talk to. She kind of waits for her husband to come home so that she can have a nice conversation, a nice dinner, and a bit of grown-up human interaction.
There was a time when she used to follow him out to the garden and chit-chat while he was weeding, pruning and picking ripe vegetables. But his grunting instead of answers, or turning his back to her, quickly made her realize he was in no mood for conversation, even though she was dying for a pow-wow, a talk fest, a tete-a-tete.
So when he immediately goes out to the garden, she’s well….pissed. She, of course, would never use that phrase. She might say she was upset, disappointed, or put-out. But let’s be honest, she was pissed.
When John finally comes in to wash up for dinner, Marie is in a tizzy. As her husband is alighting the stairway to go change out of his gardening clothes and get ready for dinner, Marie can’t contain herself any longer.
She confronts her husband, something like this, I imagine:
“It would be nice if you could talk to me for a few minutes when you get home from work.”
“What?” he replies as every clueless husband on the planet would.
“I would just like to talk a for a little bit.”
“We’re talking now,” he said, seriously meaning it.
“No, like just a few minutes to talk about our day,” she tries to sound like she’s not whining.
“What are you whining about? We’ll talk at dinner,” he responds ending the conversation and turning to go.
“Well, that’s not how I see it.”
And with that John says (in my imagination).
“Well, how do you see this?” And with that he spits in her eye.
Marie chases him around the house inside and out, the whole time the two of them are laughing, knowing how ridiculous this is….. but he never went to that garden first again.
“You Just have to Laugh….”
©2015 Cathy Sikorski