March 2006 - Sincerely Sire Newsletter
Talk To The Hand
It wasn’t my fault, simply a reflex action—that’s all it was. A mistake that any husband could make, although you’d think a man like me, with over thirty-one years experience, would know better by now.
It starts with Roe and I in bed reading the paper at six-thirty in the morning. As usual, I have served coffee to her highness and she is, temporarily at least—my goal in life—happy. Perhaps it will be a good day.
It is then that my cell phone unexpectedly rings, probably a wrong number I think, but I answer it anyway. Turns out it is someone I have been trying to reach for several days. It’s an important call, so I focus on the caller—instead of your highness—first mistake; then I turn my back on your highness—second mistake. Next I start speaking in an animated voice, kind of loud—third mistake—your highness requires absolute silence in the early morning.
Your highness begins wondering who in the heck slave-man could be talking to. Besides, slave-man needs to be reheating her coffee. After a few moments of exasperating stares she noisily, and for effect, crumbles her newspaper to her lap and interrupts slave-man’s call by demanding, “Who is that?!”
Due to the critical nature of the conversation slave-man momentarily loses his mind and becomes slightly $#!*!%. He can’t hear the person on the other end of the line, so, with his back still turned to her highness, he swings his arm back around to her and gives her the “Talk to the hand” salute—the same one the cop gives at the intersection to stop the traffic. Yeah, that’s right, he tells her in universally accepted sign language to stop the traffic coming out of that mouth! A bold but incredibly stupid move.
Your highness is abruptly quieted and promptly sticks her nose back in the paper as slave-man finishes his call, then jumps in the shower, shaves, and gets dressed for work. He has no idea anything is awry. But when he gets downstairs, there she is, pacing the kitchen floor like the proverbial woman scorned. “Is something the matter?” slave-man asks.
“You’ve got to stop treating me like this, or this just isn’t going to work!”
I ponder for a moment what the this is she’s talking about, the this that “just isn’t going to work” and pretty much decide it’s our thirty-one-year marriage.
Oh no, I think to myself, not this again. It’s what I refer to as the gross generalization argument. She is the master at this. She will take the smallest thing, in this case, me, politely suggesting that she “Talk to the hand,”(be quiet for a moment) and blow it completely out of proportion and savagely beat me over the head with it until I am begging for mercy. I mean, this was NOT a big deal—was it? Just a tiny little slave-man slipup.
But, as always, it truly doesn’t matter what slave-man thinks. I must calm the beast with the glowing eyes that stands before me. So, I apologize like crazy for telling her to talk to the hand, but she is REALLY $#@!%. I can’t believe it.
Now, the commonly accepted rule for these gunfights is they must occur at the most inconvenient and crucial moments possible, like, for instance, when you’re late for work, have to conduct a very important meeting the minute you get there, and it’s essential that you are in an upbeat and positive frame of mind. I was in just such a fix. Did she care? Oh, COME ON NOW, be real. This is my wife I’m talking about here. A very angry wife. This just positioned her perfectly for the slaughter.
So she ignores me and goes outside and starts watering the plants in the patio. I am beside myself with frustration and FEAR.
I have got to get to my car in the garage, right away, so I can leave. I can not be late. I am all dressed up in my most expensive suit and tie. She is in the patio which I have to cross to get to the garage. She is upset and has a hose in her hand with water coming out of it. This could be tricky…
I open the glass sliding door at the back of the house and step gingerly into the patio. “Uh, honey, I have to leave now. I’m really sorry for giving you the hand—for telling you to talk to the hand. Can you please forgive me? I apologize. Come on honey. Please.”
Her back is turned to me as she furiously hoses down the hanging—like me—plants. And that is when your highness suddenly conjures up her brilliant and crushing this moment response. With her back still turned to me and one hand holding the hose to the hanging plants, she swings her other arm around to me behind her back, and in truly Oscar Award winning “How do you like it slave-man?” fashion, gives me the hand, the “Talk to the hand” salute. It is truly a classic moment, an image that will forever be emblazoned upon my memory.
She had left me speechless once again, so I did the only thing I could do…I made a mad dash for the garage just a split second before the other hand, the one with the hose in it, whipped around to bid me adieu