My wife Roe, (short for Rosemarie) and I will be married sixteen years this December. Our marriage has been pretty good . . . make that very good, but we do fight occasionally. As a matter of fact we were fighting heavily last week. Neither one of us wanted to, but we couldn't help it. We kept trying to achieve that "lovin' feeling" but all we got was that "shovin' feeling."
The love boat was in stormy seas. I decided to try and calm the waters by offering to put out her open house signs for her on one particularly hot and muggy Sunday afternoon. She accepted, but not with a great deal of fanfare or gratitude, which caused the small knot in my stomach to twist a little tighter, and kept that "shovin' feeling" alive.
I immediately regretted my generous offer. She had failed to respond in the appropriate manner, and had in fact come out on top again by her cavalier response. But I was feeling very noble and self-sacrificing that day so I went ahead and put her signs out anyway.
It took about forty-five minutes and I was perspiring heavily as I slowly approached her open house in my car. I could see her in the front yard putting up a couple of flags. The "shovin' feeling" was still there but I was determined to block it out with the "lovin' feeling." I was thinking all positive thoughts as I got out of the car to put out the last open house sign in front of the house.
"Did you put one in the median?" she snapped instantly, as if she had been planning the question for a week.
"Did I what?" I responded, confused and a little disoriented.
"An open house sign. Did you put an open house sign in the median?"
Now even if we hadn't been fighting, this is the sort of thing that upsets me. I can't stand it when she questions my abilities, especially my open house placement abilities. I mean, how long have I been expertly placing open house signs . . only about twenty years thank you very much. And worst of all she was acting like the boss. The BIG BOSS. She knows how it gets to me when she acts like the BIG BOSS. But still, I was determined not to fight. So I maintained my composure and replied evenly, "We aren't supposed to put signs in the median."
"No, not that median, (you feeble-witted dunce) the median in front of the house down the street across from the other open house." (The woman was three moves ahead of me.)
Well, that was it. I'm all for equal rights, but she had pushed this hombre to far. She was NOT the big boss.
"You know honey," I said, "as I was driving over here I was doing my best to generate some loving feelings for you, and this is what I get."
The pause that followed was, shall we say . . tense. The knot in my stomach twisted up another notch or two, only this time out of fear, not anger.
"Generate," she finally said . . . "You were trying to GENERATE some loving feelings." Her face was all contorted when she said "generate."
Well I was pretty sure she didn't feel like the BIG BOSS anymore, but now I think she wanted to smash my face in, or were her feelings hurt? Or was it both?
Perhaps I should have lied and said I already had the loving feeling as I was coming down the street, even though I didn't. I mean, most of the time I naturally feel that loving feeling, but not every minute of every single day. Sometimes I don't feel it, but I know it's there. It's just hiding. And that's what I should have told her. I should have told her I was trying to find it, not generate it. It was never absent, it was just hiding. Sometimes it does that.
In any case, later that night, after we had both returned home from work, I apologized for using the "G" word, and she made me feel like the BIG BOSS again, so everything should be okay for another fifteen or sixteen years. (Editors note: And as of whatever date you're reading this - - - so far, so good!)