It stands to reason that at some point in a marriage a man will have to find a way to communicate with his wife’s hamster. Hopefully these times are rare, and brief per. Because when they happen, chewing the bottom off a 1960’s coke bottle can start to look easy comparatively, like fishing in a barrel, tending to plastic plants, or taking the necessary ingredients and machines and making ice.
Lets walk through an example, from someone I know.
Stage-Couple has just gotten into the truck to go to a track meet. The wife (called “wife” from here on), picks up a piece of paper, sees that it is an invoice from a recently hired lawn chemical service, and a conversation busts out.
Wife: Why are they invoicing us before they even do the service?
Husband: Oh, they came the other day, i saw them here
Wife: Then why is the yard not green?
(took hubby a second, then he realized she meant the green color that some companies add to the chemicals to show its been applied)
Husband: This company must not add the green color, or they will on the next treatment, maybe, but i saw the two men and the truck and they were spraying the yard
Wife: Did they have a professional looking truck? Did it look like a decent sized company? Were they wearing uniforms?
[ETA: normally he would have stopped this here, or at the very least, just below]
Husband: yes yes and yes
Some quiet minutes…
Wife: Did they do the back yard, are you sure they did the back yard?
[Here is where absolutely an intervention would have occurred. It would likely have been some kind of sarcastic zinger, which works nearly every time. I’ve added these qualifiers because some are misunderstanding and recommending the man just needs to learn how to deal with such fitness tests…and that is not the point of the post. This is not a game teaching moment]
Husband (the tiny flicker of irritation, but keeping it hidden): I didn’t literally see them do the back yard but I cant imagine why they wouldn’t
Wife: I guess we will see when the weeds don’t die in the back
Husband: So, you don’t trust them? Do you generally distrust folks we choose to do business with?
Wife: No, I trust people, I already explained to you the reason I asked about the back yard was the lack of green color painted on the grass.
Pause for unpacking, or stop to scream.
For the people reading along who did not catch what just happened, I submit that you may do the same thing I’m illustrating. Its a thing done that the doer isn’t even aware is being done, its a brilliant way of closing the drapes behind you as you pass through a conversation however you feel like passing through, and having things ready made to dissemble and obfuscate if challenged. And you are 100% sincere in not seeing what happened. Go read the exchange again.
For those who saw it immediately, and especially the men, g’head, nod knowingly, empathetically dare I allow, because you know you’ve smelled this smell somewhere; it isn’t phantom emotional deja vu, its happened to you too. Admit it.
Someone I know thought he would take a risk. he though that this exchange was brief enough and simple enough that if he laid it back out, tit and tat, and pointed out, for example, that the lack of green cannot account for the suspicion about the back yard because that matter had been dispensed with at the very start. He thought he could try and illustrate something, maybe for the teen son who was listening.
He failed. He attempted to ascertain, “are you generally suspicious of contractors or of this contractor?” She and he own a retail type business. They had been accused of absurd corner cutting that, if ever embarked upon, would lead to such a complicated layering of lies for such a low return on the investment in dishonesty that it would not be worth it. Its silly, silly like 9/11 was an inside job and and the Illuminati run the fed.
But his failure was not really about all that. it was they he forgot something he knows. Its a weird thing, a thing that you can know and have to re-learn often….both. Unique. He forgot that once wife decides to invest in something, she may decide to dump the investment later, but she is damned well gonna hold through the little market correction they were having.
Finally, and just between us, he was left with a bad taste in his mouth because he wanted, more than anything, for her to realize that asking him if the dudes sprayed the back yard was like saying he was not capable to handle little things like the lawn service without someone coaching him on all the right accountability to lay out.
After the track meet, when speaking to his son, husband discovered that the son had followed along, correctly, in real time, to the whole conversation, and he understood not only the head fake of raising the green color again, but more importantly the implied challenge to husbands ability to do the most basic things. This is important because son doesn’t see this a lot. I suspect most homes today have it as routine, and the husband just adjusts frame lower and moves on. So, in a lemonade from lemon’s kind of way, this happening afforded some inheritance, in advance, or hamster whispering skills.
May it serve him well in choosing and maintaining his own hamster one day.