I have detailed elsewhere some of my husband’s winning qualities. In addition to cooking ham during Passover, he is aware of other people’s needs, including mine. He is also a guy who gets things done, usually well ahead of the last minute. He is truly goal-oriented.
There is one thing that perplexes him, as per this phone conversation, which we had a few days after dropping off Oldest Daughter at college.
Common Household Husband: I called about that incorrect bill and got it straightened out. I just wanted you to know.
Husband: And then I was dealing with this other issue and I think after several e-mails I got everybody back on track so that we can reach our goal and set the policy for this issue.
Husband: How is Youngest Daughter?
Me: She went back to bed...(pause)... I’m very emotional today.
Husband, perplexed: Why?!
Me: It’s the end of an era.
Husband: What do you want to happen next?
Me: It’s not that I want something to happen next, it’s just that it’s truly the end of the Oldest-Daughter-as-a-Child era, and I’m mourning it.
Husband: You know, there should be a manual about women.
Me: Your job is to say, “Tell me how you feel.”
Husband: There should be a guidebook that tells you that the women don’t want a plan, or goals, they just want to bask in the emotions.
Me: That’s right!
Husband: Okay, tell me how you feel. Only not right now.
Me: Okay. Thank you for your time. I’ll call you later. Is that what the men want to hear?
Husband: Yes! Bye!
It’s okay. I told him later how I felt. And he listened.