Friday, March 25, 2011


I was standing in the checkout line at Sam’s when a man in his fifties, in the aisle next to me, turned around and yelled back into the distance. Apparently his wife made eye contact with him because he then threw his hands high into the air and yelled for her to hurry up. For a moment I was glad that there was a customer in front of me in my aisle so that I could watch this unfold, because I’ve never seen a homicide in Sam’s before!! Instead though a perky lady strolled up to the checkout lane, put something down, and stood there quietly with her husband. Okay then, the dirty deed will take place in the parking lot, I thought. As fortune would have it, I saw them again in the parking lot. They were strolling to their car smiling and chatting. I asked myself: “Wow, what if I ever pulled a stunt like that?!” Later while eating lunch, I thought about the incident and wondered again what would happen if I ever talked to my wife like he did. Well, first of all, I think the angels who seemingly commune with Eileen day and night would strike me dead and sic the hounds of hell on me! Secondly, anyone who knows Eileen would probably confront and disown me. Thirdly, Eileen would probably languish in shock because I would hopefully never speak to her like that, especially in public.

I have no way of knowing whether the man and woman’s smiles at Sam’s turned into snarls and growls in the car or at home. Even so, the disregard he must intimately hold for her must be great. I’ve seen situations like this many times. One spouse or the other is not merely the head of the household but is king/queen, dictator, tyrant, and despot. The one rules and is served while the other is to be thankful for even a bitter word spoken to her/him. Oh, I know there are many battered women who keep smiling too. As short as life is, it’s a shame we treat those we supposedly love like that.

The reflection of the man throwing his hands high into the air in exasperation and yelling at his wife is an image still playing in my head. There is one question I’d like to ask him: How many times have you been married? You’d be surprised at how many times the answer would be, “Just once.”

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