Commentary

My wife’s go to guy

So, I walked into the living room and found my wife scrambling to clean it up in time for her sorority meeting. To be honest, it looked like our living room had suffered a bomb blast. Newspaper coupons, opened mail, Cds, clothes, bills, etc, were everywhere. So, I walked into the living room and found my wife scrambling to clean it up in time for her sorority meeting. To be honest, it looked like our living room had suffered a bomb blast. Newspaper coupons, opened mail, Cds, clothes, bills, etc, were everywhere. My spidy sense went off immediately. I knew Cheryl was upset with me…but not that upset. Timeout. Let me go back to what happened earlier that morning and explain.

Time-in.

Earlier that morning I woke up to find Cheryl scurrying through the bomb site gathering up her stuff for work. She was concerned about the living room and whether she was going to have enough time after work to clean it before her sorors arrived at 6:30 p.m. So me being the genius, all around good guy, perceptive husband that I am, I said “Don’t worry, Cheryl, I’ll clean the living room.” That was the reprieve she was looking for.

“Oh thank you! I really appreciate that. That would really help me out for tonight.” I felt good as I stood there mentally patting myself on the back. What a great husband I am. Who’s the man? You’re the man, Ken! That’s right. I promised to help my wife out by cleaning the living room before her big meeting. Why? Because that’s what marriage is all about.

Now before I continue any further, can you see where this column is headed? Oh yeah, it’s about to get ugly folks so, buckle up and hold on tight.

5 p.m. came and went. Normally when Cheryl arrives home I greet her with a big hug, but that entire day I was locked up in my office putting the final touches on a book proposal I had to email my client by the end of the day. It was 5:35 p.m. I got the email off to my client in time and stepped out of my office. So I walked into the living room and found my wife scrambling to clean it up in time for her sorority meeting.

“Here let me help you,” I offered.
“No I got it”, she said.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get to the living room earlier, but like I told you this afternoon, I had to get Todd his proposal by the end of the day.”

“You know what? To really be honest, I don’t care what you had to do today. This morning you told me you were going to have this place cleaned up for me by the time I got home and I walk in and you haven’t done a damn thing,” said Cheryl.

Dilemma. From my point-of-view I still had a hour to clean before her sorors arrived. From Cheryl’s point-of-view damn what I had to do that day, I should have had the living room cleaned by the time she got home from work like I had promised (technically I never said I’d have it cleaned before she got home at 5 p.m., but that didn’t matter now). To care or not to care, that was the question. I was tired so I decided not to care and walked back into my office and watched television. Hey, I tried to explain that I was busy working but she didn’t care. So why should I care about her event? I had determined she was just going to have to be mad.

So, I walk out of my office around 7:30 p.m. and the living room is spotless. I turn the corner and there sits my wife at the dining room table, dressed but with no guests. Even though I was still upset my heart went out to her because I knew how important this meeting was to her and how hard she had prepared for it and nobody…I mean nobody showed up.

“Hey, what time was your meeting scheduled for?” I asked.

“It started 40 minutes ago,” said Cheryl. My heart sank even further.

“I went out and bought pizza. It’s in the oven,” she added.

I fixed two slices and sat next to her at the dining room table. I could tell she was upset. I know I would have been after all the preparation, cleaning, money spent on pizza, and bitching out my spouse.

“I’m sorry you got stood up. I know how important this meeting was to you.”

What she said

February 10, 2003
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