I like to think that I’m a fairly sensitive guy. I may not always pick up after myself, but after twenty-one years I still get the door for my wife. I bring home flowers for her from time to time. I try to be attuned to her needs, listening to her heart (and not just her words).

I try.

Sometimes I succeed.

And other times…

You might think I have just half a brain.

What do I mean?

The other week, I had a cold. We’re not talking just the sniffles here, folks. It was a full-on headful of nasties that migrated south. And I don’t mean Florida.

So, I had congestion. That came out in a most disconcerting way. (I’ll leave the details to your imagination). That particular feeling, as it is wont to do, seared itself–in its choking uncomfortableness–in my memory.

That being said, as the cold was winding down, my wife and I decided to go out to dinner.

To Red Lobster (yes, it’s well-nigh impossible to get great seafood in Phoenix–so the Lobster has to do).

I guess that was my first mistake: going to Red Lobster.

My second was asking our waiter if there was anything on the menu he didn’t like. Quite surprisingly, he indicated he wasn’t a fan of seafood! He was either gaming me, or he was being refreshingly honest (I’ll take the latter, Alex, for $500, please)–as events will show.

My third, when my wife asked if she could order raw oysters on the half-shell, was answering in the affirmative. (I guess it technically wasn’t a mistake, as I know she–having grown up in New Jersey–is quite fond of “frutti di mare;” thus I wanted to bless her).

By this time things are going well, we’ve had some delicious, decadent Cheddar Bay biscuits (I swear Red Lobster must put some crack in them–they’re that addictive), our salads, we’ve talked, etc.

Then our non-seafood-liking waiter returns. With my wife’s oysters. In the immortal words of Austin Powers, they (oysters) “are not my bag, baby.” So, as he’s preparing to set down what is to my wife a plate of marine deliciousness, I say (remembering he’s not a seafood guy):

“Oysters, she loves ’em. But they’re not really my thing. Suppose it’s textural.”

Seafood-hating waiter says “I know what you mean.”

“Yeah, you know, I’ve had this cold, and oysters remind me of that sliding feeling in the back of my throat.”

Oops!

Waiter guy laughs, and goes on about his business. While my poor wife is left there staring at what now appears to be nothing so much as plate of chilled gray boogers!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, score one for Mr. Sensitive!

Those husband points I thought I was earning by taking my sweetie out to dinner, by saving her from having to cook that night? Gone at the speed of sound.

Oops!

Men, fess up: have you ever done anything like that?

Ladies, how have you reacted in similar situations?

Last night was an interesting one. My five year-old–hereinafter Princess–had great difficulty going to sleep. Not because we’d deviated from the routine–we hadn’t–but due to the fact that someone (who shall remain nameless: mom) allowed her take a very late, long nap.

So, yes, Virginia, we had family devotions, cleaned up after dinner, etc. And tried to get Princess to go to sleep.

She of course would have none of it.

“I can’t sleep.”

“It’s 10:00–please play quietly in your room.”

“No, I can’t sleep.”

“Please count sheep, or Rapunzels, or something, ok?”

“Ok, Poppy, I’ll try.”

“Thanks, Princess.”

Thirty minutes later (or so I’m told, because we the parents were quite done by that time):

“I can’t sleep. Brother, will you play with me?”

“Princess, I’m tired. If you be quiet and go to sleep, I’ll give you a dollar.”

“Ok, brother.”

This morning:

As I’m getting ready to leave for work, I see my son–Brother Bearish–heading downstairs. I ask “Hey, are you gonna let the dogs out?”

“Not yet, dad–first I gotta get a dollar for Princess. I told her last night if she’d just go to sleep that I’d pay her.”

Knowing that he, being thirteen, keeps everything important to him (including his wallet) in his room, my Spider-sense was tingling.

“Isn’t your wallet in your room? Where are you getting that dollar from?”

With a sheepish look and impish grin, he said “From her purse.” Clever boy, I thought. She would never know.

But I would. And being as I’m not down with bribes anyhow, I said, “No, sir! That may be a creative solution to a problem you created for yourself, but your first mistake was bribing your sister. But since you’ve given your word, you go get a buck from your wallet and give it to her. You promised, and now you gotta follow through.”

“But dad…”

“No, son, that’s not how we roll. If you give your word, even if costs you, you follow through.”

Of course, behind closed doors, my wife and I laughed uproariously. Kids!

Prior to my hiatus, I committed to writing something up regarding peace during Advent for Adam McHugh; however, due to my tardiness in getting it to him his calendar filled up, and he was unable to use my post. He indicated that it was good, and I should try to have it posted elsewhere.

So I did. I sent it out via bcc: to a number of bloggers I respect. I was pleasantly surprised to hear quickly back from Tamara Outloud (she was the first of many) that not only would she run it, but she would run it this Friday!

I took this to be a “God thing.”

So rather than sit on it for a year, I’m breaking “radio silence” to bring you What Is Peace? hosted by Tamara Outloud.

This will be my last post until sometime in the new year. Thank-you for reading, for your encouragement, and your prayers! I appreciate all of you more than words can convey.

Chad

“On A Break”

randomlychad  —  December 5, 2011 — 3 Comments

In case you didn’t know: like Ross and Rachel, I’m on a break. And like Dr. Dobson, I’m doing it to focus on my family. (In case you’re wondering: “Did he just pair a Friends reference with Focus On The Family?” Yes, yes I did–it’s how I roll).

See you sometime in the new year!

To See My Love

randomlychad  —  November 21, 2011 — 8 Comments

Recently, my wife and I had a misunderstanding about something I wrote. Indeed, this was the first time I can recall that she adamantly did not like something I’d written. A lot of factors contributed to this, and I subsequently mistakenly was too open about things (instead of holding both her heart, and our marriage, sacred).

And really, that is the crux of the matter: if I had done a better job of shepherding her heart over the course of the years, I believe much of our difficulty could have been averted (or at least drastically reduced). Mea culpa. I’m just very thankful at this point that she is giving me (yet another) chance to win her heart.

Which I fully intend to cherish, and hold sacred. I am taking steps to ensure this is so by:

Enrolling in a “Life Training” class at church; and by

Signing us up for a “Love & Respect” seminar this coming February.

Communication is so foundational, and I want to do all I can to keep those lines open.

I want her to see the love I say bear for her.

Since many of you were witness to my meltdown (of “blograstic” proportions), I thought I would update you. I would also like to thank you all for praying, and for continuing in prayer.

I am still on a break from blogging, and will return to radio silence. Just didn’t wanted to leave you–my faithful readers, and friends–hanging.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! See you in the new year!