A man’s culpability never ends.

I’ve heard it said that being a fighter pilot can be described as 10 hours of boredom followed by 30 seconds of terror. The same can be said of being a husband. Tonight was a case in point.

I was sitting in the living room, minding my own business, with my iBook firmly entrenched right where it belongs – in my lap. I had been there for quite some time, so this was not a sudden development. Cheryl had walked back and forth periodically, her manner mild, saying nothing, and giving nary a hint as to what was soon to come. I was right smack in the middle of my comfort zone, when like a predatory creature of the sea Cheryl flashed in for the kill. “Why are you sitting there? There’s so much I want to get done! YOU HAVEN’T STARTED PAINTING THE HOUSE YET!!!” Beleaguered from this sudden and unexpected onslaught, the only thing I could think to say was, “when did we talk about painting the house?” “IT WAS ABOUT A YEAR AGO, AND YOU STILL HAVEN’T STARTED!!!” Knowing my cause was lost, I put on my guilty look, said nothing, and set out to find something productive to do; anything at all that would exorcise this demon that had suddenly possessed my wife. I made my way to the laundry room, hoping a lint offering would suffice. Unfortunately, my path to the laundry was blocked by my possessed wife, and vengeance was clearly in her eye. “WHY DON’T YOU DO SOME LAUNDRY!?!” Having all initiative stripped from my arsenal, I lamely offered “I was just about to do that.” Now completely frustrated, I took the offensive. “Cheryl, I don’t even remember the last time we talked about painting. Did we first talk about it a year ago or last talk about it a year ago?” Barely able to constrain her disdain, but a little less certain, she replied “ah, maybe we last talked about it a year ago, but that was only because I wanted to give you a chance to do it on your own.” Seeing that the tide was turning and momentum was mine for the taking, I took what looked to be my only chance at redemption. “Cheryl, we never start a major project at home individually. It’s always something that we discuss and plan together. Why would you think that I would go out and spend all of that money my self without discussing the particulars with you?”

A funny thing happened next.

Cheryl laughed.

Once again, I was stunned. I was fully expecting an eruption, but instead I got a laugh. These moments don’t come too often, but when they do I briefly wonder what I’ve gotten myself into.

This entry has been posted with the expressed verbal consent of the woman portrayed in the entry. No actual husbands were harmed during the writing or posting of this entry.