We’ve been married 45 years. You would think we’d know each other better than those couples who used to be on the Newlywed show. Well, guess again.
My husband and I recently attended a church marriage seminar for seniors to strengthen our communication skills. Lovely idea! And so needed. He declares I mumble. I vow he can’t even hear himself. He says I never told him. I steam he doesn’t listen. The seminar was a great idea until . . .
The moderator began asking questions.
It was all fun and games in the beginning. We listened to other couples answer their questions with ease and comfort. We all laughed, ribbing our church friends that they must have rehearsed their answers. None of the questions were hard. None of them were intimate or personal. Most were common, everyday questions everyone knew how to answer. You know the break-the-ice kind of questions.
We were in the middle of a hardy, raucous time with our friends when the instructor threw a question our way, “Sir, can you name your wife’s favorite flower?”
You should have seen my husband. Proud plastered itself all over his face. A smile spread from earlobe to earlobe. I must have smirked, feeling girlish, knowing he had the right answer.
He touched my hand. Tears welled. With firm conviction, he loudly declared, “It’s Pillsbury!”
The room grew quiet. The speaker looked puzzled. Everyone turned our way.
After what seemed like an eternity, I gasped, shoved his hand away, and said without one stitch of hesitation, “Fool! I use King Arthur!”
Laughter erupted. Our faces grew brilliant red. My friend who was sitting next to me cupped her hands around her mouth, leaned in toward me and yelled, “He said flower!”
My husband and I looked at one another and shrugged our shoulders.
She yelled louder, “He said flower!”
By now, we were getting riled up. How dare she contradict what we had answered. Was something wrong with the woman’s hearing?
When she screamed it out a third time, we both stood up in unison, and walked out the door, huffed up and angry. Once we’d cleared the church doors, my husband flailed his arms, angry as a bantam rooster. “Well, you can tell who needed that seminar. And it sure wasn’t us!”
Trekking behind him, I agreed wholeheartedly, “Bunch of fools! You can tell they can’t hear a blessed thing! Did you see how that woman acted?”
My beloved whirled on me, shouting, “Acted? You thought I was acting? I lovingly gave you the correct answer. Are you trying to start a battle with me?”
Clearly we needed to head back into the seminar, but by the time I recovered from his attack, he was halfway down the block, struggling to open someone else’s car door. Guess it’s not the right time to remind him that we drove to church with the lady who insulted us.
Rather than tackle the problem further, I sat down on the church steps. Looking up, I noticed the seminar banner strung between two Dogwoods.
Marriage Seminar for Seniors
Improve your communication.
Learn new ways to problem solve.
Gain new insight into your relationship.
As I finished reading the last sentence, I felt an arm go around my shoulders.
“You okay?” my husband asked.
I sniffed. “Yeah, I guess so.”
“I can’t get in the car,” he remarked. “Guess we need to call a cab?”
Looking over at the love of my life, I nodded.
Helping each other up, our hands slipped comfortably into one another’s as we walked away.
“What’s for supper?” my husband asked.
“Eggs and toast.”
“That’s exactly what I wanted.”
Is it possible that part of communication is just being comfortable with one another without talking? Or being kinder as our hearing diminishes?
Do you need to think about your communication skills?
God Bless You!