In my college years I was attempting to impress a particular young lady. We had only had a couple of dates and she was MUCH more interesting to me than I to her. It was her birthday, I was wanting to impress her but didn’t know what to buy. I felt clothing might be to too personal for such a casual acquaintance and besides, sizes, befuddled me. So, in my dilemma and with the day fast upon me, I was clueless. So I told her I had ordered something from the west coast and it was being shipped. A couple of days later, and still without an idea I said the shipment was stalled in Denver, or so was my excuse. A couple of more days and I had to settle for some lame K-mart bracelet, and to tell her the truth.
Yep, that was what came to mind Monday as we were driving to the upper Midwest. It came to mind, because 45 years later, that lady had just asked me how I was doing? It was the question she usually asked after her nap, we were about 8 hours into our 12-13 hour drive, and I had driven all the way.
I gave her the standard reply that most people receive from that question: “One notch short of perfect!” She grinned and (after 45 years finally stated),” I’d say SEVERAL notches!”
“Several? What do you mean? I said, “You didn’t say a couple, or even a few, you said SEVERAL, that could be four OR even more.” “Yes”, she said. “Wait!”, I said, “Why don’t we make a list of things each of us needs to improve on?”
The early days of a marriage can be difficult. The lady, married me, she must have thought me a challenge, a work in progress. We came to that point, about 10 months into the marriage, all of my debonair ways must have evaporated and I had settled into a typical married-man profile. I had taken her to the edge, the breaking point, finally she wanted to go for a long-late-night walk to think things out. I mentioned safety and suggested, rather, we make a LIST of each others FAULTS that needed to worked on.
So, with pad and pencil in hand and an allotted 30 minutes, off we went. We returned to share our conclusions, being the gentlemen I let her proceed first. Her list was long, and undeniably fair. I wasn’t exactly cut to the quick, but I could see my problem, I was SEVERAL notches short of perfect!
When she had finished, she asked for my concerns……….
My page, however, was blank.
She was upset, “why was it blank?? “Why didn’t I do the assignment?” I said, “Well, I love you and whatever little things happen I just write them off. I just let it go.”
We’re sitting in the truck headed north; discussing a list of my short comings, “NO”! She says, “We’re not making a list! You’d make me go first!”