"Wow, Steve! Look at this!" I walked over to my hubby to show him a photo of an incredible puzzle-stack of pencils. I tried counting them several times and was coming up with a different number every time. I called our youngest son over to see if he could quickly conjure up a sum of said writing implements.
"That's really cool, Mom!" said our Manlet enthusiastically. For many years I've called him 'Kidlet'. Recently I realized that at 6'3", and weighing as much as my husband, he has earned the same designation as our eldest son who is more than twice our youngest son's age.
Hubby turned to look at the screen on my phone in my hand. He squinted, tilted his head, blinked rapidly, and nearly shouted into my ear, "WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS PUTTING ME DOWN?"
Startled, I jumped back from him, nearly dropping my phone. I have recently sent it flying a number of times now, resulting in several cracks across the top of the screen and one long crack down the side. I am diligently trying to preventing further damage as I need to make it to the anniversary of my phone plan this fall in order to get a new phone for little or no additional fee.
I hesitantly gazed at The Hubster whose face was screwed up in pure anger.
"Why do you think that I am putting you down? I only asked Manlet to double check my counting as you greatly dislike being 'put on the spot' to 'perform'." (i.e. quickly do/think/say anything at all)
"You just said that I always make mistakes!" blurts my enraged Spouse.
"What? No, I did not! I was showing you a photo of... OH!" It suddenly dawned on me as I once again look at the photo on my phone screen.
I was showing him a pile of pencils!
Why would that be putting him down? In Steve's mind, pencils have erasers. Erasers are for mistakes. He equates using a pencil to being unable to write something down correctly, and the need to erase the writing. So my dear husband will only write in ink. Black ink, at that.
"I'm sorry, dear. I was thinking that Manlet would like pencils. I was only showing you something that HE would like!" I cheerfully chirped, smiling my most winning grin at my hubby. "Don't you think that this would look great on Manlet's desk?"
I winked up at Manlet who then copied my grin. He patted his dad on the shoulder.
"I do like pencils," said my nearly grown son. He then turned and loped off to the fridge to make sure the light bulb hadn't burned out. And grab a couple handfuls of food while he was in there, I am sure.
I cautiously looked at The Hubster. He now stood staring out a window. I gave him a few minutes in case he had something else to mention on the matter of Pencils. Capitalized.
With Manlet munching and Hubby staring, I grew bored and headed out the sliding glass door onto our deck to deadhead my flower boxes and hanging baskets. The sun poured down, the bees and hummingbirds darted back and forth, and I laughed out loud, happy that I sidetracked a blowup.
Life can be written in ink. There's no mistake about that!