Friday, April 10, 2015

Eye of the Beholder

It's been a tough month in our household - at least for me. I am trying hard to stay positive. I am trying to be happy and up beat. I am trying to view my "tree" (aka Aspie hubby) in a non-condemning light, but I'm close to failing. (see post 'Trees')

Our anniversary started out good. He let me sleep in and left me freshly brewed coffee. There was an envelope address to me by the knife block on the kitchen counter and flowers laying by it. I poured a large mug of coffee and arranged the flowers in a vase.

Thrilled that Steve really did remember our anniversary, though I had steeled myself for the inevitable "Oh, is it really?" question, typically followed by the "My god, who cares, what does it matter?" question, or "If you need something, why can't you buy it yourself?" question, I opened the card with joy.

Flowers matching those he had purchased graced the front of the card, along with a lovely verse saying how blessed he was to have me in his life and how wonderful I was.

I actually  teared up a bit, until I opened the card to continue reading. More thankfulness for me, followed by his wishes for me to have a "Happy Birthday" and his signature.

Say what?

I stood there sipping my coffee, trying to figure out how to spin it.

Perhaps it was on the discount aisle at the store. Perhaps The Hubster was was planning on saving the card to reuse in June for my actual birthday. Or, most likely, he didn't take the time to read the card. I thought and thought. I decided to not mention it.

Manlet had a baseball game scheduled for that afternoon at 4 p.m. As it turned out, it was rained out as happens often in the greater Seattle area.

Just prior to Hubby's arrival home, I contacted our oldest son to see if we could dump Manlet there for dinner so that we could go out for our anniversary and not have to feed him. Eldest son, who's own son is just four years younger than Manlet, was thrilled.

"Sure!" he responded enthusiastically. "Bring him right over!" Oh how I love our kids. Our daughter is just as accommodating. Our three kids are truly a blessing.

Over protests from Steve about the change of plans, off we went. Manlet duly dispatched to be fed, we settled in to a booth at a favorite steak house. I chose to ignore my spouse's drooling.

Knowing that Steve can be overwhelmed by public eateries, I kept quiet while he acclimated himself. The waiter people brought us water, bread, coffee, and took our orders.

As they left, I folded my hands around my cup of joe, and benignly asked The Hubster how his day went.

"Fine," he barked. Heads turned from across the aisle.

"Shhhhh," I warned. "It sounds like you had a bad day. I'm sorry."

As Steve's facial expression contorted, his vocal pitch increased. "WHY would you say that?" he demanded. "I had a GREAT day!" Heads again whipped around.

I decided to let him digest some food before I commenced any more conversation. He steadfastly refused to meet my eye, which sent up huge warning signs to me. Still, I kept my mouth closed.

Our meal was served. We ate in silence. I finished about half of my plate's contents and waited for Steve to come up for air.

"Anything exciting happen today? Hear from any of your family or friends? Anyone stop by your desk to chat?" Since my Hubby works for a very large aerospace company and changes jobs or areas within the company every so many years, he often has former workmates stop by to say 'hi'.



I gave up. We ate our meals, ordered dessert, finished that, paid and left in silence. Picked up Manlet, drove home in silence. Gosh how I struggled to contain my excitement. Not.

Once inside the house, Manlet headed off to bed as he had baseball early the next day. I grabbed my card from where I had it displayed and asked Steve to read it to me in the bedroom.

He looked at me quizzically, but complied. When he got to the "Happy Birthday" part, he stopped and looked at me dumbfounded.

"But it's in cursive!" he exclaimed. "Cursive that says 'Happy Anniversary"! How did you change it?"

I burst out laughing at last. He hadn't read the card at all! He saw the beautiful pink flowers, the flowing cursive writing, and made another assumption.

I told him how much I loved the verses, and the flowers. Then I folded the card into it's envelope and asked if he would give it to me again on my birthday. He visibly brightened and enthusiastically agreed. Oh how he loves a good 'deal'.

What a life! The next day, not so much....


  1. We have had a bad month too, and it's pretty hard to stay upbeat I know. Oh and I know that restaurant situation when he barks monosyllables in reply to your attempts at conversation, it's so disheartening!
    Hannah x

    1. thank you for sharing, hannah - it's comforting to know that others go thru the same thing...