When I’m Beside Myself, I’m in Bad Company

In the beginning of the week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “On Thursday the girls and I will be going to St. Augustine for the day to visit thrift shops.” It was spring break and so the girls did not have school. It was the perfect opportunity for an outing for them.

“Do you think,” she asked, “you’ll be able to handle the day without me?”

I laughed, but not too hard, and said, “I think so. Just go and have a wonderful time in St. Augustine.”

That was Monday and when Thursday came, I was drinking my morning coffee and my wife came in and said, “Well, it’s time for us to go. Are you sure you’ll be able to take care of yourself today?”

I looked at her and said, “Where are you going?”

“Don’t you remember what I told you Monday?”

Actually, I really did not remember what she told me Monday. She tells me so much that it is very hard to remember everything.

“Don’t you remember I said the girls and I will be spending the day in St. Augustine?”

I had been working so hard all week trying to catch up, I forgot about this Thursday trip.

I walked her to the door and kissed her goodbye. She turned and looked at me and said, “You’re not smiling are you?”

Then she said, “I have your lunch prepared with instructions. Follow those instructions to the letter.”

It is not often I have a free day all to myself. I do not need too many of them but occasionally it is good to have a free day where all you have to deal with is yourself. Of course, that can get a little tiring when I am dealing with myself.

I went to my office, sat down and started to catch up on some work I had gotten behind on. It’s terrible when you get behind on your work and it takes twice as long to try to catch up. I often wonder if you ever really do catch up?

I was working so hard that I as I glanced at my watch I noticed it was noon. I love lunchtime. My wife makes such wonderful meals for lunch.

I arrived at the house, got out of my truck and walked through the front door and as I did I said, “Honey, I’m home. What’s for lunch?”

As I walked through the door, I got a strange sense. Usually there is a wonderful aroma of lunch. This time, there was no aroma whatsoever.

It then dawned on me. The wife is away for the day and I am in charge of lunch.

That can be a good thing or it can be a very bad thing. One good thing was, my wife had prepared my lunch, all I had to do was put it in the little micro oven and it would be finished. It was pizza for the day.

She had written instructions. She said, “Use the third button and set it for 15 minutes.” Usually, she is quite precise in what she says. This time I was confused.

On the micro oven, there were four buttons. Now, when she said use the third button, was it the third button from the top or the third button from the bottom?

At the time I was tempted to text her and get a clarification on this instruction. However, I knew if I did that I would never hear the end of it for the rest of my life. She put the instructions there and I was supposed to interpret those instructions.

That is what it means to be a husband these days. Your wife tells you something and you have to interpret it and most of the time we husbands get it wrong. I know I do.

I did what any sane husband would do under the circumstances. I got a quarter out and did the “heads or tails” movement. Heads it was from the top down, tails it was from the bottom up. It turned out to be heads, which was the right way to go unbeknownst to me.

I did not quite know how to read that little button and so I turned it all the way and then put my pizza in to warm it up.

Only a few moments later I began to smell an aroma. It was not the aroma of pizza being warmed up, but rather the aroma of something on fire.

I ran to the kitchen and to the oven and there my pizza was sizzling and burning. I opened the door, pulled the pizza out and looked at it for a few moments. As much as I can remember, this is not the kind of pizza the wife does. What do I do with this burnt pizza?

When the wife came home later that afternoon, she asked me how the pizza was. I assured her that it was rather delicious.

“Why then,” she said rather sternly, “is there burnt pizza in the garbage?”

My little slip reminded me of what Solomon said. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).