to Marriage' Questions |
by Peary Perry
at our house are usually reserved as a kind of ‘catch-up’ day. We generally go
out for breakfast, do some shopping and then cool it in the afternoon and relax.
This past Saturday started off nice enough. I’d started a fire, got myself a fresh
cup of coffee and was headed to my favorite couch to catch up on some reading
and a much needed nap. |
Unfortunately, tragedy struck before I had a chance
to turn the first page or take my first sip.
My lovely wife of many, many
years enters the room and asks one of the ‘Harmful to marriage questions’ that
men would do anything to avoid. I call these questions this, since they are a
kind of a puzzle that cannot ever be solved. You’ve heard one these questions
used in courtrooms…it goes something like…”Have you stopped beating your wife?”
There is no correct answer.
Well, she stands over me and asks…”What do
you think of my hair, is it too long, does it need to be colored and do you think
the way I wear it makes me look too old?”
Now, for the benefit of the
men out there who haven’t read this column over the years, let me say this. A
question such as this requires extreme diplomacy, tact and sensitivity training
to answer properly. Having said that, let me add… give it up. You and I don’t
have the ability to do this. If you can, run…. try to escape, pretend your car
is on fire, pretend you see a stranger lurking in the flower beds, pretend anything…but
get out of the house and seek advice from someone who may be able to assist you
in your time of need. Do not be foolish enough to assume that you can wing this
on your own. You would most likely be able to negotiate a peace accord between
the PLO and Israel easier than bobbing and weaving some off the cuff answer to
a question such as this.
Once she had gotten the question out of her mouth,
I immediately attempted to use one of my diversionary tactics I have suggested
in the past. I clutched my chest and made noises as if I was having a heart attack.
I had forgotten that this had been used unsuccessfully the last time and was therefore
useless this time as well. Further attempts at a migraine headache failed as well.
I rushed to the window in the hopes of seeing an intruder, but alas no one was
in sight. I broke out in a cold sweat and decided to plead the Fifth Amendment.
After all, if a criminal can refuse to speak, why can’t I?
this had a very negative effect upon the entire situation as she took my attempts
to refuse to answer as an indication that indeed she did look old and needed to
do something to her hair. My attempts to change her mind were futile and not well
received for the remainder of the afternoon. The room chilled down to the point
where I needed more logs on the fire. My political capital account had just been
I would have been in the doghouse for the remainder of the
weekend had it not been for stroke of good luck. I soon gave up trying to read
and was in the den with her trying to smile and make complimentary remarks to
regain my previous position. She was watching some old movie from the 40’s…she
gets up and goes to the kitchen to get some coffee and while she’s gone what do
you think happens? The female lead in the movie says to the male lead…”What do
you think of my hair?” I immediately sit up straight and wait for his answer,
which I have to admit was brilliant. He says…”I like it the way it is, but there
are so many interesting possibilities. Why? Were you thinking of changing it?”
this divine intervention or what? Here is my answer. I carefully wait a couple
of hours and slyly tell her that I’ve been thinking about what she asked me earlier
in the day about her hair…then I repeat what I had heard in the old movie. I am
expecting a smile and reinstatement.
Not to be fooled, she says….”That’s
wonderful, but I heard that line from the kitchen…nice try.”
So much for
my valiant attempt…. I cannot help but think a course in school on how to deal
with these types of important issues would be of much more value than memorizing
the year Columbus discovered America. 1492 is one thing…. today is another story
© Peary Perry
go to firstname.lastname@example.org
From North America - November 17, 2004 column