The high cost of speaking your mind
One thing I have learned throughout my life is sometimes speaking your mind only gets a piece of somebody else’s mind – and not the good piece.
An incident happened recently bringing to light how valuable this “old trick” really is. I may not be good in the new tricks, but I think I have mastered a few of the old tricks.
I really do not know when this incident started, but somewhere along the line I said something resembling a guttural “uh huh,” and forgot about it. What you say in these odd moments may determine your quality of life for many years to come. This points out the difference between husbands and wives.
About a month ago, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage got it into her mind to remodel the kitchen. During this time, I did a pretty good job of staying out of her way. When the rare opportunity came soliciting my personal advice on a matter associated with this remodeling project, I quickly and enthusiastically supported her decisions.
Following the kitchen remodeling my wife proceeded to remodel her bathroom. At this point I should have had some suspicions, but I didn’t. As a husband, I am not equipped with a “suspicion detector.” Experience should have taught me that if one project is done successfully it only inspires another project.
When a wife gets it in her mind to remodel part of the house that thought gets stuck and there is no stopping her. After each remodeling project is completed, my wife always asks my opinion of the job she has just done.
I have learned that if I do not want to do the job myself, I enthusiastically praise the job my wife has done. Any critique that leads toward the negative has a reciprocal effect.
Then I come home from the office one day. Not that it is unusual for me to come home, but this time when I came home, I was greeted at the door by my wife, with a smile that indicated to me that either something was wrong or I was in trouble.
“I have something I want to show you,” she giggled as she took my arm and led me back through the hallway. “I’ve been working on this all day and I’m anxious to show you what I did.”
She then proceeded to escort me to one of the most sacred areas of our blessed domicile. My bathroom. Nothing is more personal and sacred as a man’s bathroom.
Just as she was about to open the door a horrendous thought exploded in my cranium. She has remodeled my bathroom. This comes as close to crossing the line as anything done inside the house. A sense of panic paraded around my heart. Opening the door, she said those words that will frighten any man in his right mind. “What do you think of your new bathroom?” I can either express what’s on my mind, or, live happily ever after. I just can’t do both.
A verse from the Bible brought a sense of comfort to my heart. “A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence” (Proverbs 13: 2).
I’m on a fruit diet.
DR. JAMES L. SNYDER