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Old husband finally learns new trick

The things a guy has to put up with from his spouse. It gets a bit much sometimes, I gotta tell you.

I can give you a perfect example. This happened just yesterday morning, so it's all quite clear in my mind. JoAnn and I were going to the gym -- she likes to drive us over when we go for our workout, three times a week.

"Are you ready Papa Bear?" she asks, as usual. "Yes," I say. So she goes into the garage and gets behind the wheel.

I follow a few minutes later after grabbing a couple of cookies to keep me going during the drive to the gym, and picking up the sunglasses I'd forgotten.

I climb into the passenger seat and close the door. JoAnn turns on the ignition ready to back into the drive way. Suddenly, just before we start to move, I think of something else. "Sorry sweetie," I say, “I’d like to get a drink of water before we go."

It was a perfectly reasonable request, wasn’t it? You have to think about things like this, getting enough water, particularly when you start getting a bit older.

So I was a bit surprised, quite frankly, by JoAnn's response.

"Your brain seems to work fine once you get in the car," she said, a touch of what almost seem like sharpness, I thought, in her tone.

Actually, I was stunned. I mean, who wouldn't be? Where was the sweet, caring woman I loved so much?

But being the objective, fair-minded person I am, I decided it was just possible there was something here I needed to look at. Unlikely, but possible. So I began to look at the possibility it was quite understandable JoAnn reacted the way she did, said what she said.

I remembered what happened a day or two before on our previous visit to the gym. I got into the car, ready to go, and suddenly realized there was a stone in my shoe. "Just give me a minute, sweetie,” I said, perfectly reasonably, I thought. "I need to get rid of a stone in my shoe."

It got worse and worse, though. The more I thought about things the more I remembered the many, many times when – at the last minute, after getting into the car -- I remembered something I had forgotten, something I needed to do. I needed to go to the bath room. I needed to get a snack to take with me. Didn’t have my water bottle. And so on and so forth.

It was a great one-liner, of course, that my wife came up with. It gave both of us a big laugh, actually, at the time, and I'm blowing this up a bit of course, just for the fun of it. And yet there is something I’ve taken note of also. My wife not only delivered a splendid one-liner -- better than any of my one-liners for the whole past month combined -- but she was perfectly justified.

I'm going to try very hard to turn over a new leaf. The next time we're going somewhere and she's driving, and she asks, "Are you ready?" -- I'm not just going to say, "Yes, dear." No. My plan is to actually BE ready.

I'm going to put my brain in gear before I get into the car.

What a surprise it's going to be for the love of my life.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mick Quinn June 29, 2009 at 10:28 am

Did you know that when external stimuli bring about deep emotional responses in us, you are most likely being shown the hidden aspects of yourself?

So when ‘this’ or ‘that’ frustrates you, when ‘they’ rub you the wrong way, or when ‘it’ seems to settle over you, you are being shown a window into yourself. You are being shown your own shadow.

Remember the old adage: ‘It takes one to know one’? It speaks of shadow. If you’ve always wondered what to do with that knowledge, and how to use it to heal your shadow, you need only to acknowledge and then take ownership of these previously hidden aspects of yourself.

Emotional brilliance is to fully resolve your shadow.

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Christopher Foster July 1, 2009 at 10:09 am

Many thanks for your input Mick. I like your reference to ’emotional brilliance.’ What you say reminds me of that inscription in some ancient Greek ruin that says something like, “Know thyself.” JoAnn and I have often realized, and talked about how at times a seemingly small thing triggered a reaction that was way out of proportion to what happened on the surface. Sometimes the roots of past hurt can go very deep. But it’s what we’re here for, isn’t it: to let ourselves be made whole. Happy to make your acquaintance. Alll the very best.

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Mick Quinn July 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Hi Chris, nice to meet you too. I have an article on this very topic that based on my upcoming book, be happy to send you a copy if you like… send me an outside email or can i post it?

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