I don’t believe I will ever get this figured out.
Last week my dear husband came home from work and told me that a man we know, Fred so and so, wasn’t doing very well.
I knew that he had been sick for quite some time, with cancer. However, he has still been working - I’d just seen him at work the day before. So my response to Tim’s comment was, “Is that right?. He was at work yesterday, cheerful as ever.”
Tim acknowledged that he, too, had seen him at work that week. And that was the end of the subject.
A few days later we were eating supper and Tim said, “I guess Fred is home now.”
Since this comment was totally out of the blue and unrelated to anything else and didn’t contain a last name, I asked, “Fred who?”
He filled me in with the last name.
“What do you mean, he’s ‘home’ now?”
That’s when I found out that the week previous, when Tim had told me he wasn’t doing very well, that he had been taken to the hospital in the Twin Cities, had been told that there wasn’t much they could do for him, and now he was in Hospice and back in his hometown.
We went from “Fred’s not doing very well” to “Fred’s on his deathbed” in four days and you knew this all along, but just didn’t tell me? You led me to believe that he was still working and was just struggling a bit more than usual? You knew that he’d been taken to the hospital in the Twin Cities and didn’t pass that information along?
I was shocked and more than a little displeased. Tim didn’t seem to think he had messed anything up. I just shook my head. How oh how does this world manage to function with men in charge? It certainly explains why everything is so messed up, that’s all I can say.
Of course, Tim contends that I didn’t ask the right questions. Because if I had asked questions, he would have told me the details.
And I say that anyone with any sense would have filled in a few details right off the bat. Like saying, “Fred was taken to the hospital.” Then my response would have been one of surprise,
“Really? Wow! I just saw him at work yesterday! He was so cheerful!”
I mean, seriously, the entire conversation would have gone differently and I would have gotten the information that Tim was actually trying to convey to me.
I suppose I should know this by now. I suppose after 36 years of wedding bliss (???) and a couple of years of courtship, I should have this figured out, and should know that pretty much everything Tim says is superficial and needs to be probed. Right? Wouldn’t you think I’d have that figured out?
I guess I need to train myself to start asking, “Is there more to this story?” That is maybe all it would take. A simple question.
Hmmm. New Years is approaching. That could be my resolution. A pretty simple one that I might actually be able to achieve. “Is there more to this story?”
Wish me luck.