I’ve never been a vindictive, malicious, angry, or malevolent person. At least I don’t think I have. One day I may look those words up to see what they mean or if they are mean. Needless to say, I was taken aback at my wife’s rebuke one Sunday morning at a remark I had made.
To keep from causing a scene in the auditorium, and thus keeping our good report among our fellow church members, I decided to wait until later to find out what I had done wrong. Being newly wed, I couldn’t stand the thought of my fresh young bride being upset with me, especially over something that I had no knowledge about. I have learned over time that a wife has the right to be upset with her husband whenever she wants over inconsiderations unwittingly perpetrated by her other half. Actually, that right extends to any action, real or imagined, performed by the husband. But that’s another topic of discussion.
The remark in question happened after the closing amen. People were getting up, (some waking up), stretching, smiling, shaking hands, racing out the door, and generally gathering their belongings to take home.
I was taking all this in, observing the actions of everyone as they assembled to disassemble. I have learned, also over time, not to observe. It only leads to trouble. Anyway, my eyes came to rest on one of the friendliest ladies in the church. That’s when I, uh, observed this characteristic of the lady that got me in hot water with my beloved bride.
This woman was (how to say this delicately?)…extremely ugly. Now my sweet wife would never say this out loud, but her reaction to my statement led me to believe that she felt the same way as I did about the lady’s looks.
You see, my comment wasn’t on the lady’s looks, but on her friendliness. So you can imagine my surprise at the angry reaction I got when I made this statement. “That’s the huggingest woman I have ever known.” Just a simple “observation” on her passion of hugging EVERYBODY that she met.
My gentle wife, needless to say, was greatly embarrassed at her interpretation of my offhand comment. That it revealed her true unspoken thoughts added to the embarrassment. The insult that I had supposedly uttered has caused us much laughter in the years after.
How she misinterpreted “huggingest woman” as “ugliest woman” has yet to be proven. But I think, way down deep, in the purest heart of all people that I know, my wife revealed that she too can have unkind thoughts. Surely it couldn’t be that she just assumed that by my track record, I would have said something as callous as that.