The Marriage Manual Says the Wife is Always Right … or “Don’t Interrupt Me While I’m Reading” By Jeff Salter

            What follows is an actual conversation from August 2, last year. Fortunately, I had my “Spouse-Cam” handy to record everything… in case the jury needs to replay it.
JL Salter blog
            The day had begun normally enough, with the two of us on our front porch, enjoying the pleasant early morning weather – before it got too warm – and gazing eastward on the farm which has been in my wife’s family since about 1803. I was sipping coffee and probably writing in my journal… my wife was reading a novel while waiting for her tea to cool sufficiently.
            Spotting something colorful in the distance (about 300 feet away), I remarked, “Look at that red blob on top of the dogwood tree over yonder.” After her eyes redirected to where I was pointing, I asked, “Do you think that’s a bird… or a leaf?”
            With hardly a second’s hesitation, she replied, “Leaf,” and then went back to the paperback she’d been reading.
            I took a moment to look at her… wondering how her eyesight was so keen. Then I squinted again toward the tiny splash of distant color and added, “Seems kinda odd for a tree to have one single red leaf on the very top of a tree with green leaves everywhere else.”
            My wife sighed softly as her glance shifted quickly from her pages to the distant tree… and back again. “It’s a dogwood. They turn first.”
            Well, I didn’t have any almanacs handy, but that climate-triggered transition sounded early to me. “Color changes on August Second? We just left July two days ago.”
            Again, she looked up from her novel, but toward me this time. “Lot‘s of rain this summer.” Then she returned to her engrossing story. [Presumably that explained the early color change.]
            Folks, I’m not one of those husbands who refuses to drop a subject, but this one had seriously intrigued me. I was astonished at my wife’s long distance visual acuity and ability to process input instantaneously. “So can you see it clearly enough to KNOW that’s a leaf, rather than a bird?”
            Without looking up from her book this time, my wife replied, “Dogwoods are the first to change colors.”
            Well, that response had not directly answered my most recent question, but I decided to let the issue rest momentarily, since it was clear she was not as interested in my teeny splash of distant color… as she was in her novel. So I quietly continued to monitor the distant dogwood.
            A few minutes later, after she’d gone inside for a fresh cup of tea, my wife returned to the porch and took her seat again. She’d already picked up her paperback, but hadn’t opened it yet.
            While she was still getting re-settled, I said, “There’s an update on that red leaf on top of the dogwood out there.”
            Pausing in the middle of re-opening her book, she asked. “Which is?”
            Making every effort not to sound smug, I replied, “It just flapped its wings and flew away.”
            Now, some of you will have noticed I offered two titles to this little (true) essay. Tell us which title you believe better fits this scene.
            Was this yet another example of “The Marriage Manual Says the Wife is Always Right”?
… or was it a simple case of “Don’t Interrupt Me While I’m Reading”?
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7 thoughts on “The Marriage Manual Says the Wife is Always Right … or “Don’t Interrupt Me While I’m Reading” By Jeff Salter

  1. My husband and children learned (after ducking from flying missles) that if they spoke to me while I was in the last few chapters of a book they had better be bleeding profusely. Shame on you Jeff!

    • Well, Tonette, I’m trying to picture how it would have played out if you and your hubby were the ones on the porch. LOL

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