Monday, November 17, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

The Chinese word for "listen," ting, is a combination of four other words: erdr (ear), tulau (mind), yenjin (eye), and shem (heart). I'm not sure how "ting" encompasses all those other words, but it may explain the dubbing problem that exists in Kung Fu movies. Nevertheless, it's a very thorough explanation of what it means to listen, I mean really listen to someone. I'm not talking about the "Uh-huh, uh-huh," listening while you're answering email at the same time, or the "Wow, that's great" listening, (while you have not a clue what the person just said because you were focused on the television). I'm talking about hearing, processing and responding, appropriately, to what someone is saying while making eye contact. This is important in relationships, especially for married couples who'd like to stay that way.

My husband considers himself to be an expert listener, and after today, I have to agree. The best part about his "supreme" listening skills is that not only does he hear me, he acts on what I say. His constant effort to be a better husband is what makes our marriage a keeper, for me. He respects me, and wants to figure me out. I'm not sure how this happened, but I like it. Unfortunately for him, I am an unsolvable puzzle, or I like to think I am.

Case in point, 'tis the season for the question: What do you want for Christmas? My answer this year is a shocker. "Go to Barnes & Noble and look for a book called Porn for Women. Grab yourself a coffee and read it. I don't want the book, just what's in it." Milk Man just stands there with this dumb grin on his face. "Wait, what? Am I asleep right now? You're sending me to a book store to read porn so I can find out what you want for Christmas?" I shake my head, yes. "I don't want the book; I want you to do what's in the book." He is celebrating prematurely, and I tell him to calm down. "I think I just might be the luckiest guy on Earth," he exclaims, heading out the door to start his kinky Christmas quest. I'm shaking my head because I'm in love with a doofus. The book is NOT a man's idea of porn. Women with brains hate that garbage that degrades and enslaves us. In this book men are cleaning the house, watching the kids, and LISTENING to their women, intently. Now, THAT'S REAL PORN. There is nothing a woman likes more than to know her guy listens and cares in the small ways.

I wish so badly that I could be a fly on the wall when he picks up this book. I'd give up a whole season of The Amazing Race to see his reaction. I imagine his jaw dropping when he finds out he has to clean the toilet and watch the kids for a whole day! I stand there imagining the scene until the baby is sitting on top of the kitchen table drinking out of all the breakfast glasses.

I'm sitting in the front porch when he comes home, trying to act like I'm reading. He puts his coat down and hands me a white envelope. "I was driving and thinking about the book you told me to read. I never got to Barnes & Noble, but I know you well enough to understand." Inside the envelope is a gift certificate to a specialty shop on Main Street. "I know you need underwear because you've lost a lot of weight since the baby, and you never buy it for yourself. I want you to go get what you need, and I don't mean lingerie. Just go get yourself some comfortable stuff that fits right." I am surprised. It's not even Thanksgiving yet. "Christmas shopping means you buy gifts that you give ON Christmas." I say, handing back the envelope. "This isn't a Christmas gift; please go get yourself some panties, or whatever. Have fun." He says, pushing me toward the front door. Now my mouth is hanging open over underwear shopping spree money. I know it sounds so dumb, but it really means so much to me. Somewhere along the way of having three babies I stopped paying attention to personal details, not because I want to neglect myself, but because I just don't make myself a priority. That's why an underwear shopping spree shocks me. "Is that porn good enough for you? Why are you staring at me like that?" He asks. I hug him, a little too tightly, maybe because we almost end up on the floor. My question explains my sudden glee, "How can someone who didn't even find the book yet invent a whole new chapter?!"

--Here is a peek inside this very funny book. The guy is saying: "Ooh look, the NFL playoffs are today. I bet we'll have no trouble parking at the crafts fair."


Milk Man said...

I will buy a gift certificate but with the possibility of a Jet/Giant SuperBowl I am not a good enough husband to look forward to the craft fair during the NFL playoffs.

Loren Christie said...

Fair enough.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

Haha - very funny. You have a great guy. :)

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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