"You know what my biggest fault is?" I asked Linda.
She was concentrating intently on a painting she has been working on for some time. It's close to being finished but something about it just isn't right and it bothers her.
"Interrupting me when I'm concentrating on something else?" she guessed, continuing to study the painting, gently cocking her head from side to side.
"No, of course not," I laughed. What a sense of humour she has! "I mean my biggest fault."
"Persisting in interrupting me when you see I'm concentrating on something else," she guessed again, her gaze wavering only slightly from her work.
"No my biggest fault. You know, the thing that annoys you the most!"
Linda sighed and put down her paintbrush. She looked at me with an expression I couldn't fathom and sighed again. Then with a look of resignation on her face, she asked, "Walking too fast when we're together so you leave me walking two or three feet behind you?"
"Telling my stories when we're at a party, so I have nothing left to say."
"No, that's just being helpful. I mean an actual fault."
"Making me guess things you already know the answer to?"
I laughed again and shook my head. I really love her sense of humour.
"Forgetting to pick up the simple things I ask for at the store? Taking me out to see movies you love and I don't care for? Forgetting to give me messages from my friends when they phone?"
"Not lovable idiosyncrasies, I mean that thing I do that really, really annoys you."
Linda shook her head. "So I haven't guessed it yet?"
"You're not even close!"
"Okay so maybe you'll have to remind me. Obviously this is such an annoying trait I've blanked it out as an act of self preservation, or something." She cast a longing glance at her painting out of the corner of her eye.
With her running out of ideas, some of the fun went out of the game for me. We were having such a good time playing. Women, can be such spoil sports some time. Or maybe I don't have as many faults as I thought?
"You know," I finally told her. "It's when you ask me to do something and I do it right away."
It was Linda's turn to laugh. "Alright, well you're going have to give me some examples of that happening!"
"You remember when your dentist told you we should be using an electric toothbrush, and I ran right out and brought one and you were really annoyed."
The light dawned in Linda's eyes. "Yes, well I wanted a say in the choice of brush we got."
"Yes, yes, I was annoying right? And when you wanted that bookcase taken down and I ripped it out the next day."
"I was just wondering what the room would look like without the bookcase. I wasn't sure I wanted it removed."
I was triumphant! "There, you see, it's my worst trait!"
"Well, that's annoying of you alright. But what about it?"
"I promise not to do that any more."
Linda was startled. Actually shaken.
"I thought I should make some changes in my life," I explained. "And get rid of some of my bad habits."
"And that was the bad habit you planned to get rid of?" Linda shook her head in wonderment. "Actually doing something I ask you to do as soon as I ask you to do it?"
I could see the light of understanding in her eyes. "Exactly! I thought that would please you."
Linda shook her head. "Men," she said, along with something else I didn't quite catch.
I guess she was marveling at what wonderful creatures we are!
It really feels good to know you've made your wife happy.
Tim, Mike and My Gap Year
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