Not too many things catch me by surprise, although quite a few people have caught me napping. Such was the case this past week. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage caught me somewhat by surprise, which is really no surprise to anyone who knows me.
I knew that her and our daughters were talking behind my back and planning for something. Actually, they were not really talking behind my back I just was not paying attention to anything they were saying. Years ago, I developed this as a survival technique living in the house with three women.
There are several things about living in a house with three women.
First, it is impossible to get a word in edgewise in any discussion. I am not quite sure about this, but I believe women have a language all their own, unknown to any male born of woman. For years, I tried to decipher the secret code language these women in my house had, but to no avail. Apparently, women are born with this endowment. Also apparent, men do not have the equipment to understand what they are saying.By the time I thought I knew what they were discussing, they had already made a decision on the subject and were now on another subject altogether different from the previous subject. That is why a husband and father are at a great disadvantage in trying to squabble with either his wife or his daughters.
The difference between men and women has to do with curves. I am not referring to any physical description, which would be sexist. Rather, I am referring to the way women talk in comparison to men. Men talk in a straight line. They naturally go from A to B in a very orderly fashion using as few words as possible. Women, however, talk in circles employing every word in Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language. A man thinks his wife is going in one particular direction and before he knows it, she has taken a sharp left turn while he is still going straightforward trying to get to B and the twain shall never meet again.
I have long ago learned that in any argument with my wife I am completely unarmed while she is armed with a very sophisticated arsenal of women weaponry.
The second thing about living in a house with three women is it is impossible to get your turn in the bathroom. I have no idea what women do all the time in the bathroom but my speculation is, if men spent as much time in the bathroom they still would not look any better than they already do. Therefore, we men might as well give our bathroom time over to the women in our house who know how to use it to good advantage and practice our dancing routines.
Last week it came as no surprise when I saw the women in our household conspiring together. I have a long practice of not interjecting myself in areas where it is none of my concern. Then my wife made an announcement. Actually, it was more of a proclamation and as best as I can remember it went something like this, "The girls and I are going to the beach for several days."
Before I could really wrap my brain around this development, the girls were all packed and my wife was headed for the door. Right before she closed the door behind her she paused and looked back at me and said, "Are going to be all right with me away for a couple of days?"
I was not sure what she meant by that, but I for certain was not going to inquire. I simply looked at her, flashed one of my big smiles and said, "I'm going to be just fine. You and the girls just enjoy your self away from everything. And don't give me a second thought."
I then went to the door, kissed her goodbye and watched her drive out of our driveway. I then sighed a deep sigh and said to myself, "Self, you are now the Commander-in-briefs."
For the next three days, I would be king of my castle, ruler of my destiny. I would have complete run of the place and I was going to enjoy every minute of it. I even went to the bathroom, opened the door, looked in and said, "Bathroom, you're all mine." I was not sure what I was going to do in the bathroom with all the time I had on my hands, but it was sure nice knowing that I could do whatever I wanted to do.
In addition, my personal dietary regulations were now entrusted into my care. The first thing I did was to go out and buy a dozen apple fritters. My motto in life is simply this, "An apple fritter a day keeps the doctor at bay." And you know how those doctors like to bay at the moon at least once a month.
I did have a decision to make. Should I subject myself to my own cooking and run the risk associated with my cooking? Or, should I treat myself and take myself out to lunch?
The Bible sets it forth quite clearly. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise" (Proverbs 12:15 KJV).
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores.