Friday, September 26, 2008

Helpful tips.

Not long ago, a stranger came up to me as I was loitering in the paintbrush aisle of my neighborhood home improvement store. I was shopping for one of those really expensive paintbrushes that cost so much they should last a lifetime. And I'm convinced that they do last a really long time--or that they would--if only I would take care of them the way the manufacturer intended. But because I don't, and because I move and misplace them, I have to go back periodically and buy more lifetime-guaranteed brushes.

And so I was standing there, contemplating whether one three-inch brush would be sufficient, or whether I needed to also buy a smaller brush, when a slightly older man approached me and asked me if I knew anything about painting.

"I've done my fair share," I said.

And then he asked for my experienced opinion as regards the best way to paint a popcorn ceiling. I was, of course, happy to oblige. I'm nothing if not free with my opinion.

And as he was thanking me for my helpfulness, he made a throwaway remark about really needing to get this particular chore taken care of, because his wife was going to stay after him until he did.

"You know," he said, "it seems like I nothing I ever do makes her happy."

And something in his voice on that last syllable of happy stopped me. I had been standing there, nodding--smiling and nodding like one does when someone else is remarking on one of life's tiny little truisms.

"That's all a man wants, really. Just to be able to make his woman happy. None of the rest of it matters. Not really."

And that was how we left it--he, wandering off in search of ceiling paint and me, still standing in the paintbrush aisle, wishing someone had thought to tell me sooner.

2 comments:

Heather said...

Shit. Now why did you have to go and tell me that?!

pat sloan said...

check out this article today
http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/09/26/o.improve.your.marriage/index.html

and the longer version
http://www.enotalone.com/article/11526.html