The Guessing Game

One night a few months after we were married, I picked up a rubber-band off the floor as we were going to sleep and smiled to myself. He smiled and said something along the lines of "Yeah, thats funny." I told him smugly he had no idea what I was thinking about. He sleepily said " Sure I do. That Peanuts cartoon where Lucy takes the rubber-band away from Linus" And he was right. But that particular cartoon is rarely seen by people our age as it was one from the first year and only appears in vintage collections which aren't something he ever reads, and not something I had at home anyway. [Interstingly enough, he only does this with me. And then only once every five years or so]

Then there's the example of the ping-pong table. I thought it would be fun to have one, and I knew my husband would love it, and so I got him one for Christmas several years ago, and had my Dad drive into the city to pick it up, and store it at their house, all so my husband wouldn't guess. I was so excited. My husband came home from his business trip late at night. Collapsed at the dining-room table took one look at me and said "You bought me a ping-pong table didn't you?" Even though I had been careful to never let the words leave my mouth and to not even look at ads for them! I stared at him and burst into tears. He swore never again to guess about anything. Years later, he still spends large amounts of energy not guessing! Because he loves me.

Which must be wearing thin because he told me its all he can do to NOT guess anything about the BetterIdeaEvent! I know he'll pull himself together and stay away from it, but he casually mentioned that yesterday in the truck (with four small children) after a working-weekend-away that might be best described as ... interestingly non-childproofed.

"Hmmmm" you might be saying to yourself. "Wonder how she reacted?" That is, if you are a NEW reader, you might be asking that. Experienced readers will have a pretty clear picture, a picture of a woman trapped in a hotel with four small children while her husband was in meetings, and then bad food, and no kiddie-tv, and then bad beds, and then a bad drive. A woman on the edge of sanity. A woman who was pushed OVER the edge by the mention of The Guessing Game. A woman who might have dissolved into honest-to-goodness hysterics. Manicial laughter, and not in a good way. Punctuated by the shrill demand that everyone just STOP talking. STOP STOP STOP. WIth flailing. Lots of flailing and babbleling.

It took a few minutes to get myself under control. For what its worth, I've never lost it like that before. And probably never will again. But this one time was enough. When my breathing slowed, Ron (age 9) from the back-seat asked why I was laughing if I wasn't happy. And I tried to explain that like their are "happy tears" there can be "sad laughter". And that it definitely wasn't "funny laughter". Then I noticed Lee (age 7) sitting next to me, his eyes wide with interest and expectation as he stared at me, not blinking. Right before he said "It WAS funny". I told him I was NOT happy and it was not funny. And he killed me with "Well, it was sure funny to watch!"

Over his shoulder I could see my husband laughing silently to himself. He's REALLY enjoying me not telling him what The-Better-Idea-Project is! It may even be more fun than The Guessing Game!


Oh my goodness. We really do have parallel lives! My dh does this to me ALL the time! I can remember something he mentioned 15 YEARS ago, and buy it for him, and he will come home that day and say, "Hey, I was thinking about going out and getting a _______." My head about explodes every time he does it. He has no idea how he does it, or how to turn it off, but he'd better figure it out!

Man, that drives me crazy.

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