I said to my husband, as he was preparing to leave for the grocery store, "While you're there would you please get a half gallon of Edy's vanilla bean ice cream - no sugar added, half the fat."
Well, I heard him say, "okay," and I saw him nod his head, but for some reason, I just KNEW he wasn't actually listening. How did I know? Because in our 21 years of marriage, one of our big issues is that sometimes, as hard as he SAYS he tries, he doesn't REALLY listen when I talk. I say it's a choice. He says it's a brain issue.
So I asked him just before he left, "John, just checking. Not that I doubt you for a moment, but what kind of ice cream did I ask for?"
He didn't hesitate, "Ah ha! You think I wasn't listening! Well I was! You want Edy's vanilla bean -no sugar added, half of this and that."
At first I thought he was kidding, but as I looked at his face, I realized he wasn't. He repeated, "Yeah. Half of this...and half of that....two kinds.......right?"
At this moment in time, I was faced with a choice in how I would respond. I could say to myself, "I'm going to run away from home. I always wanted to be a nun. I look good in black. Now's the time." And trust, me, after 9,642 incidents similar to this one, the nunnery sounded like a fine option.
Or, I could do what I did. I said to him, "Well you WERE listening! Good for you! Yes! Get the one with half of this and half of that."
He turned and out the door he went.
And in that moment, I made a another choice. I decided that when the phone rang in a few minutes (and, oh yes, it was going to ring), I was going to be soooo busy that I just couldn't get to it in time to answer it.
Don't you wonder what the grocery store clerk said when he asked for Edy's vanilla bean ice cream with half of this and half of that...?
Oh. And so you know. He came home with FOUR half gallon containers of four different flavors of Edy's ice cream.
Note to self: There can be advantages when he doesn't really listen... I do love ice cream.
About the Author
Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE is a Hall of Fame Speaker, professional actress, best-selling author and serious lover of doggies. Linda speaks at conferences and meetings around the world, helping people bring the very best version of themselves to life every day! To talk to Linda about how she can contribute to the success of your next event, call 941-927-4700. Or go to Book Linda Now!