My 9-Year-Old Accidentally Explained Why His Mom Divorced Me
The truth was always hovering just a little over my head.
By Matthew Fray
“What do you want to have for dinner tomorrow?”
My wife asked me that a lot and I didn’t like it.
I didn’t like it on two levels:
Level 1 No-Likey: I have enough to worry about. Whether I have serious things to do, or perhaps am simply unwinding from a day at work, there are SEVERAL things competing for my time and energy, and what we’re doing for dinner TOMORROW was extremely low on my priority list. Maybe I’ll want pizza. Maybe I’ll want tacos. Maybe I’ll want seafood. I don’t know. Also, I’m not hungry, so almost nothing sounds appealing. This doesn’t matter right now. Can’t this wait until it does?
Level 2 No-Likey: This conversation often didn’t go my way. I don’t want to invest time doing something I don’t want to do, only to be told why it’s a bad idea or why it can’t or shouldn’t be done. I don’t want to say something that will require either of us to have to stop at the grocery store when we previously weren’t planning on it. As a general rule, I am against decisions that create more work when an alternative is available that doesn’t.
I’m sure she agreed to ordering a pizza a bunch of times when she probably didn’t want to. I bet she even went to the grocery store a bunch of times just to accommodate whatever dinner idea I’d suggested.
But my natural state of being — generally — is to worry about things when it seems like I need to. You know — “cross that bridge when we get to it.”
I wasn’t shy during my marriage about saying or behaving in ways that communicated how insignificant I considered the Future Dinner Conversation to be.
“What do you want to have for dinner tomorrow?” she said.
“I truly don’t have an opinion, babe. I kind-of don’t care. Whatever you want will be fine with me,” I said.
I thought I was being cool and accommodating my wife’s preferences.
It took me several years to realize just how incorrect I was.