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Sunday, February 21, 2010
Honesty, Thy Name is "Honey Bunch"
Someone once told me that if you want to know who's really in charge at your house, at bedtime tonight, when you get back up to go turn off the light, just before you flip the light switch, turn around really quick and look at the bed. Whoever is in there - that's who's in charge!
I sang special music at church yesterday. I was asked to. I figured it I would do it just once, one of two things would happen.
1. It would kick off my musical career (unlikely).
2. They would never ask me to do that again (probable).
Don't know how it came out yet. I got a couple of compliments I couldn't immediately identify as either serious or sarcastic, but that's all. My daughter left church early for some previous engagement and wasn't around to give me the brutally honest opinion to which the women of my household feel I am entitled, but she said she'll watch the video next week and let me know.
I'm all a-quiver with anticipation.
I didn't really tell my Sweet Baboo I was performing. Her critiques of my rehearsals aren't terribly confidence building, so I practiced upstairs in the kitchen or out on the deck where the dog sat through it all, looking puzzled and vaguely dyspeptic. She waited till I was through and then threw up on the deck.
When I got home from church yesterday, I casually mentioned that I had "done" special music for church that morning. She asked what I sang. I told her, "Sweet Hour of Prayer".
"I mostly played the instrumental part on the guitar and didn't sing but 2 verses," I assured her.
She shrugged, made a "Hmmmph" sound and went back to surfing her Facebook page on my laptop. She's recovering from a bout of pneumonia, so I didn't expect much of a reaction. In this I was not disappointed.
This is a totally different reception than the one my kids get when they play a special for church or some other public event. Sheila will hunt them down and make them perform the piece in its entirety for her. I have to obtain any photos or video that is available for historical archiving. She always tells them how beautiful their song was and what clever children they are to be able to perform so well.
They are 29 and 36 respectively, but their Mama never misses an opportunity to give them encouragement and emotional support.
I on the other hand am under sentence of brutal honesty in my household. All the females in my family understand this and support the execution of this judgment. Even the dog, who generally likes me, refuses to lie to me for the sake of my ego. My ego, apparently needs no encouragement.
In many ways women stand in as the voice of almighty God in a man's world. A man may surround himself with sycophants, flatterers and toadies, but let him get himself a wife of any quality whatsoever and he soon finds himself in possession of a veritable mirror showing him his own character, talents and failings without mercy or shading of the truth.
In sea-faring times captains were god-like in their power aboard ship. He could flog you, hang you or promote you at the slightest whim and no one would question his power to do so. But, sometimes captains put to sea with their wives on board. Sailors called such ships "hen frigates" in reference to the alteration of the command structure onboard such vessels. It is a testament to the power of women that the mere presence of a wife could so undermine the authority of her captain husband who held what was undoubtedly the most omnipotent of military ranks while the ship was at sea operating independently. It's why the practice was discontinued in naval vessels. It's why James Kirk, Jean Luc Picard and Jonathan Archer were single throughout their Star Trek careers.
God gives a man a wife to prepare him for heaven. They are quite good at it. I suppose we should not be resentful. Besides, if our egos need fluffing, we can always go visit our mothers.
(Our wives believe they spoil us most shamelessly.)
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoe-making and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. -Mark Twain