We don't often enough take the time to consider the cost of
things. And by cost I'm not referring so much to dollars
and cents as
much as the things that are lost or exchanged as a consequence of our
On my way home from work the other day I stopped by the store to
pick up some things to make Kelly dinner. It had been awhile
since I contributed to the cooking effort on the home front.
This is due in large part because of my schedule at work and
school. Most evenings find me walking through the door already
full from a quick pick-up dinner or too tired to stand in the kitchen
to make a meal. 5:00 am comes calling very early it always seems
so the last thing I want to do is stand around the kitchen the few
moments I have on a weeknight to be home. But this night I got
off work early and didn't have a class. So I was going to cook
Kelly is a school teacher...well that is not putting it in clear
enough terms. Kelly is a Special Education Teacher who works
with emotional distributed and autistic children. For anyone unfamiliar
with this line of work it requires degrees of talent, patience,
stamina, and caring that me and my fellow corporate toilers can manage
to get through the day without. I could not do what she does, no
question. This is a contributing factor to the topic because I
sometime lose sight of how hard she works.
On this particular day I walked in the door about 5:30, bagged
groceries in hand. Kelly was already home and as I unpacked the
groceries I told her I was going to make her dinner which she acknowledged
as being a thoughtful and welcomed thing. Problem is she gets
hungry early. She is usually done with lunch by 11:20am on an
average school day so by 5:30 she is already getting hungry. But
5:30 was too early for me to start making dinner. I wasn't
raised in one of those eat dinner at 6 o'clock sharp kind of
families so I have always shot for a mealtime of 7:30.
After almost an hour of patient waiting for me to start dinner
Kelly began her campaign of "make dinner now me hungry"
activity which consists largely of hanging around my desk while I am
at the computer and saying things like "Are you gonna start
dinner soon" and "Honey, I am so hungry, are you almost
finished". To this I usually reply with a stock in a
minute which translates into "I will do it sometime between
now and the next time the Sox win the Series." This results
in her pouting off to the kitchen muttering about making oatmeal or
some other inappropriate meal that would be made for the sole purpose
of making me feel guilty. That is usually when I give in.
But not this time.
I don't know if it was left over stress from work where I have to
deal with a assortment of random personalities each convinced that the
future of the IT marketplace depends on the efforts of IBM and, more
specifically, them, or if it was something else. But that day I
just got mad and stormed into the kitchen.
I don't recall the exact dialogue but I remember saying some
hurtful things to Kelly. If translated into nice terms it would
probably have been something to the effect of "If I go
ahead and begin making dinner will that be sufficient enough effort to
get you to cease your speaking?" But it was not that nice
at all. In the process of this I got even angrier and before I
was done there was a broken bowl in the bottom of the sink with three
eggs sliding through the cracked ceramic and down the drain, wasted.
Almost immediately I was struck by what an ass I had been.
All she wanted was dinner. All she wanted was another meal- one
that I had surprised her by saying I was cooking- before she hit 8
hours since her last meal. And in response to this logical
request I got angry and broke a bowl in the sink and wasted some eggs
that are worth 8 cents a piece.
People take out their frustrations and aggravations on the ones
they love all the time. It's not right but it happens. As
I think back to Kelly just wanting some French Toast I am ashamed I
didn't just make the fucking toast. She's really great and I am
damn lucky to have a woman like her in my life.
I have since assessed that the cost of those eggs were high.
In fact they were the most expensive eggs I had ever bought and that
includes the ones from the Fairmont Hotel off 5th avenue in New
York. These were way more expensive because they cost more than
$15.95. The cost was that look on Kelly's face when she saw that
it was more important for me to break bowls and eggs then it was to
have a nice meal with her. She forgave me an hour later but I am
never going to have that moment back. I will never be able to
use that opportunity to make her see why she loves me
rather than question why. I have had and will have other
opportunities, but that one is lost.