I always grumbled about how ‘fussy and annoying’ my wife was, but a chance encounter with a blind older man and his wife changed my views. I discovered my beloved wife was with me for ‘something’ else, which was not my money.
Loud rock music at the pub pierced my ears. It was the best day of my life—my wife was not at home. It was also the last day of my freedom—she was returning home from her vacation the next day.
“Sam is returning tomorrow…I wish I had sent her on a long trip for the entire year,” I shouted, gulping my drink at George’s bachelor party. “Oh, no, dude! I pity you. You are back to your annoying husband biz,” laughed George, forgetting his bachelor life was going to be over soon.
My friend and I were talking about my wife, Samantha, who was constantly fussy and a hard-to-please woman. When we married five years ago, I was the happiest. “Finally, I’ve united with my soulmate!” I thought when I wed her. But slowly and steadily, that joy faded and turned bitter…
Is it a tradition that women demand their husbands to take them out often? Personally, I don’t think that’s very pleasant. We men work so hard Monday through Friday. Even overtime, sometimes! The weekend is our only time to relax and get rid of burnout. But my wife hardly understands that. Sometimes, I feel I should just divorce her and get back to my peaceful bachelor’s life.
“Was my wife really fussy? Was I right that she only grumbles? Or was I wrong?” I did not find answers until the next day.
I was tired of arguing with Samantha over her constant demands for my attention. Not that I had no time for her, but I wanted to have my ‘own’ space and relax. One day, she staged an unnecessary fight with me for coming home late. It was Friday evening, and she complained I ruined her movie night which she never discussed with me. This is what I did:
“Darling, here, take my card and shop for everything you like. Take your friends too. Please leave me alone. I’m tired,” I told her and kissed her. It was ironic, but that was my situation.
Whenever Samantha quarreled with me, I gave her my card. It was my tactic to shut her mouth and avoid unwanted scenes at home. And it worked! But not for long.
“My friend and her husband had just returned from their dream vacation in Hawaii. Honey, can we go as well, please? It’s been a long time since we went on a holiday,” she said, looking directly at me. I melted seeing her smoky eyes, and then I put off, saying: “Sorry honey, I can’t make it. But I’ll book you and Liam two tickets. You two need a break!” Liam is our 4-year-old son.
Samantha was mad at me, but she agreed. On the day of the departure, she waited for me in the living room. I did not know she wanted me to drop her and our son at the airport.
“Dave, hurry up. We are getting late!” she told me.
“Oh, sorry…one sec…great! I just booked your taxi, and it should arrive in five minutes. Happy journey, darling,” I told her and went to kiss her. But she pushed me aside, turned around, and left, grumbling. “What even?!” I frowned because I did not know what she was after.
I waved goodbye as my wife and son drove past the gate. I was so happy after she left. No more fusses for one whole week, I sighed with relief. I missed her, I admit. But I wanted to indulge in my guilty pleasures while she was away.
I turned on some music and danced like a crazy man. I started calling all my friends and invited them to a great house party with drinks. I celebrated the best time of my life that entire week.
I was enjoying my space. It felt heavenly not to hear my wife’s constant nags. I partied hard for six days, and on the seventh day, I joined my friends at a local pub. It was George’s bachelor party. I pitied him and pulled his leg, sarcastically predicting how his life would turn into a sweet hell once he tied the knot!
Samantha was returning the next day, so I had to go home soon and clean all the mess I had made. It had to be spick and span, just how she’d left it, or I’d be in troubled waters again.
I was driving home that evening, and suddenly, my car broke down. Luckily, I managed to board a bus. Then I ran into Mrs. Phelps while getting down. She was a kind older woman who lived five blocks from my house. We rarely met because our work timings were different. I noticed her difficulty in carrying heavy shopping bags.
“Hey there!” she greeted me. “Son, could you please help me carry these bags? They are so heavy,” she requested, and I could not deny her.
I don’t understand why but I felt a strange bond building up with Mrs. Phelps. Maybe she reminded me of my late mother. So I started sharing my everyday struggles with her.
“It is so hard to please my wife, Mrs. Phelps. She gets annoyed by the simple things I do or don’t do. I always get her nice gifts and give her money even when she never asks me. But she always complains,” I said.
Mrs. Phelps grinned and told me: “Son, no amount of money is worth a man’s attention!”
A weird feeling struck my heart, and I realized we had already crossed my house. I carried the bags, and when we reached Mrs. Phelps’s gate, an older man wearing black glasses came running to her. He was holding a support cane, and he was blind. It stunned me how he could easily guess his wife had come home.
“Darling, I’m so sorry for being late. I was making us some tea!” he said, grabbing Mrs. Phelps’s handbag and shopping bags. I was shocked, and it turned out he came to the bus stop to help his wife carry her stuff every day. Although the stop was around 200 meters from his house, the man never complained or made a fuss walking this distance for his wife.
“What are you apologizing for?! I told you not to do this lifting business, but I don’t remember you listening. You’ve been doing it for 30 years and counting!” laughed Mrs. Phelps.
Her husband chuckled and said: “If I weren’t blind and got a chance to see you again, I’d wait for you outside your office and bring you home! I would do anything for you!”
At that moment, something strange struck my heart again. It was a weird feeling of guilt and enlightenment. It felt light, like dandelion puffs floating in the air. Mr. and Mrs. Phelps changed my opinions about my wife that day.
My conscience questioned: “Was my wife really fussy? Was I right that she only grumbles? Or was I wrong?” I did not find answers until the next day…
The following afternoon, I got a call from Samantha. She told me that she was at the airport and would be coming home by taxi. I said: “Darling, why would you want to come home by taxi when I’m already waiting for you at the airport? Come quickly! I can’t wait to hug you!”
I saw my wife and son march toward me a few minutes later. I removed my sunglasses and walked to her, extending my hands for a warm hug.
For the next few minutes, I hugged my wife and told her how blessed I was to have her in my life. She did not understand what had changed me. She might have even assumed I was staging some odd prank. “Please forgive me for taking you for granted, honey!” I apologized.
“Dave, what’s going on—” she exclaimed, and I hugged her again. Feeling my wife’s breath and skin warmed my heart. It restored my joy, like how I felt when I first saw her and knew she was the one. That night, I booked an extended vacation for us to Miami for two weeks.
“We are going on a family holiday next week!” I told her as she threw herself in my arms and cried. At that moment, I realized how lovely it feels to express to our loved ones that we care about them…that we love them and would do anything to make them happy.
When we returned from our mind-blowing holiday, I introduced my wife to Mr. and Mrs. Phelps.
We often met them because, like me, even Samantha was inspired by the beautiful and strong couple.
My heart felt lighter and happier as my conscience spoke: “Never take your loved ones for granted. Even a small act of love and care makes a world of difference and strengthens relationships.”
What can we learn from this story?
Do not take your loved ones for granted. Dave thought his wife was always fussy and hard to please. He took her for granted and failed to understand her love for him.
Money cannot buy happiness. Dave thought giving his wife his credit card and money would make her happy. He did not understand that she sought his attention and love, not his money.