I don’t practice risky behavior. I enjoy life and I prefer not to exit it with a Darwin Award. So I don’t bungee jump, skydive, mountain climb, dive into the shallow end, or eat peanut butter off a spoon. It is, then to this, that I query my readers; why is it then that people feel it necessary to remind me to “be careful”.?
My wife and I had company coming over and we were cleaning house the night before in preparation for their visit. I had been putting of taking the recyclables despite my wife’s gentle, yet daily, encouragements. My justification in the delay being that it would take decades for our recyclables to breakdown in a landfill if we decided to be so careless. But we don’t, so what are a few more days. Well, I finally got on the ball around 11 pm, which isn’t a prime chore time but I knew the dumpster rush would be long past. I told my wife where I was going and that I’d be right back. Worry immediately showed on her face. Now, the WORRY function uses the entire left hemisphere of the female brain, for those of you who don’t know the mechanics of the female brain. There is not much room left in this hemisphere aside from a few involuntary functions like blinking, breathing, and screaming when an insect is spotted. So a card has been played. My wife is worried and now it’s my turn. The reassurance card; I always lead with this one, and it’s really all I’ve have anyway. “I’ll be fine, honey”, I say. And the machine gun like firing of the synapses on the left side subsides dramatically.
I’m heading out the door when one last one fires like a spark gap jumper, like a bolt of lighting in my wife’s mind. I’m not out of the woods. “Honey”, she says, “Be careful”. What came to mind it not what I said, fortunately for me. I wanted to say, “Not this time, babe. I’m tired of being careful. Yep, it’s overrated. Tonight I’m not flossing, not washing my hands after I flush, I’m microwaving popcorn with my face pressed right up against the glass, I’ll run in socked feet across this hardwood floor, but first, I’m driving to the recycling bin. We can play Scrabble later too if I make it back alive.”
I’ve been involved in mishaps before because I wasn’t being careful, but it’s not something that can be helped by being reminded. I still do foolish things for reasons I can not explain. Mostly, I just open my mouth when it should be closed. I would have liked to share with my wife exactly what was running through my mind, but I didn’t. I was being careful.