I recently started to notice strange behavior in my husband. Nothing major, just little things out of the ordinary that have made me raise my left brow and run a gamut of hypotheses.
Then when I used his car to make a quick trip to the store, I was appalled to find folded shirts and socks cluttering the gray upholstered passenger seat of his Pontiac. This may not be weird to other people, but we are a ‘put it where it goes’ type of family, and last time I checked, those items belonged in a dresser. Just sayin’.
Now Mr. Coppertop and I have been married for twelve years. There are a lot of adjectives I could use to describe our relationship, but the most basic way to put it is, we are best friends. For the first eleven years of our marriage we lived far away from any family.
Holidays, hardships, and even the births of all three of our children were just he and I. I’m not complaining because it made us close.
I don’t call my mom when we have issues, we work them out. I know his coffee-scoop to water ratio, and that he thrives in clean and organized spaces. (That, my friends, would include shirts and socks in their appropriate places.)
Being the sleuth that I am (Thank you Nancy Drew.) …I made a mental note to watch this man’s behavior a little closer. Perhaps I could connect the dots.
In hindsight I realized it would have been significantly more coherent to confront him with my questions, rather than giving my brain the liberty to assume the position of Sherlock Holmes. However, my tracker skills took over and I was immediately in the business of finding probable scenarios.
All day long I had my husband in bizarre hypothetical situations that involved coffee and socks.
Was he selling clothes as a side hustle? Has he always hated my coffee and now he’s dropping hints that I should buy him a Keurig? Is he developing an absurd habit of changing his socks with every cup of coffee? 😉
At the end of the day, my mental faculties were exhausted. I had resigned him as a criminal and was prepared to feed him his last meal.
When he walked in, he flashed his charmer-sweet-husband smile my way, but I wasn’t about to let that fool me…
…Well maybe it did a little, because I heard a patriotic little voice inside my head whisper, “Innocent until proven guilty…just ask him.”
As I scooped another helping of Mexican quinoa on his plate, I lifted my chin, looked him square in the eye and asked.
“Oh that,” he said between mouthfuls. “Michelle said that the homeless people in our area are most in need of socks and shirts, so I thought I would pull over when I saw one, see what they needed, then share some of my coffee with them. Hey! I have a cool story to tell about that…”
My intense posture melted and a relieved blush color filled my face.
As I watched him wash down the rest of his dinner with a swig of water, I had a little moment of perspective…
It’s November and the world is turning fast. There’s always something next on the calendar, but is it the most important appointment that we need to be keeping?
As we pause to be thankful this month for what we’ve been given, perhaps we should consider what more can we give.
Sometimes we get hung up on the idea of giving. We think that we have to wait until an official holiday or until we have extra, but giving is so much more simple and pure. Start with what you have. Your time, your compassion, your home, or even your coffee pot…
I’ve decided to put away my private detective work (it wasn’t a great fit anyway) and devote some extra mental space to new and creative ways to be generous.
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In what ways to you like to be generous?