posted by Matt W on December 3rd, 2014

Well another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Last year in a moment of food preparation frustration, I suggested to my wife that we have pizza this year instead turkey. She agreed. I was so excited about her positive response that I wrote about it in my Make Mine a Sausage And Mushroom post-Thanksgiving blog that year.

Fast forward a year.

So as I am helping my wife prepare a grocery list for this year’s Thanksgiving feast, I reminded her that this year she promised that we would have pizza instead of turkey. “We are having guests over, we can’t feed them pizza.” she replied in a voice that really only barely covered her contempt for my obviously idiotic statement. “Besides I never said we could have pizza, I said that I wanted to go on a Caribbean vacation instead of preparing a huge feast.” How could I have possibly confused those two things? And If I heard vacation wouldn’t I have pushed harder for that this year than a pizza?

After a few futile attempts to resurrect the pizza plan, I give up. As she continues to doubt I ever said my pizza idea, my daughter nods in my direction that she remembers her agreeing to pizza. She is not however willing to say the words out loud and I really can’t blame her as my wife is on a Thanksgiving mission and those breaking in ranks will quickly because causalities of her assault on this holiday. I mouth “Thank you,” and go back to the grocery list. At least, I’m not losing my mind.

“What kind of dressing should we get this year?” was my “back on task” next question. The responses were rapid and crazy. In no specific order, the responses were as follows.

My son asked, “We have donuts, where are they?”

My daughter obviously hurt said, “What about a new daughter?”

My wife responded obviously irritated, “I thought you were working on the grocery list.” (I never did get out of her what she thought I said). All three responses were nonsensical at best, and who are we kidding, just crazy. I’m surprised my dog didn’t howl from the next room over thinking I was looking for a new dog. I take that back; he gets me.

When did Dads/Husbands become the least listened to part of the family? Everyone listens to wives and moms first. If she’s not happy… we get it. But when did dads slip behind kids into distant last on the listening scale? I get the feeling my family hears a low rumble whenever I’m around and every once in a while hears something that piques their interest positively or negatively like donuts or a new daughter.

I was talking with my father recently (I listen to him), and he said he had a nice conversation with my brother-in-law, who is apparently looking at a new position at work. I asked him what type of work he was looking at and my dad thought for a while and finally after a long pause said, “I have no idea. He told me multiple types of equipment he was looking to work with, but I can’t remember any of them. It seems like it was a nice conversation though.”

So it seems like I am at the point in the father listening scale where I am not being listened to, but not quite to the point where it really doesn’t matter because I don’t remember anyway and only care about hanging out.

Well, next year for Thanksgiving, who knows what I will be doing. I could be eating pizza in the Caribbean with my new daughter, or just making turkey at home again. My wife and kids probably didn’t hear anything I proposed this year anyway. But thankfully, I’m almost to the point where I won’t remember what was said this year and will just enjoy hanging out with everyone. And hopefully there will be donuts.



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