My wife keeps a diary, and sometimes leaves it open with the last entry in view on the coffee table. I'm a person who wouldn't want to read another person's diary, even my wife's, diaries being personal. But out of a corner of my eye, on the diary page, I saw my name. I couldn't help reading.
"I can't let John's negativity get to me," the diary read.
What do ya' mean, negative? I thought. I'm not negative. Sure, I complain a little because I'm not a rich man. I have a relative who gets paid thousands of dollars, a lower-middle-class jerk who all he does is count couches at a furniture outlet. The guy thinks Arnold Schwarzenegger is a good actor. That's how dumb he is, and he makes all this money.
I'm the only man in my family who could have taken the bad luck I've had without becoming a drug addict, or ending up in a lunatic asylum, and for this I'm called negative. I work endlessly without a vacation. I put up with a sassy kid and a wife who takes me for granted.
Grumbling, I moved past the diary and went outside to mow the lawn. The next day, Sunday, my wife left the house, and the diary was open again and there was a new passage.
"Why do I have to deal with such stress?" It read. "I can't stand this complaining. We've become more distanced than ever. Yet, John has such spirit and sensitivity........"
"Well, at least that last part is good," I told the diary.
"He needs to not feel the world is against him," the diary added.
The world's against me? I never said that. Remember when Cynthia (my wife's friend), that college, over-educated snob (she thinks she's better because she's a Hollywood script writer who knows the names of all the English kings). Remember when her father died in Hawaii, and I forgot, and she came back from the funeral and I innocently asked, thinking she had gone there on a vacation, "how was Hawaii?"
"Don't dare say that," Cynthia had bitterly snarled.
It was an innocent mistake. Cynthia had no right to get mad. But I took her guff. I wanted to throw her out a window, but I didn't. I just decided I'd never speak to her again.
Disgusted, I put the diary down and went and racked the dishes in the automatic dishwasher. Wiping my hands, I returned, picked up the diary, and flipped back a page.
"John doesn't listen. He interrupts and has to have the last word," it read.
I took a pencil and made my own entry in the diary. I copied my wife's style of handwriting. "My husband is a handsome, muscular saint," I wrote. "I really should allow him some vices."
© Copyright 2004 by SammonSays.com
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John Sammon is the author of two books and writes a weekly column you may access at Sammonsays.com.