You always see cartoons and sitcoms of men completely beaten down by their wives, crushed under the weight of constant haranguing and abusive disparaging language, and I have always thought how sad.
I was fortunate enough to marry a woman who was nothing like those wives and so I did not develop a marital slouch. This is not to say, however, that I couldn’t hear her voice from anywhere, the bat and dog having nothing on me.
Perhaps the best example occurred during a women’s hockey tournament in which my wife—I will call her Leela, because that is her name—was participating.
As a hockey lover and good husband, I attended almost every game Leela played and this tournament was no different. The tournament took place in a large rink complex (about 4 sheets of ice) and so the concession stand was well away from some of the rinks.
With Leela ensconced in the dressing room for her upcoming game, I took the opportunity to sneak off for a coffee and hot dog. While I awaited my food, one of the other husbands showed up and we started chatting. Time became immaterial.
Suddenly, I stopped talking and like an icy meerkat, rose up on my hind legs at a disturbance in the Force. I was being beckoned.
As I peer my failing eyesight through three sets of doors, the Plexiglas getting murkier with each layer, I espied a waving hockey glove.
“Gotta go!” I announced, as I bolted for the doors.
Indeed, it was Leela who, through a mouthguard, did her best to scream my name. She needed new skate laces.
If an audiologist had been in the rink, he would have detected no sound. Likewise, there was no visual clue that anything was wrong. And yet, I had been imprinted, so I knew that darkness had descended and my assistance was required.
Now, make all the whipping noises you like, but we found out that the connection also works in the other direction.
At Leela’s regular hockey games, in a men’s league, I would sit in the bar above the ice sheet with all of the other wives, where I could watch the game in relative comfort. It also gave me an opportunity to make mental notes on Leela’s play so we could discuss it on the way home (something she wanted, so get off my back).
In one game in particular, however, there were no notes to make as Leela seemed to refuse to actually play, despite taking her regular shift. She would enter the appropriate zone of play and seem to just tripod with her hockey stick, dreaming in a universe of her own.
Annoyed by this, I finally mentally yelled out, “Leela! For god’s sake, do SOMETHING! Skate, check, fall down. Move!”
Miraculously, her body suddenly jolted, as though smacked in the back of the helmet, and she involved herself in the play. The rest of the game, she remained engaged.
On the ride home, afterward, we talked about it. She explained that she was standing there in the offensive zone, completely zoned out, when all of a sudden, she woke up as though shaken and realized that she had to do something.
It would seem, her master’s voice is just as loud as his.
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