This afternoon, Evelyn and I were in the family room, folding and stuffing newspapers for our subscribers, getting ready for a mail room run. Trixie was "helping" us by jumping back and forth between the couch and my recliner lounge chair.
We were watching Dr. Phil and there was a mother-in-law arguing with her son and his wife while Dr. Phil sought to intervene, to quiet her down, and give her some sage counsel.
The woman would not stop talking. (Dr. Phil has much more patience than I do. I would have probably poured a pitcher of water on her). She jabbered on and and on and Dr. Phil patiently tried to quiet her down.
Finally, Evelyn had enough. She yelled at the screen, "Oh, for pete's sake, just SHUT UP!"
Trixie heard her mommy yelling "SHUT UP!" and thought Evelyn was shouting at her. She jumped over to daddy's chair, scootched down in my lap, giving a combination accusatory look and a sorrowful look at Evelyn, as if to say, "What did I do? You shouted at me! Why?"
When Evelyn realized what happened, she felt about 1" tall and bent down to grab Trixie and hold her to her chest and give her loves and squeezes.
We both felt so bad for Trixie, knowing perfectly well she did not understand anything about Dr. Phil and the tv program. All she knew was her normally kind, loving, and quiet, mommy had, she thought, shouted at her for no apparent reason.
After Trixie began to calm down and understand both mommy and daddy loved her, Evelyn and I had a hard time containing our laughter (mostly at Evelyn's expense).
Later, in the evening, I took Evelyn out to a lovely restaurant. As we sat down I mentioned that she must feel very privileged . . . going out with a kind, gentle man such as myself; one, for example, that didn't scream at puppies.
She immediately put her hands to her face, began to laugh . . and said, "I feel so bad. That was terrible! That poor puppy . . . " Fortunately, the waitress came about that time and we, somehow, managed to order and then talk of more pleasant things.
Postscript: I forgot to tell you that when I arrived late at our Kiwanis meeting Tuesday morning, just before the meeting adjourned, one of our rascal Kiwanians, Rick Pearson, (may he come down with a bad case of jock itch) came over with a fist full of money and said, "Lyle, we took up a collection to give you as payment for you to sing "Happy Birthday" to Evelyn"
My face turned crimson red and I said . . ."Oh, no! Not again! What is today?" It was Tuesday, March 15th. Evelyn's birthday was Saturday, March 12th.
And I forgot it.
About the second or third time in the past five years. I'm not very good at these things.
Now it was me who felt about 1" high.
Yes, I'm in the doghouse. Deservedly so. I have been practicing that sorrowful look of "I'm sorry," that Trixie has perfected.
So far, Evelyn ain't buying it.