No Secrets

I keep nothing from my wife — but not for lack of trying.

“So, what do you think?” Stacey asked as I tasted my first mouthful of our dinner.

I kept busy chewing as I formulated my response. Stacey is a phenomenal cook, and considering that she’d spent the past hour or so preparing a meal for the whole family to enjoy, the only appropriate response would have been: “It’s great! Thanks so much for making a wonderful dinner!”

My problem was that wasn’t what I was thinking. I was thinking that the recipe was good, but that it could use at least a little tweaking — more salt, a drop of Tabasco, less time on the stove, something.

So I busied myself trying to make sure Stacey couldn’t read what was really on my mind.

Stacey and I have been married seven years now, and our understanding of each other usually goes well beyond finishing each others’ sentences. Our in-tune-ness has suffered a bit of late due to the exhaustion that comes with child-rearing, but when we’re rested and paying attention, we can usually read each others’ moods, emotions, thoughts and ideas with not much more than a glance. For years, we joked about the “telepathy chips” that were installed in both our brains.

Naturally, this means it’s nearly impossible to keep secrets. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only secrets I can keep are the ones she actively avoids trying to find out — Christmas gifts and that sort of thing.

Back at the dinner table, Stacey was still waiting for a response.

“What do you think of it?” I answered, hoping to deflect the question.

She cocked her head. “You don’t like it,” she said. “You only say that when you don’t like it.”

I flushed with the realization she was absolutely right. In all my attempts at obfuscation, I had unwittingly fallen into a glaringly obvious pattern.

I guess there are some days when the telepathy chip really doesn’t have to work very hard after all.

Article © 2009 by Michael Duck