Not enough bonding time


Sweet Al asked me what I was going to teach this morning in the Bible study.

I said, Acts 9 and Paul’s call.

Everyone has a purpose and a call. I wonder if people know their call.

Al said immediately, “You’re call is to paint. You need to be painting. You’re spending way too much time on the computer.”

I whipped back, “I’m editing a second book, I’m writing articles for the newspaper, I am posting daily to my website, I do social media marketing, I teach  online home study art workshops, and it’s all on the computer.”

“Well, you need to stay away from the computer. It has consumed you.”

I left on that note for the Bible study. I began teaching and asked the ladies a question. “Should a person know their purpose and do they have a certain call?”

I thought it was clever to relate my one-hour-before conversation I had with Al as an illustration.

I asked the question, “Does God change your call?” I had my answer ready. I was about to tell them what I thought, when they began taking Al’s side.

I surely didn’t see this one coming.

One of the women said, “Al has told you many times you are on the computer too much. Maybe he is telling you he needs to be more a part of your life.”

“Oh, it’s just a little bump in the road. I plan to take time away from the computer this summer. We will be camping and doing other things together.”

Another lady spoke up: “You’re way too independent. You need to act more helpless. Men love helpless women.”

“Helpless? Please! I don’t want to act helpless. I don’t even like women who are helpless.“

“You need to encourage Al and let him know you need him.”

“Well, as a matter fact I did this morning. I asked him to clean the bathrooms while I was here with you.”

They all laughed. “You are kidding, of course?”

“No, I did.”

“You’re not kidding, are you?”


“What I meant was, have him rub your neck and shoulders.”

“I guess I could do that.”

Another lady spoke up, saying, “I stop every couple of hours and take my husband a glass of iced tea, or sit down and ask him how he’s doing. It doesn’t take that much to make them feel needed and wanted.”

“When I’m on the computer, I’ll call down the stairs and if he’s okay, does that count?”

Another lady said, “When my husband wants to talk, I turn down the television, or close my book, I take off my glasses, I sit quietly and listen how he put the lawn mower together or fixed the fence.”

More advice was given.“At the end of your life, no one has any regret to what they left in the In Basket, but they do regret the time they didn’t spend with the people they cared about the most.”

“To be fair to me,” I said, “I’ve really cut back from the first book I wrote. If I get up at four or five in the morning, the minute I hear Al at seven, I walk downstairs, pour us coffee and sit and talk with him. I thought I had really improved.”

“Apparently not. If Al still thinks you are spending too much time on the computer, he is still feeling left out.”

I did tell Al when I left I was going out to lunch with the women and would be home at three. After the long, enlightening and exhorting afternoon with my lady friends, I looked at the clock, and it was 5 p.m. Al will not believe I spent the whole day trying to be a better wife.

When I got home, Al said, “You said you’d be home at three.”

I said, “But honey, I have learned how to be a better wife and make you feel needed.”


Final brushstroke: Here I am again, it’s 5 a.m. and I’m on the computer. I’ve already had my coffee, I need to pour my Sweet Al a cup of coffee and do some bonding. I haven’t got the hang of feeling helpless, yet.

Readers’ comments 

Check out my website; all my books are available there. The first chapter of my next book, “Year of Grace,” is posted there. Also, I’ve made available free e-books for just visiting my site.

This story was posted on April 25, 2013.