I was upset this afternoon.
Mark was working in the attic on a repair/improvement project for several hours. When I ran to Wal-mart at midday, I came home to find all the electricity off. Mark explained as I put the milk in the still-cold fridge that he was almost done with that part of the project. The electricity was turned on again five minutes later and all seemed fine.
EXCEPT.... I had spent three hours that morning writing a new chapter. And I hadn't saved it before I went to Walmart. And it was gone.
I tried to get it back. But I'm no techno-whiz, and by the time Mark came to help out. It was irretrievably gone. Gone!
I tried to write it again before I picked the boys up from school. I sat back down when I got home. I tried to get into the flow. But the mood, the voice, the ideas kept slipping from my fingers.
Mark's response was "Oh, wow, sorry about that. Gosh I didn't think about checking the computer before I shut everything off. I was just trying to get this project done. It has take hours longer than it should have. This is my only day off before Summer School starts." He wasn't snotty or anything. But it was like 'Oops!'
That was it.
So what did I do. I tried to be a good person and forgive and forget. But it didn't work. I was crabby while I made dinner. I was crabby getting everyone to the table. I was crabby for much of the meal. Finally when the boys wandered away and the long table separated Mark and I, I was able to say how unhappy and upset I was. I didn't even get emotional (which surprised me-and probably him). I told him that this loss was quite real to me. I didn't want to lash out at everyone. I needed him to know that he was the one I was angry with. He responded with understanding, but was a little defensive along the lines of..."I thought you'd rather have me alive than electrocuted."
Yeah, yeah, I would. But a sincere apology would be nice.
After I got home from the pool with the boys this evening and they were settled down for the night. Mark came and gave me a hug and told me he had gotten a frozen treat for me. It was in the freezer for whenever I wanted it. I was curious. I went down to the kitchen. And there in the plastic bag from the local supermarket was a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream.
Mark has never done that before. I have never even eaten Ben & Jerry's before. It's way too expensive for our budget. Breyers (when its on sale) is as Ritzy as I ever get. He sheepishly said it was an "I'm Really Sorry" gift. He knew I would like chocolate. And it wasn't just any chocolate, he said quickly, it had extra chocolate in it. I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him, "Thank you."
Then I sat with a book and the pint of frozen yummyness and contemplated the nature of apologies. I have to say this is just about as good as it gets.
True, I didn't like losing my writing - and I hope it won't happen again anytime soon - and I didn't like feeling crabby and irritated for half of the day.
But in the end, I received validation, that yes, it was a loss. And yes, it hurt. And yes, he really was sorry that his mistake had caused me pain.
And the chocolate ice cream just put me in a good mood too.
So, for all you men out there who are in the dog house. Listen up! Chocolate and sincerity works just about every time.