Finally, John and I have been married long enough to start enjoying the occasional abbreviated conversation:

This morning he approached me with a shirt in hand declaring that he hated to bug me but the shirt needs a button replaced. It was up to me to decide if I wanted to do it.

No, it was up to him I said. Do you want it replaced or not.

Well, he said, the shirt is a little old. But still good for a work shirt. And he doesn’t have very many light ones. Summer is coming up. The black one he was wearing yesterday is heavy. And a little scratchy. He has plenty of shirts, but not all of them all-season. Or ones that he particularly likes. But there’s a lot of them … etc.

I sat waiting for a “yes” or “no” on the button issue, patiently, staring, … still no definitive answer, just more etc.

I don’t know if the stare finally registered, or if it was his own words and the memory they prompted, but he turned away and said, “So I guess I need to get my ass to the store to find shirts I do like. Thanks. Good answer. Good reminder.”

He wandered down the hall to the bedroom. Nary a “yes” or “no” about the button replacement in this dialogue.

When I went to the bedroom for the next load of laundry, the shirt was hanging with another one in need of a button, so “yes” he wants it fixed.

And score one for me that he totally remembers my response to any complaints about needing clothes: Not my problem. Hie thee to the clothing store.

I will hie me to the button stash and make much-needed repairs.

21 years is a great start on a worthwhile marriage at: pam(at)