14 Jul 2018
An old saying more or less defines my life, “What we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.”
When I was younger, I assumed that the older I got, the smarter I would become. I have not achieved that at this point in my life. It gets so tiresome to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
I do hope though, that this will change somewhere along my life. I am hoping it changes before I die.
I was reminded of this flaw in my personality several weeks ago when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I spent a little bit of vacation time at St. Augustine. Someone had given us tickets for several nights in a bed and breakfast.
We spent the whole week just enjoying ourselves. I should correct that though. I spent the whole week reading and meditating with my eyes closed.
The other side of our relationship went to all the thrift stores in the area. She would leave right after breakfast, stop back for lunch, then spend the rest of the day until suppertime going from one thrift shop to another. How she can do this for days on end is beyond my wildest dream.
Several times, she asked if I wanted to go with her, but I declined this most gracious invitation. I remember the last time I took her up on that offer and we bounce from one thrift store to the next thrift store. They all started to look alike after a while.
It only takes me five minutes to thoroughly examine the thrift store, while my wife takes two hours to go through bit-by-bit every aspect of that thrift store. Every thrift store in the area knows her by name at this point.
I, the lazier part of the marital equation, chose to stay in our room and just relax. I am just as addicted to relaxation as my wife is addicted to thrift store shopping. I am not certain who suffers the worst addiction.
To be honest, she has gotten many wonderful deals at some of these thrift stores. Whenever we need anything, she knows exactly which thrift store to go to and she can barter them down to the very bottom. How they make any money on her shopping I do not know.
Every once in a while I suffer this awful nightmare. I wake up sweating and breathing really hard.
The nightmare is that we have opened up our own thrift store. No dream can get any worse than that!
I never tell her of these nightmares because I do not want to plant any ideas in her head. I lean strictly away from that idea.
In spite of all of this, I still have failed to learn anything from history.
My wife had spent most of the day visiting these thrift stores, and also buying things from these thrift stores, and had come home and we had a little bit of supper in our room. I assumed we were in for the evening.
I wish I would know when to keep my mouth shut. As we were finishing our casual supper, I said something that I now regret very much. I said, “Boy, it sure would be nice to have one of those lap desks so I could use my computer while I’m sitting here in the bed.”
I did not mean for this to be a point of discussion just a casual observation, that is all.
Then I took it a step further. “Have you ever seen any lap desks in the thrift stores that you visit?”
If there is anything I could ever take back in my life, this would have been one of them. I did not know how serious the subject was.
“I don’t know,” she said most enthusiastically, “but I’ll go and find out right…”
Before she could say the word “now,” she had gone out the door and shut it most soundly. The rest of the evening she was visiting thrift stores all over the place. I was afraid, very much afraid, that she would actually find one and bring it back.
I suppose they are to be found in thrift stores somewhere. But I just meant it as a passing bit of conversation.
Four hours later, she returned and was very much excited. She had found something she had been looking for, for a very long time. It was a very eloquent teapot with 6 cups and saucers to it.
“Look what I found,” she said most excitedly. “I’ve been looking for this and we can use it at our next lady’s tea.” According to her, this tea set matches the one she had back home. She was so excited about it.
I would not say anything, but I think she forgot why she went to the thrift stores in the first place. Now I have learned something from history, and that is not to remind her of the lap desk that she was going to look for. To this day, I have never mentioned it.
I like what the wise old man in the Bible said, “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
There is a time to “keep silence” and it is a wise man who knows when. That may be why people say that silence is golden.