Yesterday, during my father-in-law's birthday party, Wilma called me in to the kitchen.
She wanted to tell me the fresh cantaloupe Gary had picked up for them the last two weeks was spoiled. These are the prepared cantaloupe cubes, in the plastic container, specifically marketed to Gary, or anyone who wouldn't spend two seconds getting the rind off a melon.
She pulled the top off the cantaloupe container. "We've been trying to eat it the last two weeks he brought it, but it's bad."
"Let's see," I smugly said and popped a piece in my mouth. I projectile-spat the piece across the room. "Gah! That's spoiled! You tried to eat that? For two weeks? Why didn't you tell him?"
"Oh, no," Wilma explained, "That's why I'm trying to tell you. I want you to tell him."
"What? Why wouldn't you just tell him?"
"We don't want to hurt his feelings," she explained.
"He didn't GROW the cantaloupe!"
"No, but you should let him know, before he buys any more -"
"GARY," I bellowed, "Why are you poisoning yor parents with this rotted cantaloupe?"
Gary came in and I explained the situation. Wilma was aghast I was publicly broaching the delicate subject of the spoiled cantaloupe, and Gary wanted to know why they hadn't said anything.
"We thought maybe it was expired," Wilma said, dodging the question, "But what you brought today says to sell by tomorrow, so it should be good."
Gary tried a bite. "Huh. It's fine."
I doubted my own mind as I so often do at the in-laws and I tried a bite again. This time I had a napkin in hand and I spat the peppery sour slime into it.
Gary said mildly, "It kind of tastes a little like insecticide, but other than that it's fine." I attributed this to the Topamax dulling his senses.
Now, regarding men, I have hears the S______ women say more than once, "Don't tell him about it, it will just upset him." And the S______ men do get easily upset, but I find that entertaining.
This is the first time i have heard them say they didn't want to hurt a man's feelings by saying the cantaloupe he brought home was bad.
It would make sense if they said they didn't want to seem ungrateful.
It would make sense if Gary was one of those men who has hurt feelings or holds a grudge. But I assume he isn't since we are still married.
All I can guess is that Wilma's family was run by her father's volatile temper, and perhaps she assumes all men are like that, including the one she made.