The continuing chronicle of Wesley's quest to be published; plus comments on popular culture, family life, and whatever else falls out of his head.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Big Silver Truck

Carrie and I put a down payment on a big truck yesterday. It was Sunday, and I didn't want to leave the house for church, much less to go shopping for a big truck. Private seller, Ford F-150, automatic transmission, 2 wheel drive, extended cab (so we have back seats), 8-foot bed. It's a nice truck. But, like I said, it was Sunday, and I was sick. I really wasn't in the mood to go truck shopping. We ended up in a deep conversation late in the day.

We had gone to a dealership first, didn't find what we were looking for, and Carrie called the number for a small ad in the Dispatch she had found the day before. Carrie really led the entire project, from the very beginning when we were talking about getting a truck, through the shopping, figuring out what we needed, to finding truck availability and even driving the negotiations. She did the most of the talking. Then, as we were returning the truck to the owner, she asks me to close the deal. But when we get there, she jumps in to do the real closing. It bugged me a little bit, having her ask me to do it, and then not being patient enough to let me do what she asked me to do, but it didn't bother me enough to make a federal case out of it. Besides, I wasn't feeling well, and all I really wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed.

Then, late in the day, long after we had gotten home and I had taken a nice long nap, she asks me if she was wrong to jump in like she did, because she noticed that I was a little peeved at her at the time. I had to admit that I was bugged, but not terribly. Then she gets defensive and says that I was misleading the seller, and she felt the need to jump in to clarify, even though we had decided to buy the truck at the asking price. She and I had to clear the air about that, so that she understood that I do not process things the same way she does, and there was no real reason she had to step up. It simply takes me longer to get my motor started and get moving. Doesn't mean I'm any less in control, I just move more slowly.

I didn't really think about this until later, but she said that she gets really uncomfortable with awkward silences. She said that she had to "wait and wait" for me to say something, either to the salesperson or the truck owner. Now, on my side, maybe it was because I was a little fuzzy around the edges due to the cold medicine, but I felt perfectly capable of doing the negotiations. I wonder if she understands that those awkward silences are good. I saw no reason to say anything, so I didn't say anything. Let the seller fill the silence.

Oh, well. It wasn't that big of a deal, but it does point to the way she and I communicate, and the image we present to others of who is in charge, and who leads the relationship. I may have to share that with her tonight.


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