The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


July 25, 2010

Mike Pound: It’s time for a ‘talk’

JOPLIN, Mo. — Over the years, my wife has accused me of being insensitive.

She has accused me of not paying attention to her. She has accused me of not being willing to sit with her and have an adult conversation. She has accused me of a bunch of other stuff too, but I don’t remember what they were because I wasn’t listening.

But my wife isn’t innocent in this department. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to talk to her about the St. Louis Cardinals or the Kansas City Chiefs only to see her eyes glaze over. I don’t know how many times I’ve invited my wife to sit down and watch “Fletch” or a Mel Brooks movie for the hundredth time and been ignored.

So I think what I’m saying is this insensitive business is a two-way street.

Tuesday night my wife and I were in our cheap, large, leaning, leaking, above-ground pool bought at the 24-hour retail store. It had been a long day for both of us and we were relaxing in the pool and discussing our workdays. And when I say “discussing our workdays,” I meant my wife was discussing her workday. I was relaxing.

See, I don’t think discussing my day is relaxing. As far as I’m concerned, the only place a person should discuss their workday is at work. Besides, when it comes to discussing my workday, there really isn’t much to talk about.

My wife, on the other time clock, likes to discuss her workday at home. My wife thinks discussing her workday is relaxing. Of course, my wife also thinks wrapping presents is relaxing.

I think wrapping presents is dumb. I think that once the store clerk where you purchased the present puts it in a bag for you, the present is officially wrapped.

I’ve mentioned this before, but sometimes my wife wraps presents, puts them in her presents closet and forgets about them for several years. That’s why last year on our 18th anniversary my wife gave me a watch with the following loving inscription on the back: “To Whom it May Concern, Happy First Anniversary.”

So, anyway, shortly after 7 p.m. I told my wife that I was going inside.

“You’re not going to stay and talk with me?” my wife asked in a way that clearly was not a question.

To be honest, I wasn’t going stay and “talk” to my wife. I was going to go inside and watch the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. But then I decided that my wife was correct. I decided it was time that I showed an interest in her workday. It was time I engaged in a real, honest adult conversation with my wife. So I decided to stick around and “talk” to my wife.

I did that for 30 more minutes and then, once again, I told my wife that I wanted to go inside.

“Why?” my wife asked.

“Because I want to watch the baseball game,” I said.

My wife thought it was wrong for me to want to watch a baseball instead of “talking” to her.

I disagreed. I pointed out to my wife that I had “talked” to her for more than an hour. I pointed out that in husband-talking-to-wife years, “more than an hour” is the equivalent of two weeks.

“Besides,” I said, “if some show like ‘The Bachelor’ were on, you would totally ignore me.”

The following is an exact quote via my wife:


Two seconds later I was standing in the pool by myself. So I did what any other husband would have done: I started talking about my workday.

Address correspondence to Mike Pound, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802, or via e-mail at

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