NOTE: At the conclusion of General Conference this past weekend, it seems appropriate to remember that discussions between men and women can be tricky, even more so when topics are perplexing and charged with religious and political fervor. Credited to Dave Barry, this humorous but insightful piece is an often-read, Valentines-day classic.
Let's say a guy named Roger asks a woman named Elaine out to a movie. She accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and soon neither is seeing anybody else.
Then one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine. She says: "Do you realize that we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?"
Silence fills the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: "Geez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he feels confined by our relationship. Maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation."
And Roger is thinking: "Gosh Six Months."
And Elaine is thinking: "But hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Are we headed toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a Lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even Know this person?
And Roger is thinking: "So that mean it was...Let's see...February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's which means... lemmee check the odometer...Whoa! I am Way overdue for an oil change here."
And Elaine is thinking: "He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants More from our relationship-more intimacy, more commitment. Maybe he senses my reservations. Yes, that's it. He's afraid of being rejected."
And Roger is thinking: "I'm going to have them look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say-it's still not shifting right. And they better not try to blaime it on cold weather this time. It's 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieving cretins SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS!"
And Elaine is thinking: "He's angry, and I don't blame him. I'd be angry too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure."
And Roger is thinking: "They'll probably say it's only a 90-day warranty. That's what they're gonna say!"
And Elaine is thinking: "Maybe I'm too idealistic, waiting for a Knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting next to a perfectly good person who's in pain because of my self-centered schoolgirl fantasy."
And Roger is thinking: "Warranty? I'll give them a warranty!"
"Roger," Elaine says aloud.
"What?" says Roger.
"I'm such a fool," Elaine says, sobbing. "I mean, I know there's no knight and there's no horse."
"There's no horse?" says Roger.
"You think I'm a fool, don't you? Elaine says.
"No!" Roger says, glad to know the correct answer.
"It's just that...I need some time," Elaine says.
There is a 15-second pause while Roger tries to come up with a safe response. "Yes," he finally says.
Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand. "Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?"
"What way?" says Roger.
"That way about time," Elaine says
"Oh," says Roger. "Yes."
Elaine gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she says, "Thank you, Roger."
"Thank You," he responds.
Then he takes her home, and she lies in bed, a conflicted soul weeping until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of chips, turns on the tv and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czech players he never heard of. A tiny voice in his mind tells him that something major was going on back threre in the car, but he figures it's better not to think about it.
The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, and they will talk for six straight hours. In painstaking detail they will analyze everything she said and everything he said. They will continue to discuss this subject for weeks, never reaching any definite conclusions but never getting bored with it either.
Meanwhile, Roger, playing racquetball one day with a friend of his and Ellen's, will pause just before serving and ask, "Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?"