Saturday, February 5, 2011

How Many Dove Bars Is a Good Wife Worth?

Although I suspect my husband agrees with the biblical assessment that an excellent wife’s worth is far above jewels, he sometimes has a bit of difficulty expressing it.

Years ago we lived in a Mayan village in Guatemala. We didn’t have a phone (yes, dear, some of us who lived in the pre-cell phone age are still alive), nor did we have a refrigerator. The stove was a concrete box in which I could build a fire, but usually I cooked on a two burner hot plate. We ate lots of rice and beans and canned or boxed foods which I bought on our once-a-month trip to the city.

The daily chores, like sweeping the dirt pathways, boiling water and disinfecting vegetables, were time consuming; nevertheless, I enjoyed the simple life. But I also looked forward to indulging in the amenities of city living when we made our monthly trips for supplies.

On one of these excursions, we met friends at an ice cream shop. Everyone bought one of the inexpensive, locally made ice cream cones. Everyone that is, except me. I had my eyes on the row of the indulgently expensive, chocolate covered Dove Bars. Throwing missionary thrift aside, I plunked my money on the counter.

My husband, being more sensitive about our financial responsibility, was clearly annoyed by my extravagance. He shot me a glare that practically melted the chocolate coating right off the bar. I hunkered down with my treat and sent a silent message back, “You’ve got to be kidding—I live in an adobe house, for crying out loud.”

After a while, Bob’s perspective returned. Understanding there was a time to eat beans and a time to treat his wife to Dove chocolate, he attempted to make amends.

“Marsh, I’m sorry,” he said. Then, with eyes of love, he proclaimed, “You’re worth twelve Dove Bars.”

Hmm. Sometimes you’ve just got to read between the lines.

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