“Your dress is in the toilet”

I was giving one of the best speeches of my life—explaining in great detail the seriousness of the situation and how our next steps would be critical in defining who we were as parents and who we were as a family.  It was a beautiful speech, filled with adjectives and adverbs that I so rarely use when just trying to get my kids to pick up their socks or bring the empty glasses up from the basement.  It was moving and persuasive and just as I finished, my husband looked at me and said, “Your dress is in the toilet.”

My ‘podium’ for this masterpiece of the spoken word was the kids’ bathroom where just moments before I began to speak, I was knee-deep in cleaning.  I seemed to disregard the fact that my hands smelled of Comet and that the edge of my dress had indeed fallen very close to the open toilet—after all, I was in the zone and was thinking of nothing but the seriousness of our discussion.  At least, until my husband uttered those words, “Your dress is in the toilet.”  That’s what he got from my speech?  Did he not hear the words I chose to use or the tone of my voice?

I sometimes choose the wrong place and time to have the big moment talks.  I get so caught up in how I am feeling that I forget that the significance of my words might get lost in the moment due to the circumstances and events around me.  Had I waited just a few moments to finish my cleaning project and sit down with my husband to discuss the issue at hand, that beautiful speech would have gotten much better results.  As they say, timing really is everything.

PS For those wondering why I was cleaning the bathroom wearing a dress:  I am not June Cleaver with pearls and high heels.  The dress was a sundress, thrown on prior  to cleaning, so I could quickly get out of the house to run errands without having to change.  Again, timing really is everything.


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