A “tell” in poker is a change in a player’s behavior or demeanor that is claimed by some to give clues to that player’s assessment of their hand. A player gains an advantage if they observe and understand the meaning of another player’s tell, particularly if the tell is unconscious and reliable. Pam has a “tell.”

“Honey, I wanna talk to you about something.” That’s the phrase she uses on me. I’m talking about when there is something not good about to happen. That phrase is, “the tell…for me. It’s more scary to me than an ending of a Stephen King novel, and it always happens about the same way too. She comes over to me and sits right next to me with stuff in her hand. The evidentiary nails for my coffin. Today it was an envelope, some papers and a credit card.

“Honey” (She always uses the word “honey” to help soften the blow…or possibly to set me up for greater impact… like the moment the bullfighter lifts his “espada” to deliver the “coup de grâce.”)

“Honey, you remember that we had to get new credit cards made because businesses couldn’t read the magnetic strip on your card and had to type them in. “Uh huh.” “Well,” she continued, “I called the credit card company, had those cards re-issued and I asked you to sign yours? “Uh huh.” So far so good..I’d signed the card like she asked. “Yah, I took care of all of that.” Pam spoke quietly as she continued.

“Yes, you did. Greg. You took care of it all right,” her voice mounting in volume. “Unfortunately you signed your name on the magnetic strip….and not the strip you were supposed to sign. I tried the card and it’s ruined, Greg. And what did you do with the attachment with the number to activate the card?” Telling her that throwing it in the garbage might have been a little hasty oversight on my part certainly didn’t quell the storm whatsoever.

Greg, why is it SO difficult for you to complete a simple household task. What’s worse, you keep making excuses for all of it. Like the time you told me you had something wonderful to show me, and tried to convince me you were trying to redesign the two new blouses I had just purchased as nouveau “tie dye” designs because you had mistakenly poured bleach into the washer instead of soap. Then you had the audacity to say, “Well, everybody makes a little mistake now and then.” “Exasperated, she went on ”Well that may be true for some, but for you its never just a little mistake and never “now and then”…IT’S CONTINUAL, GREG!!!!!

Two weeks ago, you didn’t put any soap in the washer and tried to talk your way out of it by saying it was an unfortunate error…well it was unfortunate 2 more times after that. When I was laid up in the chair with my broken ankle, all my flowers that you were supposed to water… died…and you started singing “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” to try and make me feel better. I didn’t feel better…I just wanted to tear my hair out and curl up in a fetal position.”

She always knows when something’s up….she has this “Greg’s done something” radar thing going, and I can’t get anything by her. It’s like living with Perry Mason and a psychic all in one body.

I do have to say, that she always comes to me and says, “You know I love you, right? It’s just that some days are harder than others.” Then she gives me a kiss. I love that part. It is a very necessary moment for me. Somehow, one of the pots Pam is using for a garage sale this Saturday has kind of a little bitty crack in it…….. I’m not tellin”.

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