Nothing looked terribly wrong when Aimee walked into the condo after work that Friday. But on the other hand, nothing looked that right either. I instinctively began reading the tea leaves. It wasn't til I discussed what happened with Roger that I realized how much energy I put into divining Aimee's after work mood.
I didn't see myself as particularly well cut out for that kind of work. In my home growing up, Dad wasn't around and we didn't think twice about attending to Mom when she returned home from a long work commute. Her day job finished for the moment, she now attended to me and my older brother.
The following Friday we brought up with Roger what happened. Aimee said,
"When I get like that -meaning moody, vaguely irritated and having no inclination to connect with you Jack- what I just want is your attention, real attention. If you hang with me while I mope around for a little, I'll get the idea that you're not angry with me or afraid that I'll bite if you step up. Then you can say something like 'What's happening' and I'll tell you. Instead of arguing or going to our separate corners for much of the evening, maybe then we can enjoy the evening together.”
Roger sat quietly waiting to see how I took all this. At first it felt like I was being asked to play Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company: My face was deadpan, my voice mute. I looked plaintively at Roger. The word "Help" was written all over my face.
TO BE CONTINUED....
Tune in Thursday to see how Roger addresses this classic after work transition challenge.
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