Somehow, Kellie and I can manage to lose synchronization on even the simplest communications. A few weeks ago, while walking into the commissary at Camp Pendleton to pick up a few groceries, we were enumerating all the fruits and vegetables we already had on hand and identifying those items that we needed to restock. I know that I clearly said that we did not need any apples because Kellie got just a little annoyed after I repeated myself for the third time.
“How many times are you going to tell me that we don’t need apples?” she asked. “Do you think I didn’t hear you the first three times? Do you think I don’t believe you?” I assumed that these were just rhetorical questions so I remained dumb to avoid provoking the beast any further.
Once we were in the store, I pushed the shopping cart along as we each ventured out to retrieve the various items we had agreed upon, or so I thought. I had just finished placing a few kumquats in our cart as Kellie was returning with her haul. I looked at her; my head automatically cocked slightly to one side the way a dog tilts his head when he can’t quite comprehend what he is seeing.
“And what fruit is this?” I asked, gesturing towards the bag of apples she was carrying. Kellie did not respond, she looked at her bag of apples. Now it was her turn to play dumb. “You’re kidding me, right?” I stammered in shock and disbelief. Still silent, Kellie looked back at me. I explained the consequences of her actions. “I hope you realize that you just gave me license to repeat myself as often I like for the rest of my life.”
Kellie stood there, her expression blank, but she was thinking. She looked at me for a moment longer, then shifted her gaze towards her bag of apples again, and then turned to face me once more, still silent. A wry smile slowly appeared on her face. Then, in one quick burst, she spoke.
“It’s your fault,” she declared.
“What do mean it’s my fault? I’m not the one holding the bag of apples.”
“Well,” she explained, “you kept harping about apples, apples, apples. You brainwashed me, the only thing I could of was apples. When I saw the apples I could’t help myself – it’s your fault.”
I just stood there staring at her with my mouth agape, too stunned to even speak. I shut my eyes, slowly shook my head and started to laughed. She put the apples back.