If you ever saw the movie You’ve Got Mail, you may remember Meg Ryan’s character describing herself as someone who thinks about a past conversation, trying to figure out what she should have said in the moment. That’s me.
Here’s the latest example.
My son and I went to our local CVS to pick up one of my prescriptions. The pharmacist scanned the CVS card on my keychain and noticed Ryan’s picture dangling from my keys. (Call me old-fashioned, but I still carry around a fairly large keyring that includes a hanging plastic frame where I proudly display Ryan’s pictures.)
The pharmacist commented on Ryan’s school picture and saw the picture of him and me that’s on the other side. And then she asked me why I didn’t have a picture of my husband in that frame. She wondered how my husband felt about the fact that only pictures of my son were on display.
I was unprepared for the comment, and really didn’t know how to respond. It had never occurred to me before. After all, before Ryan’s birth, I never walked around with Paul’s picture dangling from my keys.
I love my husband and I love my son, but the love I feel for each of them is different, and so perhaps I sometimes show that love differently. It feels like each day my son is growing and changing. I’m proud of this big boy my baby boy has grown into. I proudly walk around with his photo, eager to show it to anyone who may be interested. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t look all that different from the man I married sixteen years ago. I wear his love on my finger and in our shared last name.
It wasn’t a long exchange, but it’s one that has stayed with me. One more example, I suppose, of people sharing their comments and observations about things that don’t really concern them at all.