Our household is currently in the midst of a renovation project, creating an additional bedroom for those times when friends and/or family come to mooch off of us and dramatically increase our toilet paper usage. As with such projects, the final touches involve decisions regarding color palettes, guest hand-towel patterns, bolsters vs. throw pillows and some things called “sconces”. The latter are simply lights that hang on the wall instead of on the ceiling. However, interior designers and on-line retailers can charge way more if they used the term “sconce” instead of “wall light”.
I consider myself quite the lighting expert and so I selected some sconces for the new bedroom. I shared photos of my intended selection with my current wife. She was not impressed. Apparently the little silhouetted cowboys on horseback with fence posts and tumbleweeds on the shade didn’t fit her vision of a contemporary motif, whatever that is. She promptly searched the same site and found sconces that she liked and placed the order forthwith. And, she also did it right away.
Naturally, my feelings were bruised and my sense of being the “head of the household” shaken. I know that I am the “head of household” because whenever a market researcher calls and asked to speak to the “head of household”, my current wife hands me the phone.
After she ordered the sconces, an action that I considered high-handed, I reminded her of St. Paul’s advice in Ephesians Chapter 5: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
My current wife didn’t respond but she did give me that “You are a complete moron” look. Whenever she gets that look I find that for the next several days my life is much like that of a monk, a moron monk, if you get my drift.
Confused that such an expert in relationship management as St. Paul would have so little influence in the sconce episode, I decided to give God a call. As many of you know from previous posts, I have a direct iPhone number for God. I came by it accidentally during a household telephony switch. I am not at liberty to divulge the exact protocol for obvious reasons.
God’s newest receptionist, Mel Goldberg, answered promptly. “You’ve reached the infinite mystery, how may I direct your call?”
I told Mel that I wanted a couple of minutes of God’s time.
Noting that my call originated from Earth, Mel asked, “Would that be ‘Earth minutes’ , ‘Milky Way minutes’ or ‘Universe minutes’?”
I confirmed “Earth minutes”.
“Great,” said Mel “Because God is on a tight schedule right now and even ‘Milky Way minutes’ are out of the question. Please hold.”
The music on hold had some modest static, probably Big Bang microwave echos.
“Hey, Boots, what’s up?” God calls me by my family nickname.
I explained the sconce situation, the reference to St. Paul and the outcome. God stifled a guffaw.
“Oh boy,” said God, “You’ve been blind-sided by the Ephesian Effect. By last count you are the 78th millionth-plus husband to get into trouble by using Ephesians to settle a domestic argument.”
I said that I wasn’t clear on his meaning.
“It’s simple, really,” said God. “Paul was having a really bad week when he penned Ephesians, not the least of which was a monumental dust-up with his wife over window treatments. He decided that he needed to enlist me on his side. He didn’t ask me, he just threw Chapter 5 in there. While he was at it, he added Chapter 6 where he told his kids and slaves that he also had my imprimatur regarding who was boss around the house.”
“Of course, ” said God, “The joke has been on Paul.”
I asked how that could be.
“First,” said God, “I’m neither male nor female so I don’t play favorites. Second, two of his kids reverted to Judaism and third, slavery is one of the most godless institutions ever created by man, I had nothing to do with it.”
I heard Mel’s muffled voice in the background and God said, “Gotta fly, Boots, but I’m betting that the new sconces will grow on you. Tell your current wife that you love ’em, no matter what. It’s the only way to avoid more ‘nights as a monk’, if you get my drift.” Click.
Darn, I wanted to ask a few questions about all those rules in Leviticus.
Observoid of the Day: If the results of a study are a surprise, there is probably a mistake in the data.