What you need to know:
- Our introverted spouses on the other hand are impossible to read.
- They behave like the secret service guys, with their quiet patient observations.
We happened to pass through the supermarket with my entire clan; husband and our children, one afternoon. As I was looking at the laundry detergents, I picked the usual bleach but before dropping it in the shopping trolley, a man’s voice behind me said: “You should take the other one.”
I turned and was met with eight pairs of eyes; the speaker’s and his troop.
“They have an offer,” he clarified, pointing at the bleach with a large yellow sign reading OFFER.
My clan and his clan all turned to look at the detergent and as I did my calculations, I realised it made sense to take up the offer. I was getting the second bottle almost for free.
“Thank you!” I said. “Thanks,” My children added, looking at the man’s children, I guess hoping for playmates.
The man’s wife gave me a cold look. If the eyes could shoot bullets, I would have been felled by her look. Hubby eyed the man suspiciously. The poor man looked surprised as if he had not meant to speak out his thoughts, but too late, he had.
I understood him. I am the kind that would do the same; the type of person that says hello if we find ourselves in the lift or in a queue. If I like a woman’s shoes or hair, I am likely to compliment her.
I have long learned not to compliment men because they always read too much into it. Side note to the men; if a woman compliments your choice of cologne, smile and graciously say thank you. Following her around afterwards to ask for her number is just shady.
While that incident at the supermarket was not a discussion with us, I wondered whether the man had got into trouble with his wife for his impulsive comment. Outgoing spouses tend to get into trouble with their respective spouses. It is worse if the spouse is insecure because then, they act like a clingy toddler if a member of the opposite gender even glances at you.
Many years back, I spotted my cousin Philip at an event I was attending. Excited to see family, I bounded up to him. He was equally surprised and happy to see me and without thinking; I pulled a seat next to him, switched to our language and started chatting. A young woman seated on his left immediately snorted. We both looked at her.
“Oh, my bad. I should make the intro…”
“Don’t bother! I don’t care to know your ***!” She called me a name, grabbed her coat and handbag and hastily stood up, toppling the chair behind her as she matched out.
“Wow!” I said when I finally found my voice.
A very shocked Phillip took some more seconds before he could speak.
“I’m thinking that was your date? You should go after her.”
He still looked flustered but finally said, “Yea, but that was only the second date.”
Two years later, when Phillip brought home his girlfriend, who is now his wife, it was thankfully not that angry young woman.
The thing is, spouses miss out on real suspicious characters but end up mistrusting the innocent ones, hence shooting arrows at the wrong enemy. When your spouse starts a conversation with a stranger, in your presence, it normally means that they have nothing to hide. But the spouse who, when with you , studiously ignores a person of the opposite gender who they had coffee with last week, that is a problem.
Outgoing people are like open books. What you see is what you get. They get energised by chatting with other people. They speak what’s in their mind and heart, often without much thought to it. They go with the flow. If they are up to something more, you will know immediately, because they will state their intentions. Or, their actions will betray them, because they go out big and bright. They are like peacocks.
Our introverted spouses on the other hand are impossible to read. They behave like the secret service guys, with their quiet patient observations. They give you only the important aspects of a conversation, no exaggerations, and no-frills. Boring, I know. They are lukewarm, not getting easily excitable, unlike the outgoing spouse who will scream with either joy or anger. These extreme opposites mostly attract each other.
Karimi is a wife who believes in marriage. firstname.lastname@example.org