The Threshold of Goneness
on digging post holes and building fences to relieve Jen of routine horse chores, an interest of her own that required full family participation.
I quickly learned that taking my sons on hunting and fishing trips provided Jen with mini-vacations, relieving her of certain motherhood responsibilities for a time. She fell into the habit of taking a winter vacation with her mother to Florida, which I converted to extra points.
Recently we took a two-week trip to Florida so she could take horseback riding lessons from special instructors. I shamelessly exploited this commitment on my time and have added numerous hunting trips that have nearly returned me to the pre-Threshold golden years.
I also discovered that sending flowers to Jen’s workplace soothed the pain and inconvenience associated with my absences, especially for the longer trips. It took me some time to find the right florist who would deliver the flowers and walk them through the area where she worked for others to see. This has become such a tradition that her co-workers know that with the arrival of flowers, the hunting season has begun.
Since Jen’s co-workers rarely receive flowers, she takes extra pleasure in these deliveries. I supplement them with a few others throughout the year, just to keep her co-workers jealous of the attention. They speak highly of me, although I have never met most of them, and their favorable words to Jen help my overall goneness point total.
My sons are grown and moved out of the house now. I have to manage the Threshold differently. Jen used to look forward to me taking the boys hunting or fishing so she could have some quiet time at home. Now she tells me that she is lonely when I am gone.
I compensate by taking her on trips around the state, often overnight, so we can have quality time together. Occasionally, I will time my flower deliveries before or after one of these trips so her friends at work will notice how attentive I am.
As a hospital employee, Jen is surrounded mostly by other women at work. The key is to keep her co-workers envious of the attention and on my side. If they are making positive comments about my thoughtfulness, then I am accumulating points for my next hunting trip.
But sadly, I know now that if I had listened to my “Little Voice” 15 years ago, there would be no Threshold and I would not have spent the last decade and a half figuring out how to get around it.