Dan wore a disgusted expression as he sat in the waiting room of his dentist’s office.
“What’s wrong?” asked Megan while flipping through a Cosmopolitan.
“I hate coming here.”
“It’s just a cleaning.”
Dan wrinkled is nose as though he got a whiff of something awful. “But they get so aggressive it hurts. Why is it that things that are good for you hurt?” he whined.
Megan dropped the magazine. “Oh, please. Poor baby with his yearly cleaning. Try being a woman. We wax, pluck and scrub every day just so we look good.”
“And don’t think I don’t appreciate it,” smiled Dan.
“You better, It’s not as though you could handle what I go through for you,” said Megan.
“What do you mean, ‘what you go through for me’?”
“Men would die from the pain we put ourselves through.”
Dan raised an eyebrow and hesitated. Then he decided to go there. “Men suffer pain. It’s just different.”
“We have to suffer through the complaining women make about how much pain they put up with. Ooo, plucking. Ooo, labour. Give us a break. You’re giving us a headache.”
Megan’s eyes flashed in fury. Her voice got low and controlled. “What did you say?”
Dan was immediately seized with regret. “What I meant was-”
The Cosmopolitan Megan was holding smacked Dan in the mouth.
“You want pain? I’ll show you pain,” snarled Megan. She stormed out of the office, leaving Dan behind.
An old man looked over at Dan and nodded. Dan replied with a sheepish grin.
“I’ve been married fifty-two years to the same woman,” said the old man.
“Wow,” replied Dan.
“Would you like a piece of advice?”
“It couldn’t hurt,” said Dan, rubbing his mouth.
“In marriage, the best anesthetic is silence. At moments like these, whatever it is you’re thinking, keep it to yourself,” said the old man as he slowly stroked his beard.
“That would’ve been good to know five minutes ago. What’ll I do now?”
“Repeat these five words to her and nothing else. ‘I’m sorry, I was wrong’. That’s it.”
“Okay, but she started it. And how am I gonna get home? She abandoned me,” said Dan. The thought of it made him angry.
The old man leaned back in his chair. “You can stir it up again, of you want, but it won’t accomplish much. I suppose it depends on how much pain you can tolerate.”
Dan was about to respond, but thought better of it.
The old man grinned through his beard. “Now you’re learning.”