When I dropped everything at work today to call and tell you my face was turning red, and I was worried that this was yet another allergic reaction, insect bite, or some other condition that could result in swelling, bumps, and possible permanent scarring, I didn’t hear a whole lot of concern in your voice. In fact, you spoke in fragments and the only thing I could make out was, “meeting…okay, we can talk about it later when we get home.” Then your voice trailed off and it was apparent that you were talking to someone else.
I don’t mean to sound selfish, but more than half my face was red! I wasn’t exaggerating. It just wasn’t normal, and you know how it is for me with back-to-back Monday meeting madness. I suppose Mondays are tough for you, too. Honestly, I didn’t expect you to have a full blown conversation with me, but you know I’m not even over the terror I felt at work two weeks ago when my face suddenly turned red and itched like crazy. Remember? Remember how I asked you over and over again how the irritated area looked? You tried to downplay it, but you knew it was bad. It was real bad! I looked crazy. Remember? The thing is that I’d already disinfected my workspace. What else could I have done? I felt like packing up my things and busting out of that infested place today!
I wish we had chatted, even for a minute or two. I’m sure you would’ve said just the right thing to help me feel better. But since you were busy, I had to find another way to cope. Anyway, I was thinking that we need a code word to use when we find ourselves in situations like this, especially at work. I assumed that someone had to be standing right in your face when I called and that it would’ve been awkward to say something comforting to me, right? Besides, you told me that you don’t like it when I cut you off mid-sentence to run to a meeting. So a code word could work for both of us! You’ll see. We just have to think of a good one.
I think our code word should have a specific meaning to us. It should mean what you have to say is important to me, but I’m not alone. I want to be able to listen and understand you. So I’ll call back as soon as I can, and I promise to give you my undivided attention.
Do you have any ideas about what word can say all of that?