Yesterday, while I was out taking care of the lawn, I got stung by a bee. I went inside the house, put ice on it, and called Wes, expecting that he would sympathize with my plight, offer plenty of condolences, and make me feel better about the unfairness of it all.
“I got stung by a bee!,” I told him. “It hurts!”
He said nothing for a long moment, then answered, “Hold on, I’m looking something up.”
“I got stung by a bee!,” I said. “Why are you looking something up?”
“Just trying to figure out what you should put on it,” he said. “Ice, maybe?”
“I already have ice on it,” I said. “I was just telling you that it hurts!”
“Well, go out and find that bee and punch him in the face.”
Really? How was this helpful?
“I don’t think I’ll be doing that,” I muttered. “He’s probably dead now anyway.”
“Well?,” I asked, waiting for him to say what I needed him to say.
“Just keep the ice on it. Or go out and punch another bee in the face.”
“You know,” I said, “I called so that you would feel bad for me. I didn’t want you to fix it. I just wanted you to say I’m so sorry.“
“Oh,” he said. “I’m so sorry.”
And… a relieved, contented breath. “Thank you. That makes me feel better.”
And it really did!
Guys, sometimes we don’t want you to fix the problem. Sometimes we just want a little sympathy. If you want to punch a bee in the face for us, great. But make sure you tell us “aww, that stinks that you got hurt!” even as you’re doing it.
Am I right?