A reputation on the line

The other day, my wife called to let me know she and the boys were stopping at Jeremiah’s for a treat. Jeremiah’s is a place that sells Italian Ice swirled with soft-serve ice cream (unsponsored link here).

“Can we bring you some?” my wife asked.

“Thanks, but I’m fine.”

There was a pause.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t hear. What flavor did you want?”

“Nothing, thanks. I’m good.”


“Really. I’m in the middle of this project, and I want to stick with it.”

I heard her say “he doesn’t want any,” to the boys, followed by their shocked exclamation.

“Are you really sure?” she asked me again.

“I’m good,” I said. “Really.”

“I don’t want any either!” My youngest son shouted.

“Hold on.” my wife said.

I listened to a muffled conversation on the other end, then my wife spoke on the phone again. “He’s convinced that the only reason you would say no is if you had something better planned.”

I laughed.

“He kind of has a point,” she said.

“Not this time,” I said. “I’m just working. I want to stay focused.”

“Okay,” she said. “No complaining when we come home and you don’t have anything.”


I have to admit that I did have a perverse urge to race out to the store so I could put together a fantastic dessert before they got home. I resisted.

Next time, though, I’m just going to say “yes.”

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