The Shell Game

Shell Game:idea:
In the later years of my first marriage, my first ex and I purchased a house. It was in need of work, but wasn’t a bad place. My first ex is a fairly particular individual. Her approach to things is often not necessarily the easiest or most efficient, or even intelligible at times, but it is her way or no other will do.

This quality of hers combined with the work that was actually needed on the house often resulted with me having more chores than were humanly possible. In an effort to keep her happy, as well as to find a little peace in my rattled existence, one afternoon I suggested she go shopping. All I asked was that she was considerate. We didn’t have a lot of money, but it was fine if she went out and spent some on herself and had a little fun.

I was in the living room, painting, when she came home. She had three garment boxes with her, two under one arm, and one under the other. The first words out of her mouth were, “Don’t worry. One of these is empty.” Fine. Whatever. I wasn’t worried and didn’t give any thought as to their contents anyway. She went to the bedroom, and came out after a bit to show me two things she has purchased.

A few years later, we were in marriage counseling. It was during a marriage counseling session that I learned the truth about that day. She had actually purchased three coats. When she pulled into our driveway, she worried about telling me that. Moreover, two of the garments, sort of sweater-coats, were pretty much the same, just different colors. So, as she sat in the driveway, she placed one of the sweater-coats into a box with another so she could truthfully say that one of the boxes was empty.

During the marriage counseling session, her contention was that she had not lied, as one garment box was indeed empty. It was my contention that deception is deception, that deceit is a form of lying. It was something she did not understand, or simply refused to understand as it would have made her the bad guy.

In the end, it wouldn’t have mattered to me back then had she told me the truth. I sent her out shopping, so I expected her to buy things. After her little shell game she realized that she could never wear the coat she had not shown me. She had divulged only two coats. The third could not magically appear. Karma had kicked her squarely in her wardrobe.

Sifu Keith Mosher

About Sifu Keith Mosher

My new book, “Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me” is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, “On a Sphere’s Edge”. I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager, and I am currently an Author and a Martial Arts Instructor.

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