On meaningful communication and genital mutilation

Posted on October 21, 2011 by


I have made it a mission in my married life to deliberately stop and ask my husband about his preferences and opinions rather than assuming I know his position on a given matter, or as would be typical of my nature, attempting to divine it (which is a habit worth breaking).   I don’t use it enough, though, as a means of staying up to speed should he have the temerity to change his mind about something.

So, the other day, I was certain I knew where he stood on the matter of infant circumcision.  After all, I’d left the decision to him when our son was born, and he’d opted in.  But, 7 years and a poorly performed vasectomy later, it seems we’ve arrived at a different conclusion.  We are now against it.

I was curious, because I live in the same house and had no idea of this epiphany, how he got there.

So I interviewed him.  Here is the transcript:

Me:  Honey, do you think circumcision is wrong?

Him:  Yes, in general, as a routine practice.

Me:  When did you decide this?

Him:  Oh, I don’t know, about the time I was applying a frozen bag of peas to my junk after my vasectomy.   It occurred to me then that unnecessarily altering  a man’s genitalia is probably a really stupid idea.  Same for boys.

Me:  Why didn’t you tell me?

Him:  Why are we talking about this….wait, are there pictures of penises on that Christian (he adds air quotes) blog you’re always on?

Me:  No, that would be immodest.

Him:  Shut up.

Me:  Okay, so do you regret having our son circumcised?

Him:  Regret?  There’s no point, but I would have chosen differently, knowing what I know now.

(At this point he’s doing his best to get me to go away and leave him alone so he can watch An Evening With Mitt Romney the Republican presidential debate, so I either have to take off my top or annoy him to hold his attention – let’s do annoy this time).

Me:  Do you think our son is going to sue us for mutilating him?

Him:  No, but I might kick you out of the house if you don’t stop talking.

(annoy, FTW!)

I think it’s hot that my husband has gone slightly crunchy. He’d actually put a good deal of consideration (beyond the whole frozen peas thing) into something important and had changed his mind about it.  If I hadn’t asked, though, how would I know? He is habitually interesting, a big thinker, and yet it would be easy for me to miss some of the subtleties of his personality –you know, the good stuff.   Everyone changes, and the people who are closest to us aren’t exceptions.   Once in a while, it’s good to ask them “so, what do you think?”.

Posted in: Relationships