in my work i travel constantly. on american airlines alone, i have more than 9 million frequent-flier miles. i always put off going to the airport until the last second. the time i really screwed up i was racing to the san diego airport to catch a flight to new york. my wife, lyda, was sitting next to me in the front seat. my kids, bryan and kelly, were in the back. i was frantically racing along and not paying much attention. lyda cried out: “look out! there is a red light up ahead.”
being a trained behavioral science professional—who teaches others the value of encouraging input—i naturally screamed at her:“i know there is a red light up ahead! don’t you think i can see? i drive as well as you can.”when we arrived at the airport, lyda, a licensed clinical psychologist with a phd, abandoned her usual farewell ministrations for some reason. not only did she fail to kiss me good-bye, she didn’t even speak to me. as she walked around the car, slid behind the wheel, and drove off, both kids gave me that my-dad-is-an-idiot look.
“hmm,” i pondered, “i wonder why she seems mad at me?”