Last Friday afternoon, I played in the annual “Teachers vs. Grade 7 Students” volleyball game at St. Paul School. The raucous gym was deafening at times with the excited students cheering, clapping, and screaming. Kayla and Jake (along with his gold medal winning buddies from grade 6) were among the crowd. Sean didn’t have school that day, so he came to referee – making it a family affair.
All of the teachers rotated through and it just so happened that Gail came on right after me. So whenever we were on the court together, we were playing right beside each other.
I’m very competitive when it comes to sports, even if it’s a fun, mean-nothing game. My lovely wife Gail, however, is the exact opposite. In fact, when she came on the court, she whispered to me, “You’re going to have to help me.”
During one particular rally, the ball came over the net to our side and went towards Gail. Gail didn’t really react and thus the ball dropped beside her. I tried to give her a loving and affirming smile while dying inside.
However, I’ve never been good at hiding my emotions and I guess my disdain was written all over my face. Because Gail told me later that the teachers on the bench said things like:
“Did you see Clay’s reaction?”
“Was Clay actually mad at you?”
“You should have seen the look that Clay gave you!”
In fact, I even tweeted this after the game:
Nothing tests my marriage to Gail more than playing beside each other on a volleyball court. #loveenduresforever
— Clayton Imoo (@claytonimoo) November 28, 2014
Later that evening, I apologized to Gail for giving her “the look” and for letting her volleyball skill (or lack thereof) annoy me. And in extending the olive branch to her, I gave her an opportunity to share with me some things that I do to annoy her.
She easily came up with a list of 12 things. Within a minute. No joke.
So here are 10 things that make Gail give me “the look”:
1. My mess. This is probably at the top of the list. Gail often tells me that she can’t stand looking at my workstation. Or my office. Or me.
2. My cooking. In simple terms, I don’t know how. My specialty is grilled cheese sandwiches. And instant noodles.
3. My swimming. I embarrass Gail every time we’re in a pool or ocean. Back in our teenage years, I thought I was drowning in the ocean. Gail yelled at me to stand up. The water went up to my chest.
4. My Tagalog. It drives Gail nuts when I try to read or speak Tagalog. She tells me that my accent is from another Asian country. And she’s sick of hearing my one “go to” phrase haha.
5. My wardrobe. On numerous occasions, I’ve emerged from our bedroom ready to go out only to have Gail ask me, “Are you seriously planning to wear that?” Guess not.
6. My printing. Gail says it’s illegible. I say it’s a sign of genius.
7. The way I fold laundry. Gail ends up re-doing some of the laundry that I fold. I didn’t know there’s a proper way to fold underwear. I’m all about efficiency.
8. Flashing my cell phone in her face at 2am to see if she’s still up. No excuse for this one. But at least I have it on silent.
9. Leaving my clothes beside our bed. They find their way into the hamper eventually.
10. Turning the lights on when she’s sleeping. If I can’t use my cell phone, I need to do something to make sure I don’t trip over the pile of clothes beside my bed. :p