Caleb was a friendly teenager. But the one thing that seemed to set him apart from other boys his age was that he got hints girls gave that other boys didn’t get. Face it, girls often say and do things that go past most boys. Girls have a way of saying things they feel are obvious that boys would call hints, yet boys don’t even catch the hint part. The sad thing is that as boys become men and girls become women, nothing changes.

My wife and I are as good of an example of this as any couple. One day, after a long program, we were on our way home when she asked, “Would you like some ice cream?”

“Not really,” I replied, continuing to drive home. When we got home, I couldn’t understand why she was upset with me. At this point, the women reading this are saying, “Well, duh.” The men are asking, “Why was she upset?”

When I finally got her to tell me, she said, “I told you I wanted to stop and get ice cream.”

“No, you didn’t,” I replied. “You asked me if I wanted ice cream, and I didn’t.”

“Well, it’s the same thing,” she replied.

Right now, all the women are probably saying, “Of course it’s the same.” The men are all saying, “It isn’t the same thing at all.”

The point is, men are all wondering why women don’t say what they mean, and women are all wondering why men can’t catch the obvious.

Now, back to Caleb. Caleb was different because he was sharp enough that he got these hints. He especially started seeing them in conversations between men and women after he became a grocery store checker.

A good example of this was a newly married couple. The women put a few items like shampoo, conditioner, and kitchen items on the checkout stand. She had gone to get those while her husband grabbed some food for them to eat for the new year’s celebration.

The man set some delicious wine on the checkout that he said was to toast the new year.

“That is my favorite wine,” the woman said. “Do you want a chaser to go with that?”

The man shook his head. “Not really.”

He set some chips up on the checkout, and his wife said, “Don’t you think those would go well with some salsa?”

“No,” the man said. “I don’t like salsa.”

The man set some crackers up on the checkout, and his wife said, “I’m glad you got those. They are my favorite crackers. What’s good is eating a cheese ball with them.”

“I’ve never tried a cheese ball,” the man replied.

This same process went on for the rest of the things he put on the counter as Caleb rang them up. After Caleb scanned the last item, he could see that the lady was silently fuming. Yet the man didn’t have a clue that he had done anything wrong.

Caleb looked at the man and said, “Buddy, can I give you some advice?”

The man shrugged. “Whatever.”

“When your wife is asking you if you want a chaser, if you’d like a cheese ball, or need salsa, she’s really saying she wants those things.”

The man laughed. “Seriously?” He then turned to look at his wife and finally saw her expression that said she had the desire to maim him. Instantly, his smile disappeared. “Honey, is that right?” he asked.

“Well, duh,” she replied.

“Why didn’t you tell me that before we got everything rung up?” he asked. “We could have bought them.”

He then handed Caleb a credit card, which turned out not to be a credit card, but was a picture of a previous girlfriend. When Caleb flipped it over and saw what it was, he returned it. The man and woman both saw it at the same time. Her expression changed to one of intended murder.

“You know,” Caleb said to him, “I think you should take time to go get the other things. And while you’re at it, you might want to visit aisles two and five.”

“What’s on aisles two and five?” the man asked.

“Flowers and chocolates,” Caleb replied.