Setting the Tone

My good friend and fellow author, Laura Castoro, once told me that women are the heart of a home and no matter whether we like it or not, we set the tone for the atmosphere at home. We were both bemoaning the fact that husbands can get mad and storm around and everyone has to just hush until they get over it. But if we women get mad and storm around, pretty soon everyone is in a sour mood and things get pretty testy.

I hadn’t really paid attention to that phenomenon until she stopped by one day years ago to recover from a “mad” before she went home and infected her whole house. But when she pointed it out, I realized it was true.

“But that’s totally not fair,” I said.

“You’re right. But fair has nothing to do with the reality.”

“That stinks.” Maybe I was hoping that if I protested enough I could someone alter this reality.

Laura just laughed. “Right again, but are we going to rail against something we can’t change, or learn how to adapt.”

“I don’t want to adapt. I want to be able to be mad all by myself.”

Again, Laura laughed. “Good luck with that. Me, I’m going to go home and try to put on a smile and watch my husband and kids smile back.”

It probably wasn’t that simple for her that day, and it certainly is not a simple thing to put into practice day after day, week after week, year after year. But I can tell you after 43 years of marriage that the days that I am aware of setting a tone for my home are the days that tone is more pleasant and harmonious than some others.

I still mutter about this being not fair, and I’m sure Laura will laugh again when she reads this, but it works.

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