Last night my wife called me and asked what I wanted for dinner. She’s been a little under the weather again and wasn’t really feeling up to making dinner so I suggested that we go out to eat. There is this new Mexican restaurant in a neighboring town that I have heard good things about so we decided take the kids and go and try it out.
When we arrived there was a sign just outside the front door that read “Thursday night: live mariachi band.” My first reaction was “cool!” We went inside and were seated really quickly. Then it happened. The music started. From that point for a straight 45 minutes the music was so loud in this small restaurant that I couldn’t hear myself think. I had to read the menu items three or four times before my brain would grasp what I was reading because of the noise. They were a good band and played quite a few different songs. They would move from table to table in the restaurant serenading the patrons. It was neat, except I found myself getting irritated. At first I thought it was because of the noise but after we had been there for twenty minutes or so I realized it was because it was so loud that I couldn’t talk to my beautiful wife or our children. Literally, when the waitress came to take our order I pointed to the menu items I ordered for myself and my son. I didn’t even try to talk because I would have had to yell. This realization, that I was annoyed because I couldn’t talk with my family, really surprised me. I thought about it some more (as much as I was able with the noise) and realized that I underappreciate just how much I enjoy talking with my wife and children and just how much fun and how important it really is.
When the band finally made its way to the far side of the restaurant and the noise died down I quickly seized the opportunity to strike up a conversation with my wife and sons. I complimented my wife on how lovely she looked and thanked her for going out to dinner with me. I asked my sons if they were enjoying their food and if they liked the music (they responded affirmatively. They LOVED watching the band and listening to the music). And I simply enjoyed being able to have a conversation with my family again. I am grateful for the reminder of the importance of talking with our spouses and families and will remember this lesson for some time to come.