Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tux Shirt Leads to Question of Who Made a Mistake

My husband I go shopping for a tux for him to rent for an upcoming “black tie” family wedding. When we get to the store, we learn that this is the first day of a terrific sale. We buy a tux for the cost of a rental.

Now my husband has his own tux shoes, tie, suspenders and studs. But he does need a new shirt, which he also buys.

When we get home he decides to try on his shirt. He opens the package, looks at the buttons on the shirt, and says: “She sold me the wrong shirt. I can’t use my studs.”

I say: “It’s probably the right shirt. She knew what she was doing. Let me see the shirt and your studs.”

After he explains that a tux shirt only has four studs and then buttons, I look at the first four buttons very carefully. And realize that these buttons are made to be cut off if the shirt owner has studs. These four buttons are even attached on a special strip of cloth to make it easier to cut off the buttons. Voila! He can use his studs with this tux shirt.

Why am I annoyed? I’m annoyed because his reaction, like the reaction of many people, is to assume that someone MADE A MISTAKE. And then we’re angry at that someone.

Instead, we should first consider that the person did NOT make a mistake, and we should try to reconcile this view with the problem at hand. And, then, only after carefully examining the problem at hand and not finding a solution, can we decide that the person possibly made a mistake.

If all of us, including myself, would try not to jump to conclusions, maybe we’d all have less stress in our lives. (And next time you buy a tux shirt, open the package in the store and make sure the shirt is what you want!)

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