Tony attended the men’s prayer breakfast and heard a visiting psychologist speak on the topic of showing appreciation to the important people in one’s life. Tony decided to start with his wife, so after work that night, he went to the shopping mall, where he bought a dozen long-stemmed roses, a box of chocolates, and a pair of earrings. He chortled with self-satisfaction as he contemplated surprising his wife, showing her how much he appreciated her.

He stood at the front door with the roses in his right hand, the gaily wrapped box of candy under his arm, and an open jewelry box displaying the earrings in his left hand. With an elbow he rang the doorbell. His wife came to the door, opened it, and stared at him for a long minute. Suddenly she burst into tears.

“Sweetheart, what’s wrong?” asked the bewildered husband.

“It’s been the worst day of my life,” she answered.

“First, Jimmy tried to flush his diaper down the toilet. Then Eric melted his plastic airplane in the oven. Then the dishwasher got clogged and overflowed all over the kitchen floor. Then Brittany came home from school with a note from the teacher saying that she beat up a boy in her class. And now you come home drunk!”