Is there a statute of limitations on tone-deafness?

Husband steps in it, memorably, even though it all turned out right in the end, leaving the wife with this problem: “My normally considerate spouse has committed what I consider to be a pretty big transgression. We recently hosted his parents’ 40th anniversary party at our house, an event I was thrilled to plan and execute. I run my own business and attend law school four nights a week (my first year). This party was the weekend before the last two days of class, and I had a big paper due on Tuesday.

”Two nights before the party, I came home from class and was sitting down to eat and catch my breath when my husband casually says, ‘I’m taking off work to play golf with a buddy tomorrow.’ He didn’t preface it with an inquiry as to what needed to be done to prep for the party, or a request, just a statement.

”I was livid, but I bit my tongue until I had cooled to a level that allowed me to express that my feelings were hurt. He argued that he would be home from golf earlier than he’d be home from work ... yadda, yadda, yadda.

”I should also mention that my husband plays golf almost every Saturday and Sunday. It’s not something I allow or don’t allow him to do; he’s a grown-up, he can choose his priorities as he sees fit. I say this only to underscore that it wasn’t like this was some sort of rare golf opportunity.

”It turns out he got held up at the office and didn’t make his golf game. He ended up leaving work early anyway and coming home to help get the house ready for the party, something we worked on right up until people arrived Saturday night.

”I work hard, keep the house and go to school, all with a cheerful disposition and gracious devotion to our home. Am I crazy to want a grand-gesture sort of apology from him for acting like a cad when I was adding to my full plate to throw a party for HIS parents? If I’m not crazy, how do I get it?”

Do you agree the husband owes her an apology? Do you think she should ask for one? Do you think the moment has passed to bring it up, or is there no such expiration date?

— Carolyn Hax

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