After being chided by his wife, Cathy, for being unfeelingly brusque in his communication style, particularly in the late evening hours, Fred Gray of Nashville, Tennessee, learned to go gentle into that "Good night."
"When she's lying in bed next to me, I lean in close and say it real softly, almost a whisper," said Fred. "Then I kiss her on the forehead."
The new, gentler approach to his evening salutation has been working well, says Fred.
"I thought that last part, with the forehead-kissing, might be a little much," he said. "But she seems to like it."
And Fred has additionally noticed benefits to himself from easing into the darker hours, in the form of feeling less anxious, and sleeping more soundly through the night.
As someone who recalled specifically learning in high school English class not to go gentle into that good night, the benefits of the lighter touch have come as a surprise to Fred.
"But I'm not messing with a good thing," he said. "Just goes to show how much of what we're taught in high school is dead wrong."