Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Handy Thing

I'm sick of looking at my old post, so this one is for my benefit. Well, all of my posts are, really, since I read them more than anyone else. And that's not a plea for sympathy. It's me babbling.

A couple of nights ago, my 13yo came into my room and said, "Y'know? Talking comes in handy."

"Handy?" I said. "Yeah . . ." And I waited.

"When you're, you know, like, in 1st grade or whatever, you don't want to just talk with your friends. You want to play, because talking is boring. But then you get older and realize talking can be kind of fun."

Fun. Or handy, apparently. Okay.

My husband and I just got back from lunch out. It was our first "date" in a while. We've hit that stage where we don't necessarily feel the need to escape our children, so neither of us is desperate for time away. In fact, my idea of a good time is to go to my room at about 8:00 (or earlier) and not come out again until morning. I like to read or work or just enjoy the quiet. You know . . . the lack of that handy thing called talking.

But Ron was out of town for two weeks, and as wonderful a thing as Skype can be, talking or listening to someone--even if you can see them--while the reception comes and goes isn't a blast. It varies from being irritating to being frustrating to being stressful. So we needed to reconnect in person.

The original plan was to go to dinner this past Friday night. And then we got into a fight. We don't get into a lot of those, but this one was a doozy.(Why does the spell checker nab me on that? Come on, we all say 'doozy,' right?) Halfway to the restaurant (we were walking), I turned around and headed home. I was done talking. In fact, I was about as close to speechless as I've been since I was 13 and finding out what a handy thing speech in general is.

An hour later we were fine, and not because we talked about it. No, that wouldn't have been brilliant. It's been five days, and talking about it still wouldn't be brilliant. And at this point, there's no . . . well, no point to it. The issue we were arguing about is over and done, gone, finished. I'm perfectly fine with letting that sleeping dog lie (not my husband--the subject).

I've always been a big believer in talking things out. I like closure. I love it. I need it. I'm a little addicted to it. And I love talking. A lot. And I'm more than a little addicted to it. It's handy. I'll agree wholeheartedly with my 13yo on that one.

But sometimes--and I'm no marriage expert here--NOT talking things out with your spouse is the way to go. I'm not talking about sweeping problems under the mat (I'm wondering how many metaphors I can use in one post). I'm talking about realizing that for the sake of not making a mountain out of a mole hill (which I've never seen, by the way--a mole hill--so I don't know how close to a mountain one is in the first place) (I'm also going for a lot of parenthetical asides here), it's okay to just pretend the problem wasn't there in the first place, especially when you're pretty sure it's going to be a one-time kind of problem.

And you can always say, "Remember back when . . ." if the problem does come back. I'm sure that's something every marriage expert would support. Right?

So our lunch today was nice. The food wasn't great, but we don't eat out for the food. We eat out so we can just pay attention to each other for an hour. And so we can talk--if we feel the need.


Maryanne said...

This post has inspired curiosity. :) But I agree-- there are certain things that talking about set us off against each other. They are differences of opinion or looking at things and we're not going to change each others' minds about. So I too think they're better not to talk about (unless I'm itching for a fight).

Bobbie said...

It was a terribly boring argument about our oldest's text usage. I'm for trying to understand how a teen thinks. Ron's more interested in experimenting and trying to get them to think his way. He's never heavy handed about it, but, in this case, he was simply wrong. :-) It's what happens when you put two people together from completely different childhoods and then expect them to figure out how to usher their own kids through childhood in a healthy way. It's the basis for a lot of potential fighting.