Wednesday, March 8, 2017

     I have noticed in social interactions that often women seem to contradict their husbands when they are telling a story. Mr. Wonderful finds this very annoying, and I must admit, it makes me uncomfortable, and I am amazed that husbands don’t snap back. If the contradiction was important to the story, from the listener’s perspective, it would be one thing, but usually, whatever detail is in question is irrelevant. 

     For example, if he’s relating a traffic incident, and he says, “I was in the left lane, and this red car behind me had been on my tail for several blocks,” and wife interrupts to say, “No, George, that’s not true. The car was brown.” Now, the color of the car had nothing to do with the traffic incident, so why bother correcting, even if he was wrong. It disrupts his train of thought, makes him feel awkward, and the listener is squirming worried that the couple will now engage in a verbal spat. In my humble opinion, details could easily be eliminated from most peoples’ stories. My friend, Ron, used to say to me, “Ba-dip a dip a dip—-cut to the chase, girl!” That’s what I want to say to many storytellers, but I digress.

      Whether it was raining or sunny, whether the street was three blocks from the corner or six miles from the corner, whether the radio was on or off—-none of this matters. Just tell me the story and leave out all the fluff. Too many words. Too many words.

     To contradict a loved one is, in my humble opinion, disrespectful. Have I done it? Of course. Was I called on it? You betcha! And I deserved to be scolded for being rude. Have the roles been reversed. A few times, but rarely. Mr. Wonderful is usually very respectful. 

     When we drink (I used to love this luxury), these incidents seem to accelerate. When we are excited about something, we often tend to embellish, and the truth-sayer feels a need to clarify when the listener could care less. When someone is trying to one-up, the embellishing moves to a new level. One-upping is rude in itself, so once I hear that tone, I tune out and say to myself, “I really don’t care.” 

     Last night, our host said, “Can we brag with you two?” We responded, “Sure.” What else could we have said? He bragged about his daughter’s dog, so that was fine. If I had her dog, I would have bragged too. Who would not brag about a poodledoodle? 

     Quel en est le but? (What’s the point?) Respect your loved ones. That simple.