(Sort of) An Apology to my Husband

I still can't hear you...
I still can't hear you...

My husband hates it when I use examples of our life in my writing. This makes writing a bit difficult since the majority of my life is spent in his company and things happen that I want to write about. Occasionally I’ll write about it anyway and think, “to hell with his grumbling!” as I carefully edit out any reference to his existence. But it’s awkward at best.

Not this time though. I’m not going to back down from writing what is on my mind at the moment. Perhaps my defiance is simply the residue of yesterday’s anger…but I think not. It’s probably just an apology…but in a more comfortable format.

Words Du Jour

A specialty of the Mea Culpa Bistro
A specialty of the Mea Culpa Bistro

My husband has recently taken an interest in Face Book and googling planet Earth to see his childhood home. Friends from his past are popping up at an alarming rate along with the long-winded details of how they were met, what they are doing now…the inevitable walk down memory lane. In my case, it’s more like a drag down memory lane as I go kicking and screaming.

He isn’t the only one. This forum which has opened a door onto our pasts, reconnecting us with people that we might have only had to tolerate during dreaded high school reunions, seems to be drawing a lot of people into its fold. Even my oldest brother, the most cynical and cantankerous fart you could ever hope to meet, has succumbed. Just today I received an e-mail from him exclaiming over a friend he had once known nearly forty years ago contacting him via Face Book.

Despite the peer pressure I’ve been receiving to join the fun, I’ve resisted. It’s not that I’m immune to the idea of finding out whatever became of Lopsided Lydia, the girl who stuffed toilet paper into her bra in the fourth grade (and not very successfully…hence the nickname) but because I actually might. For me, memories are sacred things…and as a grown-up, Lydia might not be all that interesting which would ruin the picture I have of her in my mental photo album.

And there you have it…the basic ingredients for an all out battle between the two most pigheaded people on the planet…my husband and me.

My day had been relatively uneventful and therefore, I was in a pretty darn good mood when I arrived home. I cleaned up a bit in the kitchen, made myself a cup of coffee turned on the computer. In other words…my typical routine. As I was pouring myself a fresh cup of coffee a bit later on, rolling ideas around in my head for what I was writing, my beloved mate arrived home. A bit distracted with my own thoughts, I greeted him and began walking back to the computer.

My husband had assumed because I was standing in the kitchen at the time of his entrance, that I was available to listen to him speak. He is a multi-tasker…I am not. A part of me did hear the words and then stored them for processing at a later date, because I can give you the gist of it even if I can’t remember the particular names of the persons involved. It had to do with a friend he hadn’t seen for eons that contacted him via Face Book…and that friend knew of another friend who had disappeared and then been found in the form of bones at a later date.

The tale seemed to conclude around the same time I sat back down in front of my computer. At least, my husband concluded that it did since he retreated into a sullen but oddly palpable silence. Ironically, this silence did to me what his previous words did not. It got my attention.

According to him, it was rude of me to walk away in the middle of a conversation. At the time, I was far too angry to see things from his point of view…but I can see how if you assume we were having a conversation, my behavior could absolutely be considered rude. However, I don’t believe we were having a conversation…which started me thinking…

 

While I can’t claim to be an expert on conversation, relying on others to philosophize on its roots and its effect on society as a whole, I’ve participated in quite a few.  My mother loved a good one…while my father demanded complete silence during a family meal, with the exception of a “please pass the potatoes” once in a while.  It was interesting to see which parental force would win for the evening, for my mother thought nothing of defying my father’s irrational decree.  To be fair, our conversation was more debate than discourse.  My mother was very skillful at maneuvering my father into unwittingly taking the opposition in any discussion, so it was always a lively affair.  If the conversation became overly heated (on my father’s side) it was quickly ended as he angrily slammed his plate down and stalked out of the room.  It wasn’t quite a food fight, but there were times when I had to remove peas and carrots from my hair.

There were really only two occasions when conversation was frowned upon by my mother.  One was when the television was on and the other when she was reading a book.  Other than that…you were fair game.  My sisters and I often laugh when recalling the number of times that we would excuse ourselves, only to find our mother following us to the bathroom…still talking.  Not wanting to be rude, but really not wanting to hold a conversation while sitting on the toilet or even through the bathroom door in between grunts, we’d gently but firmly remind her of social boundaries. 

My mother gave great conversation though.  Even on the  phone…she could talk to virtually anyone.  In fact she did.  I remember one afternoon she hung up the phone laughing and told me she’d just had an hour-long conversation with a man she didn’t know.  They were enjoying the conversation so much that it had taken them both that long to realize he had dialed the wrong number.

Because of my mother, I know what a conversation should be…and conversely, what it isn’t.

According to some experts, the art of conversation has been dying for a long time. The Victorians blamed its impending demise on books, writing and even the invention of better home-lighting which facilitated still more reading and writing. In the somewhat recent past, fingers were pointed at radios and televisions for obvious reasons. And as if these were not enough to entertain us, we now have the computer, cell phones, Ipods, Blackberries, Wii and Xbox. So many distractions but still only the same twenty four hour period in each day to make use of them.

Something had to suffer.

What a different world we live in today than even a hundred years ago. Some of my most treasured memories are of times spent in the kitchen with my mother. The recipes were often faded and rather vague in regard to quantities and technique…which often happens after they’ve been handed down through several generations. The only way to actually learn it was to gather the information directly from a human source. To me…that is the heart of conversation…an intimacy between two or more people that no amount of texting can accomplish. I realize that nowadays, Grandma Gookins could easily slap up a website and blog her secret goulash recipe…but it’s just not the same.

Evil Tracklighting
Evil Tracklighting

 

So are we in danger of losing the art of conversation?  I don’t think so...it’s changing, but it’s still there.  Countless chat rooms have been created just so people can connect verbally in a textual format.  There are talk radios and talk shows.  My youngest sister spends a lot of time bantering back and forth with her friends on a pink Blackberry.  Everyone still has something to say judging by the trend to blog or write on innumerable subjects. 

What I believe we are in danger of losing is the human element in conversation…the intimacy of it.  I know I’m guilty of what I like to call hit and run conversations where an unoccupied millisecond is all I need to blurt out something important to me before the commercial is over and the show is back on.  But even that is slowly being lost thanks to TiVo and my husband’s ability to fast-forward through the commercials. 

There’s so little time to communicate face to face…that when we do get the opportunity there’s a tendency to forget that a conversation requires both a speaker and a listener equally exchanging ideas.  Instead, we get angry and frustrated because we feel that nobody is listening.  Whether we feel unheard or simply unacknowledged, it leads to the conclusion that a person is not important enough to merit the attention of another.

In the case of my husband, this simply wasn’t true.  I cannot think of anyone on this planet that is more important to me than he is.  He’s also a great conversationalist….intelligent, interesting and humorous.  And while I will accept full responsibility for my apparent rude behavior…I’m simply pointing out that there are mitigating circumstances.  Computer technology, reality shows, books and halogen track lights are to blame.  We are both victims…

What do you say we just grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s….curl up on the couch and talk about it?     

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Comments 36 comments

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 4 years ago from australia

spryte Hi. Great hub and very true in a lot of cases.

Maybe walking away while having a conversation,is because you do not want to hear the reply or you know that you are only going to get a grunt.

They seem to want to talk, when your head is fully occupied with other things. Oh well you win some you loose some.

It sounds like he has forgiven you,so it all worked out in the end.

I very much enjoyed reading your hub, It did put a smile on my face. Been there done that sort of thing.

Thanks for sharing it with us. Voted up and very interesting. :):)


spryte profile image

spryte 4 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Hi bonzallyte...I'm not sure how you arrived here either but I'm certainly glad you did. And awwww...thank you for the compliment. You made me smile in a big way.


bonzailyte 4 years ago

yea so i dunno how i ended up on this site, nor do i know what a hub is, however i just wanted to say that "Spryte your writing is quite addicting" keep it up :D


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

May - Yes they do! But the ups definitely outweight the downs with my husband :)

Row - After all that bitching you did too... :P


rowanelayna profile image

rowanelayna 7 years ago from York, PA

Somehow I've missed your last few blogs....gotta catch up...


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

Awww,

Sounds like all marriage have their ups and downs. I don't think I'm ready for it, but will learn from the pros ;)


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Hi May -

My husband does have a very hard head...but then again, so do I. It's actually a good thing since we're both very strong personalities and would have a tendency to just mow over a less assertive partner. Luckily, as angry as we get...we're also quick to laugh at ourselves and make-up.

But yeah...I'm thinking my initial decision to not get involved with Face Book is turning out to be an accidentally great choice.

*hugs to you*


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

I heard a lot of strange stories about face book and people wanting to meet up with you cuz you are suppose to be related to them somehow, but this is too much!?

I'm sorry to hear that he's such a hard head at times. If talking doesn't work, why not writing a letter to him? Seems to work when me and my roommates blow up on each other.


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Hairy, hairy, hairy...

Damn! I did spell that wrong didn't I?

If you'd like to take MM for a stroll then you'll have to ask her yourself...perhaps I'll put in a good word for you though. She's a classy lady though so you might want to be brushin' up on your manners.

I have to go now and practice frowning at the mirror. Never realized I was giving the wrong look....thanks. :P


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

Crikeys sweetie you can jest take that *frowns at Hairy* look off of that cute little face . It looks more like that *come up and see me some time big boy* look you do so well.

It's not me compry....compry.....compre.....Oh that f****n big word you used up there (and Ag said not to tell anyone you didn't spell it proper) thats the problem. Me ram just kicked me in the bejabbers and me mind was in another place.

Strewth spryte that MM sure nos how to sweet talk a bloke, don't she now. Dooya wreckon youse might arks her to go out wif me or somfin. Like I could take her for a walk down the local sheepdip.

Waddaya wreckon ?


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

MM - Thank you for settin' Hairy straight!

*frowns at Hairy*

You are so lucky there wasn't a reading comphrehension test after my hub....you would have been toast!

And yes, socks in jocks would be for a pretty similar purpose as tissue in bra.


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

Mighty MM you sure ave done yaself proud. The old memories not all that good today, jest needed a bit of joggin it did.

Never run across the tissue titty bits but did find the odd bit of sponge rubber hear and there.

We guys have sumthin we call socks in the jocks. Would that be the same ?


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Yes, HA, Lopsided Lydia was the example cited by Spryte of the kind of classmate one would probably prefer not to reacquaint oneself with on social networking sites like Facebook. Even if Lydia managed to eventually fill out her bra evenly without the help of Kleenex, chances are good that the girl who did stuffed her Platex in 4th grade probably is not someone Spryte would choose to converse with in middle age.

I can understand your confusion. Being used to the buxom beauties on the Captain's ship, you likely have no experience with tissue titties! Hope I've answered your question, my dear Mr. A.S.S.


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

MM Lopsided Lydiias ?


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Mighty Mom - Aha! I knew it... And thank you! :)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Yes, those darned halogen track lights are real conversation killers alright!

Great hub. You are smart not to get caught up on Facebook. For all the reasons you've enumerated above. Seems that it's populated by a very high proportion of Lopsided Lydias! MM


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Kate - Thank you!

Hairy - Y'know....as an actor, I'm sure Christoph has spent plenty of time in tights.... :)


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

(SPLatchooooo) as hairy spits is XXXX all over the keyboard!!!!

Miou in tights, neffer.(indignantly) Christoph, hmmmm yeah I can see that!

ROFLMFAO


KateWest profile image

KateWest 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Well said!


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Nemingha - I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Thank you for your comment!

Hairy...hairy...hairy...tsk. Now I'm picturing Christoph and you running around in tights...and I haven't even had my first coffee of the day.


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

ARR, wat does this hitting on mean. Chris is me mate, jest like youse guys. What would I wanna  it im for. I was jest wantin to ave a chat about that funny game where ya got fellas in tights runnin round in circles and finishs wiv em avin a fight. y not jest ave the fight up front ? Thats wat we does, an then we ave a beer or three.


Nemingha profile image

Nemingha 7 years ago

A lovely story and I could not agree more. A well written, entertaining and enjoyable hub. I look forward to reading more.


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Rochelle - Thanks *blush* (seriously) High praise coming from you has me doing a snoopy dance. Thank you.

Feline - I need at least an hour after coming home from work to be human again. This usually means sticking my nose in a book and tuning out everything around me...including my husband. So I know exactly what you mean.

Randy - I don't mind letting the subject matter travel all over the place...but if I'm doing something else, don't expect me to listen to ANYTHING. Even if normally I would love to discuss it.

Tom - That's exactly my fear...it's not as if my life has been less fulfilling because I lost track of friends and aquaintances. Even worse...what if ex-boyfriends start showing up???!! Hmmm...that's not a bad idea...I could point that out to my overly-possessive mate and I bet he'd lay off the Face Book badgering. :) Thanks! I don't believe for a second that you are not a good conversationalist. I've read some of your material and you make me laugh with your dry deadpan humor. I am sure I would find conversing with you to be vastly entertaining!

Moon - LOL! Now that's a creative solution.

Hi Chris! I used to love writing letters...now I'm exhausted by the thought of having to use a pen and paper to transcribe my thoughts. Fingers move so much faster on a keyboard. But even though I feel this way...a part of me wonders why I'm in such a rush all the time? Perhaps that is why conversation has suffered so much...it requires time that we feel we don't have. Anyway...consider it a standing invitation if you are ever in the Phoenix area to have dinner and a long conversation afterward. Our spouses will just have to deal with it...but I have a feeling they'd enjoy it too. :) Big hugs to you!

Hairy - Are you hitting on Chris on my hub?????


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

Crikey, Chris me old china plate why didncha say so.

Me and youse could flap the gums any time that youse felt like it mate.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Hi Spryte! Another well thought-out, intelligent piece. I agree that the art of conversation is on it's way to extinqtion, much like letter writing. I am a pretty good conversationalist but don't have too many opportunities to engage in it any longer. Often though, it's a comfort just to be in the same room with someone you care about, even if you're both engaged in your individual activities.

Still, a good conversation feels good, doesn't it? Very nice work, yet again!


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

I had so much of this problem from my wife (her latest thing being hubs, {I blame her now for getting me addicted}) that to get my point accross, I had to publish my first hub. "Take that you babbling woman!" I guess it is a good thing we each have laptops.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

I have a facebook page. A guy that I knew from high school contacted me. When we were there, our conversations were like, ten words. So that's how it is now. "How are you?" "I'm fine." I would certainly never bore my wife with that.

I was always challenged in the conversation department. So many variables. Is it my turn to talk? Did I hear that right? Is this really what she meant? Is that a joke? Is that an insult? And then I think someone is paying attention and it turns out they're not. It's exhausting. Excuse me, was I saying something?


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 7 years ago from Near the Ocean

I love a good conversation... as long its with whom I want to talk to, what I want to talk about, and when I'm not busy hubbing!


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

This sounds so familiar! My husband often accuses me of tuning out when he talks, but really, there's only so much conversation I can take at any given time...which is kind of hard on someone who never stops talking! :P


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

Spryte , you are amazing. I also know someone who wants my computer to look up former geographical and personal acquaintances. Sorry, I'm using this.


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

RVille - Thank you and I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

Ananta - So there is hope still :)  Nice to see you btw!

Misty - My mother knew she talked a lot...we always told her so...and she'd laugh.  :)  Of course we were already laughing too...so it worked.

Aggie - LOL!  Smart man :)  I think he has...but he hasn't said as much.  I'm sure at some point tonight he'll pause the program we're watching to tell me.

GT - Have we met somewhere before...perhaps an airport, a restaurant, by the trash cans? :)


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

I don't know why but I can't converse at home but out anywhere else, I can converse with a bum.

Also I for one have skipped out on facebook, to much to keep up with for me.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

It works in reverse for me, swmbo starts a conversation then while still talking walks to the another room. Finishes her side of the conversation and says "did you say something dear". Then not wanting to be struck down by lightning I have to follow her into the other room to finish the conversation.

btw did hubby accept your (sort of )apology.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Golly Spryte, your Mum sounds so much like mine, she never stops talking, but in her case, when you accuse her of that, she goes all indignant and tries to say it isn't her, but us !!!!!


Ananta65 7 years ago

I say, I love those moments - rare as they may seem - where I come home and go tho the kitchen to cook up a meal and my daughter grabs a stool and talks *smile* Even the text-message. chat almosy digital generation still understand and apparently needs real person conversation :)


RVilleneuve profile image

RVilleneuve 7 years ago from Michigan

wonderful story, my husband and I are having similar experiences.

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