Today's post comes to you from The Dude, my dear ol Daddy, and probably the person from whom I get my storytelling and writing abilities. New to the blogging scene, he spends his days chained to his home office, working his hands to the bones on "simulations" (please don't ask me what this means as my eyes tend to glaze over when he goes into too much detail. Suffice it to say, it's computer stuff- motherboards, ram, bits, bites, cpu and the like- I also have little understanding of what those words mean :) ) , tooling around with his guitars and reading his favorite blog, mine. Without further ado, I give you The Dude:
Also, you should know that my nickname growing up was switch, flip flop and toggle. This was because of my keen ability to go from deliriously happy to downright pissed and every emotion in between with the flip of a switch. My question to you is, this is a bad thing?! Alright, as you were....
It’s not always what you say, it’s how you say it.
Early in the hunt for a house by Switch and McMan (you know him here as Husband), the Mrs and I tagged along to see a few of their candidate homes. We drove our Mini Cooper, dubbed the clown car by some, and the four of us followed the Realtor to the selections.
The first, was one Switch and McManhad already seen and were wanting our opinion as to whether to make an offer.The house was well within their budget and would have been a fine starter home. But it was very plain and in a neighborhood that seemed it could go either way in the near future and the Mrs. And I probably appeared skeptical. This may have started to tickle the Switch’s frustration in that she may have been hoping for a nod that would cement her confidence in this selection.
Switch is my second daughter and although she is head strong and very capable of handling anything, she would prefer everything go smoothly and without conflict. So when first presented with an obstacle she sometimes must first throw the crazy fit, before settling down and then cruising through the concern until arriving at the end in perfect poise and harmony.
To her, conflict is like a rollercoaster ride. She waits in line whimpering, puking and wanting the Dumbo ride instead. Sometimes as a child she would exit the line early and then feel regret for not knowing what the ride might have been.
Then she met McMan, who is more thrilled by the movie trailer than the movie itself. So with his excitement of anticipation Switch has learned to steel her courage long enough until her turn to slide into the rocket car. She holds her breath to the top of the first hill and tries to distract her fear by the fact that McMan has his arms in the air and is whooping up the anticipation of the first drop.
At the end of the ride, which is almost always just a little short of the promise, Switch is finally proud she made it through and can’t believe that she was all worked up for nothing. McMan is never disappointed because he puts the effort into believing it was just what was promised and sees no satisfaction in finding small defects. Then they both run together, hand inhand, to the end of the line to go again.
This roller coaster process is applied by these two to many activities, including buying a house. And when this process takes place and Switch begins to fret the ride, McMan has found many means of distraction and diffusing Switch’s anxiety over the coming impediments, some we have seen before and some we have yet to.
Most of McMan’s tactic’s are what you would expect: calming words, consolation, words of encouragement, a hug; the same things we had done as Switch’s parents when we saw that Switch was in need of decompression.
But on this day, the day the Mrs. and I were tagging along, the process appeared to be in play and we were to learn a new one.
After viewing the first house which only got our tacit approval and not a definitive, 'yes buy this house and all will be wonderful,' we went to a second house that from the outside appeared like a much better candidate.
It was a corner lot with landscaped character and an oasis of a backyard with patio and screened in porch that would have been ideal for entertaining. It had the look of a well kept older home in an established neighborhood.
As we stood outside, in a line, waiting for the Realtor to find the key, you could feel a bit of anticipation start to build.
But, the Realtor could not find the key and although an appointment had been made and confirmed, we could not gain access into the house. Disappointed and out of time we all started cramming back into the clown car.
The Mrs. and Switch bent, folded and squeezed behind the front seat into the back of the two door and McMan and I took our places in the front. The little disappointments of the day and the fact that Mom and Dad were spending their time on what now appeared to be a hunt akin to chasing a greased pig and, as Switch’s earlier blog described, turned out to be even worse, were building up in Switch.
As we pulled away from the last house and headed for home Switch began a small litany of 'I am tired of” statements. I don’t remember the exact list but it was probably something like,'I am tired of looking at houses we can’t afford,' 'I am tired of working with these flakey realtors,' 'I am tired of the sacrifices we have made to save all this money to buy a house and we can’t find even one that meets our needs,' 'I am tired of squeezing in and out of this car,' 'I AM TIRED…'
As the apparent storm brewed the Mrs., McMan and I stared forward in our respective seats and at least the Mrs. and I were preparing for the worst which was only going to be made worse by the close confines of our clown car.
Suddenly, without motion and in a clear stern voice, McMan interrupts her litany with “I AM TIRED OF YOUR MOUTH BEING OPEN."
Immediately following that sentence you could not hear anything in the car. I believe this was partially due to the fact that there was no air in the car as the Mrs. and I both inhaled so deeply that we created a vacuum in which no sound could be made.
Expecting that the air that returned to the car was to be laced with a screaming litany of words I would not print, the Mrs. and I both tensed our muscles and took defensive positions.
Instead, what we heard was peals of laughter and the words,“Oh Husband, you always know just what to say.”
The Mrs. and I have since adopted this phrase for diffusing and we use it often.