Thursday, July 2, 2015

Interview with the Children – The Older One

Recently, I found this old meme floating around on Facebook:

Without any prompting, ask your child these questions and write down exactly what they say. It is a great way to find out what they really think. 

When the kids were in preschool I got a list of these “Questions about Mom” each year.  Their answers were precious in their inaccuracy.  And I think I interviewed my kids in the early days of Facebook.  These days I'll take any excuse to talk to my children, so I grabbed the questions and caught my kids on a couple of lazy afternoons to see if they know me any better now that they’re older and wiser.

I posted my interview with my twelve year old here.  The following is the interview with my fourteen year old son, who I cornered in his bedroom:

1. What is something mom always says to you? 

“Take small bites.”

It’s true.  It’s like he’s going for the gold medal in cheek-stuffing at every meal.  Squirrels and chipmunks have nothing on this kid.  I pray for latent emergence of table manners every single day.

* * *

2. What makes mom happy?

“Um, when, um, ::cough cough:: when… when (at this point I’m getting suspicious – am I really that hard to please?)… when we follow your instructions, I guess.  When we do chores without you asking us to.”

True.  I like having people around who know what I like and arrange things that way.  It’s such a good way to live, really.

* * *

3. What makes mom sad? 

“When we disobey.”

Also true.  Although my reaction to disobeying children may look more like rage to the rest of the world, in our house it’s called “Mom is sad.”


* * *

4. How does your mom make you laugh? 

“She doesn’t.”  ::laughs nervously::  “I don’t know.  When you do funny things.”

I will accept this answer.



* * *


5. What was your mom like as a child?  

“I don’t know!”

He's tired of talking about me already.  Thus begins the rapid-fire part of our program.

* * *

6. How old is your mom? 

42”

* * *

7. How tall is your mom?

“Five-eleven”

* * *

8. What is her favorite thing to do? 

Read blogs”

* * *

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? 

“Read blogs”

* * *

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? 

“Blogging”

* * *

11. What is your mom really good at? 

Blogging”

* * *

12. What is your mom not very good at? 

“Singing.”

Ahem.  

I’ll let him slide for now.  I’m too old for American Idol, anyway.  But I will have the rest of you know that I have quite a good voice.  In the car.  And in my mind.

* * *

13. What does your mom do for a job? 

“Blogging”

Not so fast, mister.  Canned answers will get you nowhere in this world.  It was here that I ignored the “no prompting” rule and started prompting for more info about me.  This is turning out to be a pretty boring interview.  Who knew 14-year-olds were so surly?  Harrison Ford’s got nothing on this kid.

* * *

14. What is your mom's favorite food? 

“Uhhhhmmmm, how about fish and salad.”

Touché, pussy cat.  Not really my fave, but also his most hated meal.  He practically transforms into a bottomless pit of despair when I serve this at dinnertime.



* * *

15. What makes you proud of your mom? 

“I don’t know.  Taking care of us.”

Serving fish and salad, you mean.

* * *

16. If your mom were a character, who would she be? 

A character from what?” 

I don’t care. 

“Maybe like Daisy Duck.  I don’t know.  It’s the only girl character I can think of right now.  From like, Looney Toons or whatever.”

If you’re keeping score, I’m 2 for 2 on reminding my kids of a cartoon duck.  Either my kids are really into ducks or I am a duck.  Whatever.  Daisy Duck is awesome.

via

* * *

17. What do you and your mom do together?  

“Um, probably go shopping.”

I guess that’s accurate.  He keeps growing, and we keep shopping.

* * *

18. How are you and your mom the same? 

“We are tall and we have freckles, and we have the same kind of personality, I guess.”

Poor kid.  About the personality part.  Being tall and having freckles obviously rocks.

* * *

19.  How are you and your mom different? 

“I don’t know.”

Prompting again:  How?

“Well, we don’t like the same things.  You like to go shopping; I don’t like to go shopping.  You like to cook; I don’t like to cook.”

But you said we go shopping together.

“I know but that doesn’t mean that I like it!”

Yeah.  Me either.  Let’s never go shopping again.

* * *

20.  How do you know your mom loves you? 

“By taking care of me…” 

Anything else? 

::few moments later, in a small voice::

“…and saying she loves me.”




* * *

21.  What does your mom like most about your dad? 

“Um, I don’t know.  I’m not you!  I don’t really… maybe… maybe when he helps around the house.”

That’s it?

“Yeah.”

He’s right.  I do love a man who helps around the house.

* * *

22.  Where is your mom's favorite place to go? 

“Favorite place to go?  Mmmmhmmmmm....  probably to the outlets?”

Again with the shopping.  If they would quit growing, imagine the time – and money – I’d save.

* * *

23.  How old was your Mom when you were born?

::does math in head::

“Twenty-seven or 28.  Is that right?”

Yeah. I was 27.  A lifetime ago.  I look at this person who is as big as I am now.  My mind can’t contain this fact.  It vanishes as soon as it appears.

* * *

Anything else?  Anything else you know about me that you’d like to share?

“NO.”  ::rolls over, pulls covers over head::

He is SO my child.



*******

Monday, June 29, 2015

Interview With The Children - The Younger One

Recently, I found this old meme floating around on Facebook:

Without any prompting, ask your child these questions and write down exactly what they say. It is a great way to find out what they really think. 

When the kids were in preschool I got a list of these “Questions about Mom” each year.  Their answers were precious in their inaccuracy.  And I think I interviewed my kids in the early days of Facebook.  These days I'll take any excuse to talk to my children, so I grabbed the questions and caught my kids on a couple of lazy afternoons to see if they know me any better now that they’re older and wiser.

Here is the interview with my twelve year old daughter:

1. What is something mom always says to you? 

“Hmm.  Probably ‘Clean up.’”  :: a few moments later::  “Probably ‘I love you.’”

Yeah, that’s right.  ’Atta girl.

* * *

2. What makes mom happy? 

“When we clean the whole house without her, and we actually do a good job.”

Accurate.

* * *

3. What makes mom sad? 

“When we don’t listen and when we argue.”

Sad and crazy, you mean.

* * *

4. How does your mom make you laugh? 


“With her faces and her um, like her word plays, like with what you say, sometimes.” 

Note: This child can stretch a five minute conversation into forty minutes or more.

* * *

5. What was your mom like as a child? 


“I remember you talking about how you liked creating hair and clothing for your Barbies, so probably fashionable.  I liked how your hair was in the 80s – your curly hair.  Yeah.  Fashionable.”

What I looked like in the 80s:


* * *

6. How old is your mom? 


“Forty-two.” 

She answered that so naturally, so swiftly.  No thinking needed. 

Sigh.

* * *

7. How tall is your mom? 


“Probably 6’2”.  Am I right?  In the 6’s?” 

I love that children always think their parents are larger than life.

* * *

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

“Blogging, and maybe probably reading.”

Maybe probably reading.  Maybe we probably need a book on proper speech up in here.

* * *

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? 

“How am I supposed to know?  Probably cleaning!  I don’t know!  Cleaning and blogging?  Going to the gym?”

“I quit the gym over a year ago.”

“Oh!  You did?”

. . .
* * *

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? 

“Probably for her writing.”

This is my favorite daughter.

* * *

11. What is your mom really good at? 


“Cooking and writing.”

The flattery is getting obscene, now.  These children are skeptics of every single thing that comes out of the kitchen.

* * *

12. What is your mom not very good at? 

“Math.” ::giggles::  “Just kidding.”

I raise my eyebrow.  We don't allow people to be bad at math here.

“She is bad at… ::whispers “Thinking, thinking…”:: You’re not really bad at anything.  Probably you’re bad at something but I can’t think what.”

She will receive all of the good jewelry.

* * *

13. What does your mom do for a job? 


“Takes care of us.  And cooks and writes.”

Again with the cooking.

* * *

14. What is your mom's favorite food? 


“Oh!  Now I remember doing this before!  Remember back when you did your host thing, like when you did Jamberry, and you asked your guests questions about you?  I remember your favorite food was pizza.  So I’m going to say pizza.”

I do love pizza.  Clearly I also love to ask people questions about what they know about me.

* * *

15. What makes you proud of your mom? 


“That you never give up on me when I’m sad, and that you shaped us into good people. And that you like, are good.  You don’t mess around; you take care of the house and the family.”

This answer pretty much made me feel like Wonder Woman.  At the very least Supergirl.

* * *

16. If your mom were a character, who would she be? 


“I’m thinking of three people:  the first one is from Looney Toons, and I forget her name, but it’s Daffy Duck’s girlfriend.  She is also a duck, and she’s okay with weirdness, but she’s still on her job.  Her point is to not fall apart.  You don’t fall apart, but you can sustain silliness.  Tina Fey, because I know you like her, and because she’s funny, like a jokester, but she’s successful in her life.  I know you’re funny in your blog and that you’re very successful in your blog.  And then we have Ellen, because she is also very funny, but she can also be serious to get her point across.  I think you are silly but you also want to get your work done and you don’t want your life to crumble.”  

A cartoon duck and two of my favorite funny women.  Two out of three is pretty great.

“And Ellen because of her fashion sense, right?” 

“Um, yeah.  Sure.   Well, you do have the same hair that she does.”



via
You know, she's right.  Me and Ellen?  EXACT same hairstyle.

* * *

17. What do you and your mom do together? 

“Ooo, we go shopping together, go out to eat, we go to the dentist together, the orthodontist ::we both bust out laughing::, and we also get our nails done together sometimes.”

Lies.  We never get our nails done.  I hate getting my nails done.

“Well, our toes, usually.  Sometimes.”

* * *

18. How are you and your mom the same? 


“Well, when I look back at your old pictures, I see that you look the same as me when you were three and when I was three.  You danced like I do, and we are both hardworking in school.  Both of us liked playing Barbies.  I think I get my creativity from you.  We’re both silly.”

* * *

19. How are you and your mom different? 

“I don’t like doing work that much.  When you know you have to work, you get right on it so you don’t have to do it later.  I wait on work.  Like taking showers and stuff.  You get right on that.  You’re probably more hard working out of school than me.”

She’s right.  I do get right in the shower even though it's hard work.

* * *

20. How do you know your mom loves you? 


“You tell me so.  If you didn’t love me, then I don’t even think I’d be living here.  You gave me a house, food, even when I argue with you.  And you do all this stuff for me.  And you taught me how to do laundry, and you taught me how to be a good person.”

Teaching laundry skills is at the top of the list of ways to show love.



* * *

21. What does your mom like most about your dad? 


“Hmmm. Maybe you like him because he’s the same height as you…”

False.  A person's height has no bearing on how I feel about them.  If this were true, it would mean that I prefer tall people.  In fact, I think most tall people are total jerks.  Ha ha, not I don't.  Only some of you.

“…You just love him because he’s nice and because he does a lot of stuff for you.  He’s a nice person, and you know that.  You know he wants to do nice stuff for you and he also works hard for the money.”

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce my daughter, Donna Summer.




* * *

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? 


“It’s probably that perfume store we went to, because you started liking perfume a lot.”

We went there once, and it’s for research purposes, but okay.  You can read about my shenanigans herehere, and here.

“You like nice, soothing, calming restaurants.  I can’t think of a name, but you like restaurants that are calm and that have good food and not junky food like Pizza Hut.  Sorry, Pizza Hut.”

Not sorry, Pizza Hut.


* * *

23. How old was your Mom when you were born? 

“Thirty, right?  In your thirties?  In your twenties?  Twenty-four?  Thirty-eight?  It has to be 38, right?  No, no!  It was 28."

School’s been out for a week and already her math skills are at zero percent.


* * *  

Anything else?

“You are a good cook even though sometimes I don’t like what you cook.  It’s usually good for me even though I don’t like it.”

It all comes down to food.  Naturally. 




*******



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Now You Can Hear What’s In My Head

Don’t you just love summer?


photo via death to stock

The heat, the half-naked people, the children running free all over.

Don’t call the cops, people.  Pretend it’s 1980 and people under age 18 are allowed to use their legs, brains, and will to live without a parent present to catch them every time they fall down on their precious wittle knees.

Ahem.

Anyway, one of the things I love about summer is hearing music that reminds me of summer.

I’m not a super-uber-serious music lover, preferring the sounds of silence to any other sound in particular.  But I do love thinking about music playing in the background of life like a soundtrack.

You have an internal soundtrack, don’t you?  Like, the Rocky theme plays in your head when you walk around.  Or Superfly.  Thunderstruck?  Think about it.  You know you have one.

I made a list of songs I hear in my head when summer’s on.  Not many of the songs have summery themes.  They either became popular during a summer of my life, were my favorites during a summer, or make me feel summer.  Spoiler alert:  If you’re specifically into country pop, hardcore rap, thrash metal, or obscurity, I’m not.  Your music won’t be featured here.  Sorry. #notsorry

* * *

Here's the whole playlist on Spotify:


1. Drive – The Cars
The anthem of my angsty MTV years.

2. Boys of Summer – Don Henley
“I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac.”  Obviously.

3. Everlong  Foo Fighters
“Breathe out, so I can breathe you in.”  Okay, Dave Grohl.

4. Pink Moon – Nick Drake
This song is sweet like cotton candy.  I have no idea what the words are, but I sing along like I do.

5. Every Ghetto, Every City – Lauryn Hill
I will sing every word of this song for five thousand dollars.  Totally worth the money.  Makes me recall my days in the New Jerusalem.

6. Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
Reminds me of friends piling into a car, cranking this up and screeching along.  Also reminds me of blowing out the speakers in my car.  Also reminds me of my current hearing loss problem.

7. America – Ventura Highway
Just me, my waist-length hair, a dirty hippie shirt, and a surfboard.  Nothing about this song reminds me of anything about me.  Also why I love it.

8. Where the Streets Have No Name – U2
This song came on the radio one morning long ago as my friends and I were driving home in the wee hours after a long night out (sorry, Mom).  As the sun came up, the intro to this song came on and we groggily rode into town along to the music.  The lyrics started and brought us out of our reverie.  We all sang along.  Perfection.

9. Hey Ya – Outkast
This song is just fun.  Plus it has a mysterious vibe, which I’m all over, every time.

10. Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys
I wish that every kiss was never ending.  Yeah.  Unless my husband just ate Doritos.  Then get away from me with your nasty lips.

11. The Girl from Ipanema – Antonio Carlos Jobim
This song reminds me of my days as a tall, tan, young, and lovely Brazilian.

12. Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow – Picture
I like to imagine I'm singing the Sheryl Crow part.  Except I would NOT be singing about Kid Rock.

13. Simon & Garfunkel – Late in the Evening
What screams summer more than Simon & Garfunkel in Central Park?  Love this live version of one of my favorite oldies.

14. Bob Marley – Could You Be Loved
Who doesn’t love Bob Marley?

15. Steve Miller Band – Jungle Love
Steve Miller Band featured heavily in my teen years, well after they were relevant to the music scene.  A similar phenomenon still occurs among teens everywhere with The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix, which I find fascinating. 

16. Speed of Sound – Coldplay
I just love Coldplay.

17. Get Lucky – Daft Punk
I don't stay up all night just to get lucky anymore, but I do love this song.

18. Primus – Tommy the Cat
It’s the bass.  THE BASS, people.

19. Eagles – Life in the Fast Lane
He was brutally handsome.  She was terminally pretty.  You may be surprised to know that, despite the rumors, this song is NOT about my husband and me.  Are you with me so far?

20. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
This song got a bad rap a couple of years ago.  I still love it, unabashedly.

21. Lucky Star – Madonna
Like most other girls in the 80s, I went through a serious Madonna phase.  This song played in all of our heads as we covered our wrists with jelly bracelets and stole fingerless lace gloves from Trends.

22. Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey
Also a throwback to my teen years.  I was no black-wearing goth girl, but I felt allllll the emotions.

23. Spoon – The Underdog
This song makes me want to drink margaritas.

24. Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity
We all need more Jamiroquai in our lives.

25. I Want You Back –Jackson 5
MJ FOREVER.

26. Lou Rawls – You’ll Never Find
Classic Lou Rawls is appropriate in any season.  Like silk, from which his voice was made.

*******

This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #2. Create a summer playlist and share it.



Monday, June 22, 2015

Scent Search – Day 3

About a month ago, I posted a general question to the masses on Facebook:



I was surprised to find that so many people were willing to share with me what makes them smell so good.   I had a list of dozens of perfumes.  Armed with nothing but my will, some cash, and ironclad nostrils, I set out on a journey to find my next signature fragrance.  The following is my experience.

You can read all about my other experiences here and here.


* * * * *

Scent Search - Day 3
Thursday, June 11, 2015 – The Unplanned Succscents

It was the next-to-last day of school, and my daughter needed to purchase a birthday gift for a party later that day.  I’m not one of those Pinterest moms or even half-good moms who keeps stacks of general party gifts on hand for these types of things.  I’m not one who buys gifts for my kids to give to their friends, either.  Sue me.

My kid said “birthday gift” and I said “get your money” and off we went.

She wanted to get her friend a gift certificate for a specific clothing store, and instead of whining and crying that it was so far away and that I had important lying around to do, I willingly agreed to drive her there with nary a cross word.  What prompted this onset of goodwill mommy behavior, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.  Because right next door to the gift card store lies a huge health and beauty store. 

One that features a central area full of perfumes.

And just like that, Scent Search Day 3 presented itself.

* * *

The gift card purchased, we made our way next door to the motherland, where I slung my bag over my shoulder after digging a pen out of its depths.  I grabbed a stack of tester strips and took a quick snort of the little plastic container full of coffee beans, thoughtfully placed there to cleanse the palate.  I thrust it at my daughter to do the same and challenged “Ready for this?”

She sprang to action, returned my steely gaze, set her jaw and nodded snappishly.  I had chosen a worthy comrade for the next phase of my mission.




I scanned the names on the first display as my daughter moved silently past me, a few shelves down.  I instructed her to bring to me anything that she might love immediately, but to be selective.

At once, a uniformed saleswoman approached us: “Anything in particular you are looking for today, ladiessssss?” she simpered.  “No, thank you,” I replied stiffly. “I am on a research quest to find the perfect fragrance.”  Her eyes widened.  “My daughter and I will be spraying many perfumes and we will be here for some time.”

Unfazed, she continued.  “Well, just to let you know, if you spend forty dollars in fragrances today, you get a free beach bag.  You get your choice of blue and yellow, pink and green, or orange and white.”  She waved her arm Vanna White style over the display of beach bags. 

Momentarily distracted by the prospect of free items, I meekly asked when the sale would end.  After answering, she sauntered away and I shook my head to clear my focus.  Keep it together, man! I admonished myself.

* * *

Thierry Mugler and Bvlgari fragrances were first on the shelf, and I sprayed haphazardly and took in the scent of Angel, thé blanc and thé vert, the latter two fragrances I love as bath products but was sad to find not so much as perfumes.  Making my way to the back of the first island, I was dismayed to find few names on my list. 

Juicy Couture!  my daughter screeched.  Oooo, Mom, this one is good, she crooned.  I took a whiff.  Very fruity and sweet.  I liked it, but not for me.  More for her. 

I spotted Coach.  Everyone loves Coach, I said.  I sprayed Poppy, Poppy Flower, and Signature. They all smelled the same.  I remembered a former saleslady’s warning about this very disastrous issue, and took another hit of the coffee beans.  Nostrils cleared, I tried Poppy again.  Again, very nice, but not for me.

We tried Marc Jacobs, none of which were on my list.  We liked Honey and Dot but none of the others.  I didn’t like any of the Michael Kors scents, despite really enjoying Michael Kors as a person.  I grew nervous.  What if I don't find something I love? 

* * *

Banishing fatalism, I forged ahead. There’s Ralph Lauren, I thought.  Romance was on my list, one that I remembered from my teen years – I had stolen this time after time from my mother’s dresser.  I tried it for old time’s sake, then spritzed Ralph Fresh, and fell in love.   I penned the name on the strip.

DKNY Be Delicious was delicious, but too fruity.  My skin will eat you, I announced to the bottle. While I marked DK Liquid Cashmere’s tester, another saleslady threatened to join us.  I stared her down.  “We don’t need any help,” I said, white-knuckling my stack of testers.

On a roll, I moved onto the next area, and found a set of pretty glass jars from Vince Camuto.  No one had mentioned these, I thought.  I might have lost consciousness a little upon testing the aptly-named Bella.  Wiping the drool off my chin, I tried Amore and Fiori which came in at close seconds.  I labeled each of their test strips.

Skipping past the Calvin Kleins, Chanels, Cliniques, and Guccis to the Dolce & Gabbanas, I sampled Light Blue among some of their other offerings, including The One.  This is The One, I asserted, as I closed my eyes to better inhale the aroma of this beautiful scent that made the top of my head touch the ceiling. This is it, I repeated.   I vowed to walk out of the store bathed in this scent.

Thrilled, I moved onto Dior, where my daughter was presently swooning over Hypnotic Poison, one of the names on my list.  As she shoved her tester up my right nostril in her excitement, I agreed that it was a worthy scent.  I scrawled the name on the tester and moved onto the other Diors.  Miss Dior Blooming Rouge was also a crowd favorite.

* * *

The rest of the visit was rounded out by the various Giorgio Armanis, which didn’t harness either of our hearts.  I had made my decision.  Bella and The One were each claiming an arm for the day.  I doused each one with scent, grabbed my daughter’s hand and ran outside.

Back in the car, we chatted about our adventure.  That was fun!  my daughter exclaimed.  I liked the Juicy one the best, she said.  Which one did you like? she asked.  I liked several, but only time will reveal the favorite, I explained.  Each of them will play out differently on my arm and on the testers as time goes on, and I will make my decision from there.

As we drove home, my head was full of The One.  This is a strong scent.  As the miles wore on, I began hating it a little.  By the time we pulled into the garage, I began thinking how lucky starfish are that they can regenerate a limb if it gets lopped off.  There was no way to release my nostrils of the overwhelming powdery scent that The One left on my skin.

Scrawling “NO” in large letters on the tester, I marveled how quickly a scent can turn on you.  The One didn't make it, but some others got my attention more as their fragrances softened. 

I can feel my desire to make a decision growing more urgent with each scent that I try.  The time is near.  I can feel it.

* * *

Taking them in periodically, I rearranged the testers in order of preference.   Here’s how they shake out, in order of preference after ten days:

Dior Miss Dior Blooming Rouge
Dior Hypnotic Poison
Ralph Lauren Ralph Fresh
Vince Camuto Bella
Vince Camuto Amore
DK Liquid Cashmere
Vince Camuto Fiori



*******

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Share The Conversation

Listen to me.  I have something to say.

I said that before.  Weren’t you listening?

My patience goes out the window when people don’t listen.  I hate to repeat myself, so if you weren’t paying attention the first time around, I will offer you a special attitude with the second time.

I admit that listening is a very difficult skill to master.  One that is becomes better with practice.

Then again, so is talking.  Conversation.  You must practice to become good at it.

It’s sort of a bummer that these two very difficult things are what good, healthy relationships are based upon.  We can assume to know what each other is thinking without listening to their words, but I can almost guarantee that hearing another person’s words is much better than figuring them out on our own.

Two people can’t have a relationship if only one is talking.  And two people can’t have a relationship if only one is listening.  If you’re silent, I can’t listen to you, and if you’re always talking, you can’t listen to me.


photo via death to stock

When my husband and I first got together we burned up the phone lines with our long-distance conversations.  We exchanged words until there were no words left.  Many of our talks ended with one of us falling asleep.

As the years went on and we spent more time together, the words between us were fewer.  Weariness and tedium took over and we didn’t feel the need to spend the energy saying anything.  Our connection stalled right where it was, and only grew deeper when we resumed communicating.  The years of stalled communication were hard.

I’ve had friendships that ended because one or both of us stopped picking up the phone.  In the end, both stopped listening; both stopped talking.  Sometimes I’d hear through the grapevine that the other person was angry with me.  I’d rack my brain for a memory of something I said or did wrong.  Sometimes I’d pick up the phone and try to make contact, to repair a rift that I wasn’t aware of.

I’m a naturally quiet person.  I like to talk only if I’m in the mood.  The mood doesn’t always strike.  It’s an effort for me to be friends with similar “listening” people, especially if that person entertains a hint of insecurity with the relationship.  Silence begets uncertainty, which leads to insecurity, defensiveness, anger, and relationship breakdown.  Walls go up.  People drift apart, never to speak again.

When a relationship contains a natural talker and a natural listener, each must make an effort.  One can’t always talk and one can’t always listen.  It has to go both ways.  Both parties need to contribute to building a relationship.

I’m no innocent.  Many of my friendships ended because I allowed them to end.  I didn't make the effort to continue talking.  When someone stops talking, the other has nothing to hear.  I have shouldered the blame for a friendship that has died because of my tendencies, which aren’t the friendliest.  I’ve dropped a relationship if I felt I wasn’t being heard, if the other person got so used to my quiet that my words no longer mattered to them and they talked over anything I said and didn’t listen when I finally spoke.

People stay in relationships for a lot of reasons, but communication is usually the key that locks two people together for the long run.  I’ve seen and experienced lopsided communication kill love and respect more times than I’d like.  In the end, when two-way communication stops, relationships break down.  When one person stops talking, the relationship ends.  Two people cannot have a relationship if only one is talking.   Likewise, a relationship cannot exist if only one person is listening.  Both must pick up the phone.

And share the conversation.

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This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #1:. Write a blog post inspired by the word: listen