HOW THE HELL CAN A PERSON HAVE NOTHIN’ TO SAY?

Couple Watching Football

How John Prine, a very interesting singer/songwriter, knows myhusband is beyond me.  I mean, they’ve never met and the closest David’s gotten to John is liking his music and sometimes singing and playing it.  Oh, and seeing him once in concert.

So it’s a wonderment Prine described my husband, and probably yours, too, with a lyric from Angel From Montgomery.

I thought this year’s April Fool’s Day prank was inspired:  I didn’t have to construct a complicated plan David would see through like he usually does.  And I didn’t have to keep a straight face, something I seldom do.  Instead, my tom-foolery came by way of a popular movie rental box’s email advertisement for KIOSK AMBASSADORS!   People who:

• Like movies and games

• Love sitting in one place for 8+ hours

• Enjoy a very, very small workspace

• Must be able to think “inside the box”

• Not afraid of the dark

• Skilled at stacking discs

• Yoga experience recommended

The last requirement put me off a bit and I admit the photo gave me pause but it wasn’t until I I scrolled to the tag line APRIL FOOL! that I got that it wasn’t really a job for Kiosk Ambassadors.

Chuckling silently  – his office is next to mine – I forwarded the “ad” to him along with a message about how perfect the job of Kiosk Ambassador was for me.  Then I leaned back in my office chair, full of self-congratulations for reeling him in this year.  Instead, it went like this:

Him:  I knew it was a joke.

Me:    You did?

Him:   Yeah.

Me:    How?

Him:   I know how movie discs are replaced.

Me:    You do?

Him:   Yeah.

Me:     Geez, I fell for their joke.  Now I feel really stupid.

Him:    You shouldn’t.

Me:    Why didn’t you tell me?

Him:   I forgot.

Me:    So when did this Andy Rooney-worthy event happen?

Him:   Uh, the other day.

Me:    And you were where?

Him:   Someplace there was a kiosk.

Me:    It’s not like I got too close to some CIA secret you’re sworn to protect.  It’s chatting, for God’s sake!

John Prine asks the musical question “How the hell can a person get up in the mornin’/come home in the evenin’ and have nothing to say?”

Most women I know can relate to pulling information from their partners like it was a permanent tooth and scolding like a mommy when partners don’t share.  It’s not as if information is being purposely withheld but even if it was I’d be no less in the dark than if he was sneaking off to have wild sex in the storeroom at KwikWay.

I guess real men don’t chat.

Guys, while much of your infuriating behavior is kind of cute, even unintentionally withholding from your partner isn’t.  Deeming things “not very important” sends messages you put yourself above chit-chat, can’t be bothered, or find your partner not important (or smart) enough to share your day.  Take it from a wife: Being disregarded is excluding and lonely.

The small things, like how movie rental kiosks are refilled, is the glue that binds us together.  Sharing with your partner is like having dinner as a family – it’s a way of connecting and knowing each other better.

What couple can’t use that?

Kathe Skinner is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Colorado Springs where she’s been in private practice for over 20 years. For a short time after reading this blog, David made an attempt to keep her informed; a week later they are back to normal.  For out more about Kathe’s practice at http://www.CouplesWhoTalk.com where you can also sign up to receive a free, weekly, curated newsletter about men, women and their relationships as well as articles about parenting, health, travel, and more, 

copyright, 2016   Being Heard LLC

PARTNER EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED ELSEWHERE?

You'd better hope your inamorate's attached to more than just you.

Dry your eyes: Your partner’s attachment to more than you is one of the strongest ways to make love last.

You already know part of being human is the capacity for experiencing many emotions.  Turns out that ability isn’t limited to homo sapiens.   Anyone who’s ever had a companion animal knows the depth of the bond that develops, not just because we need their regard, but because they regard us right back.  It’s obvious these creatures are as selective as humans when it comes to feeling affection.

Powerful experiences create emotions like sadness, happiness, love, fear, and anger in many mammals.  It’s heartbreaking to watch an animal grieve at the loss of a companion, one who isn’t necessarily human.  On the other hand, the internet antics of a variety of interspecies’ friendships has its own very popular niche; there’s no doubting the “awww” effect of such interactions.

So it is when office mates celebrate the completion of a long, stressful project with high fives all around.  Intense battlefield experiences account for fellow-soldiers’ often unspoken bonds to each other.  Members of winning teams embrace each other, jump on each other, or cry with each other while their fans do the same thing, even though they’re strangers.

Turns out that trust, touch, desire for social connection, bonding, affection, calmness, fear reduction, protectiveness, a desire for social connection – and, yes, perhaps love – seem to be experienced in varying degrees among sloths and humans as well as between them, a result of the release of oxytocin which is common to all mammals.

Dry your eyes if you assume your partner doesn’t care for you because he cares about others (non-sexually) as well.  Be glad your partner’s in touch with others — pets, co-workers, buddies, family.  Self-expressing, sharing emotional experiences with others, and being empathetic all enable your partner to be part of your healthy relationship.

Isn’t that what you wanted in the first place?

A Marriage & Family Therapist for over 20 years, Kathe Skinner specializes in couples work in her Colorado Springs’ practice.  She has been married for over 30 years to David and has had many inter-species relationships, currently with kitties Petey and Lucy.  Read more about Kathe and her approach to therapy at www.coupleswhotalk.com where you can sign up to receive her FREE curated newsletter.

copyright, 2016 Being Heard, LLC

WE BREAK FOR SPRING.

Funny underwater family legs in swimming pool, under water view   Spring Break is a rite for millions of North American students, families, and friends who’ll be clogging airports, highways, and resort destinations beginning in March.

Whether it’s mouse ears, sleeping in, or waking up on a beach with cotton-mouth, there’s some Spring Break wisdom that’s best heeded all year round:

Use your cell phone sparingly.  A vacationer’s cell phone ought to be restricted to taking pictures or finding a lost member of the party.  More than that and the reason to spend time with other people is defeated — to say nothing of it being annoying, especially to family and friends.  Don’t ever ever ever forget that the internet is unforgiving and permanent, giving new meaning to an OMG picture of you drunk and naked on the beach in Lauderdale.

Not everyone wants what you want when you want it.  Nix the idea of an art museum trip or or touring a snake farm?  Arguing over what sights to see, what to do, or where to eat leaves at least one person bummed.  Give everyone a voice in how their time is spent; after all, it’s their Spring Break, too.  Dramatically increase an outing’s pleasure by splitting up then coming together later to share your adventure.  It really works that making someone else happy makes you happy yourself.

Do something unexpected.  Most of us plan free time in ways that don’t free us up at all.  Chances are the guy or gal who’s the organizer in the bunch has already annoyed everyone else by planning their time.  Letting go risks dropping the façade we think makes us likable and valuable.  Rolling with reality, being flexible, is the perfect opportunity to have a good time, even when it’s not on the itinerary, for instance, when a day at the pool is rained out. Murphy’s Law can defeat the organizer.  Lesson:  Pack The Cards.

Tempting the gods of travel seldom works, which is why they’re gods and you’re not.

Get over yourself.  One afternoon in the desert my husband and I ran out of gas within sight of our destination.  After I reminded him that I’d told him to fill up a hundred miles back I shut my mouth, even though time was ticking toward closing time at the UFO Museum.  If we’d both fumed waiting for AAA a chunk of our allotted days together would’ve been ruined.  Weigh all vacation snafu’s with that in mind.

Leave it Behind.  Let Go.  Relax!  Most of us have excitedly anticipated time away from the ordinary.  Some of us, like me, find it relaxing to shop all day.  My husband seems pleased to hang out with his laptop doing what I suspect is work-related.  His relaxed isn’t the same as mine.  Unless you travel with someone only for a special rate, be as attentive to refreshing relationship as you are at refreshing yourself.  Both are important to the health of the other.

Vacations are artificial.  Does anyone go to Riviera Maya expecting to spend time dancing to the tunes of Montezuma and His Revenge?  While no one intends to break an ankle, be robbed, or have a travel delay anything that can derail and demolish plans can — and probably will — happen.  Going on vacation doesn’t mean abandoning common sense like not handwashing or surfing when you can’t swim.

Kathe Skinner is a Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in Colorado Springs where she does individual work and specializes in couples work.  She and her husband of 30 years never vacation during Spring Break.  Read more of Kathe’s take on therapy at www.coupleswhotalk.com and sign up for her FREE weekly newspaper.

Copyright, 2016  Being Heard, LLC  

HOW MANY WINKS GET LOST IN A TIME CHANGE?

weird time

I’m not a math person; just ask my husband.

I’m okay when the price per ounce is noted; it’s when cost is calculated as the price per pound I get annoyed.  What if you’re not buying a whole pound?  Multiplying by 16 isn’t so easy, I don’t care who you are.

It’s the same when the time changes.

See, I set my clock fifteen minutes ahead to fool myself that I have more time than I really do.  Never works, but that’s beside the point.

What’s being asked of me this weekend is to stretch my fifteen minutes by an entire hour and fifteen minutes.  Just like at the supermarket, I’m reduced to doing math in my head.

This time-change business is troublesome.  For at least two weeks in March or April and again in October or November a muffled question quietly sounds from my side of the bed:  what time is it really?  

I get confused.

    • Why does gaining one hour mean subtracting it?
    • Why doesn’t time do its springing and falling the same date every year?
    • Does a dentist in a non-change-time town put down two appointment times for patients in a next door town where time does change?
    • Who came up with this, anyway?
    • If time is mutable, what time is it . . . really?

To me all this messing around with times and dates doesn’t seem very scientific – it’s a bit contrived, and at the very least not friendly to users like me.

Too bad Einstein’s not around; without doing the math, I think I may have cracked the space-time continuum.

Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice who’s about to gain one hour’s sleep.  Find her website at www.coupleswhotalk.com and sign up to get her  newsletter, a weekly quick-read for parents and partners.  It’s free!

copyright, 2018  Being Heard, LLC