Only half the BS, but twice the fun!

One of my favorite things about being married to Bruce is that we laugh a lot. We laugh at our dogs, at each other, at life – at pretty much everything. We’re pretty silly people, and we love to laugh.

Laughter is healing. Just two weeks ago, we attended the memorial service of a dear friend … and we laughed. The chaplain and the loved one’s son – both of them spoke at the service and told funny stories of the person who had just died. In the car on the way to and from the service (a six-hour round trip), Bruce and I, along with my mother, reminisced about our friend … and laughed. Barney would have liked that.

While Bruce and I are similar in many ways (both analytical, pragmatic, left-brained types, both trained journalists [it’s how we met], both lovers of words and books), we are also very different in some ways (the key difference being our approach to matters of faith; I’m a born-again Christian, and he’s an atheist).

And while we have similar senses of humor, there are some differences: He’s more into things like Monty Python than I am. I’m more into a toned-down version of MP; give me Food Network’s Alton Brown any day (he’s the best comedy writer on TV, in my opinion). Bruce likes AB, too, but I am more likely to watch a Good Eats marathon, while he is more likely to watch all of the Monty Python movies or TV episodes without moving from his spot on the couch – while I do a few loads of laundry, pay some bills, balance the checkbook, bake something, paint my fingernails, write a blog post, check my email and catch a few episodes of Law & Order on the other TV. (But the division of household labor is for another post … which, in the interests of marital unity, probably will never get written.)

Bruce and I are both “writers.” At the art and craft of writing, he is the more elegant. When we were copy editors at the same newspaper, he could write me under the table when it came to headlines – still can. He has a way with words, both written and spoken, that I don’t possess. I plod along, hoping to make someone think, or do, or laugh (and a combination of the three wouldn’t hurt); my writing kind of disappears into its pedestrian nature. (The same could be said of our running styles. He is efficient, light on his feet, can finish a workout in no time flat, and I’m there plodding along, just trying to get enough oxygen to my lungs so that I don’t collapse before the finish. I wear shoes marketed to “heavy runners.”)

Sometimes he and I follow the rules, and sometimes we break them, but usually not the same ones at the same time. I’m more likely to be rigid and legalistic in how things should be done, and more likely to be frustrated with him for not following said rules … until it’s the other way around. Sometimes he chooses to be the good boy, standing in contrast to my rebellious streak.

And a lot of the ways we communicate, with others and with one another, are different. That can be frustrating at times (he’s sanguine on some topics that I think are important and worth some effort, and I try to put a positive spin on things sometimes when he tends to be negative; we both can get defensive and a little testy when we’re tired or stressed, but usually it’s not at the same time – there again, we tend to balance each other out).

With the “positive spin,” you never know which pole one of us will be sitting on. OK, sometimes you know. For instance, when our merry band of runners (I’m talking about the remnants from the women’s running clinic, not the local, official running club we belong to) gets together on a new course for the first time, the ladies always ask Coach Bruce the route. “Are there a lot of hills?” is one of the first questions.

I quickly figured out – and I try to spread this gospel – that when you need information about hills, you don’t ask Bruce. Talk to Suzy.

Bruce has been running for three-quarters of his 52 years. He refers to hills as “bumps.” Suzy will give you the straight talk. She is a newbie like you, overweight and overstressed, physical ailments, job pressures, crunchy knees, whiny attitudes and all. Coach Bruce is not trying to put a “positive spin” on hills; he actually believes they are MERELY BUMPS. We have established in previous posts that he is insane (I believe he was brainwashed in running school), so we know that when you want to talk hills – unless you’re in a gas-powered vehicle – talk to Suzy.

So when we were wogging (walking/jogging) this morning, I by myself because my surgically “repaired” knee was feeling funky, I got to thinking about hills, and the different ways that Bruce and I approach them (not so much physically but philosophically).

And I came up with this handy formula that pretty much fits the way we approach most matters of communication:

(B + S) / 2 = A

In words: Take what Bruce says, add what Suzy says, divide by two, and there’s your Answer, somewhere in the middle.

So if you just remember that simple formula, you’ll get only half the BS but twice the fun. And you’ll be A-OK.

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7 thoughts on “Only half the BS, but twice the fun!

  • Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm
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    I love reading your blog. My creative cousin on the other side.of.the family has another wonderful big I read. I get amazed, jealous and proud to know such creative folks. I am sad to read the atheist part though. I don’t know how anyone can live in this world and not have hope in God and all of His splendor and promises for us. Someday every knee will bow. Love you cuz.

  • Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm
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    Thank you, Teri, but don’t sell yourself short. You’re very creative with words – you make me laugh all the time!

    As for the atheist part, I agree. We’ll just keep prayin’, eh?

  • Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm
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    Just wanted to say I love reading your blogs and appreciate the recipes!

  • Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm
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    Thanks, Julie! If I could take really good pictures, this would be a food blog!

  • Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm
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    Regarding hills, I am not alone in this thinking. Happened across this recently on the http://www.littlerockmarathon.com FAQ page:

    What is the elevation change for the course? Is the course hilly?
    Our standard answer is “what hills?” (wink.wink.nudge.nudge….that’s why we have that t-shirt.) Or “it depends on your perspective.” One man’s mountain is another man’s bump in the road. The elevation change is no more than 250 ft over the entire course.

    Regarding faith, I am also neither alone nor do I live without hope. I do not find it in your source.

  • Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 10:03 am
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    Wogging sounds like slogging, and both are such exceptional words that I think Wogging needs to go in the dictionary. Eureka, Suzy. You’ve invented a word!

  • Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 10:17 am
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    Running buddy Phyllis introduced me to the word. I was just telling another running buddy this morning that I don’t know if Phyllis came up with it, but it’s a great word. I, too, have thought it should be in the dictionary.

    Wish I could say I invented it.

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