If You Breathe, You Lose

Mar 16, 2011 by

One of the things the Clan tries to do is to eat dinner together. Sometimes this involves stupendous feasts prepared by yours truly that makes Five-Star chefs weep. Weep as in amazement, not as in “what the heck is that and how could he destroy that perfectly excellent piece of whatever.”

On occasion, it involves us all crammed in the car hitting the drive-thru of the closest facility whereby you give them money, they give you a heart attack on a stick. But at least it comes with a toy.

The Little Black Dress calls these dinner times  “memories.” And she will regale us with tales of yore involving her parents and brother and friends and the sharing and fellowship (her words) and so on and so forth.

I attended some of those gatherings. In some of my dumber moments, I’d remind The Dress said gatherings sometimes turned into free-for-all with everyone talking at once. This would lead to the proverbial icy stare that included the “go there and sleep alone” look.

So I rarely go there.  

Lately, however, I am noticing a rather disturbing trend around our “table of memories.” Namely, your humble writer will be pontificating dispensing pearls of wisdom, when I pause …

And am met with a cacophony (a 50-cent word) from all sides. Everyone starts in.

Indignant, I will ask why I am being interrupted. In unison, the Sons of Thunder will invariably chime in unison with “we thought you were done.”



This has led me to yet another of my brilliant rules, namely the “Breath Rule.” Said rule basically means simply because one pauses to take a breath does not mean they are done. And it would be appropriate to wait – say, more than a nanosecond – to conclude the speaker is finished.

And I will also remind the Sons that God gave us two ears to hear and one mouth to speak and …

“IF YOU LISTEN YOU WILL LEARN” they will all echo at once.

Which makes me very proud, proud they are finally understanding my fatherly advice. Or it puts me in a funk, because they might be patronizing me. Just depends on my mood – and whether they are smirking or not when they say it.

God made each of us unique and it is interesting to watch the different styles at work.

Some, like me, see a conversation as communication where one speaks and then the other responds. Others, like the Sons and the LBD, seem to lean toward the idea that “sharing” and “fellowship” (her words) involve us all doing so at the same time. Apparently, this doubles or triples the amount of “sharing” possible.

Yet it goes deeper than that.

Those raised properly Some eat one food group at a time on their plate, never letting said food groups touch. The exception to this is, of course, the eating of fried eggs over easy and grits, which anyone knows must be mixed together. Those of lower upbringing Some opt to let their food touch, and go so far as to actually mix their eating of said food.

To each his own.

There is too much noise in this world. There is too little listening;  too little of listening to others, too little listening to the quiet.

Maybe my “Breath Rule” will work, maybe it won’t. But I am already beginning to realize I will miss the noise around the “table of memories” when the Sons head off on their own life adventures.

It will be a quiet I will not enjoy.






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