Saturday night we went to the bean supper down to the Congo Church. If you’ve never been to one (and that is a sad state of affairs), you usually sit family-style at big round tables. Well, at our table was a couple who’d obviously had an argument before the shindig, and had not left it in the car. All through dinner, they kept sniping at each other. Wow! Is that ever uncomfortable.
There’s a big difference between sniping and some gentle ribbing. What is that difference, you might ask? Well, I’d say, it’s about whether you (the person doin’ it) are motivated by love or wanting to make the other person feel as miserable as you do at the minute.
For instance, as you may know, I have this thing about folks takin’ down their Christmas decorations in a timely manner. Ground Hog’s Day. That’s the official cut-off. OK, you can push the wreaths ‘til Valentine’s Day, but in my opinion, that’s it.
So Charlie and me will be walkin’ through the neighborhood with Scamp, and I’ll say, “I can’t believe the Smiths still have their kissin’ ball up. It’s past St. Patrick’s Day, for God sake!”
And Charlie smiles and replies, “Would you like to leave a neighborly note?” This is an on going joke between the two us. ‘Cause honey, there are so many people and things in this world that could benefit from my micro-management, right?
But if Charlie said, “Why don’t you put that on the “to do” list you probably got goin’ for them? Those curtain’s don’t look closed perfect, either.” It feels a little mean, doesn’t it? Like it’s referrin’ to something he’s miffed about.
Or, how about this: we’re havin’ dinner with another couple, and someone said something like, “Are you supposed to trim back your rose bushes in the spring or fall?” And Charlie goes, “Why don’t you ask Ida. I’m sure she has a rule about that.” Icky, right? (I hate even writin’ these examples, ‘cause it’s not really in Charlie’s nature to act like that.)
No, a good relationship is about being kind and respectful toward each other. That means instituting a sniping ban, in the house and in public. Throwin’ in little zingers from the side lines is not showin’ up with your whole self in your relationship. It’s petty and mean spirited! This is why nippin’ resentments in the bud is so important. Sniping usually has a resentment at it’s core.
The sad thing is, I’m always gonna remember that couple as how they were that evening, and they’ll never be at the top of my invite list when I throw a party. Do you want folks to remember you and your mate like that? I know I don’t! It’s simple, folks: what happens in the double-wide, stays in the double-wide, and no sniping allowed.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Upcoming Shows and Book Events
March 28 & 29: The Moose in Me, The Moose in You, The Footlights, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday at 2:00 p.m., Falmouth, ME
April 16: Filming The View From He’ah, with guest Lucie Therrien, 7:00p.m., PPMtv, Portsmouth, NH
April 17: The Moose in Me, The Moose in You, The Firehouse Center for the Arts, 8:00 p.m., Newburyport, MA
May 26: Book Reading Finding Your Inner Moose, Old Town Public Library, 11:00 a.m., Old Town, ME
May 26: Book Reading Finding Your Inner Moose, Pittsfield Public Library, 6:00 p.m., Pittsfield, ME