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Long story short

Long story short

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Robin Leach Mug

Robin Garrison Leach

Opposites attract. The differences in your personalities add spice to your marriage. Unfortunately, that spice can be as irritating as salt on an open wound.

I am a fast talker. I come from a long line of fast talkers. My life is only so long, and some conversations are just not “time worthy.” If it were up to me, sentences would be pared down to the briefest possible phrases: “I’m home.” “Supper’s ready.” “Remote, please.”

Yes, there are times when more words are necessary. And I enjoy talking about things that matter in life. But I’m going to discuss these topics as fast as my mouth can enunciate them. I’m not wasting a second to pause for effect or search for “just the right word.” Here are the words you get. Figure it out. And hurry up.

Here’s the problem. God, in His infinite wisdom and unfathomable good humor, gave me a SLOW TALKER for a husband.

Oh, I knew when I met him that he was a slow talker, but I was convinced that once we were married, he’d speed up. I listened raptly as he courted me with his lazy, impeccably chosen words of love. I fell for him like a ton of dictionaries.

John’s “I Do” was perfect. And that was the last short, quick sentence to ever roll from his lips.

For over 30 years, I’ve suffered through more long, detailed stories than a priest in a confessional. My ears have been stuffed like sausage casings with useless facts, minute details, and leisurely, life-wasting words.

It’s not that his conversations aren’t important to me. I love him more every year. But sometimes I want to smack the back of his head to pop the story out of him — quick and easy.

EXAMPLE: “The boss came out to the job this morning. I guess it was about 10 or so, because we just finished our break. My coffee was gone; I drank the last of it talking with Joe — you know Joe, don’t you?

He paused for an eternity to chew his dinner.

By this time, I’d already made next week’s grocery list in my head and practiced my times tables up to x12. He didn’t notice my inattention; three decades of practice has taught me to nod at the appropriate times and smile knowingly at proper intervals,

I long to offer my speedy interpretation: “SO-O-O. ‘Normal day. Talked to boss.’ That about cover it??

But I don’t. I condense his stories in my head, letting him empty his brain while I watch his face make words that, while not especially necessary, are still mine to hear. His eyes move from one long moment to the other, reliving the story he’s boring me with.

Even if the words aren’t important to me, the man who drawls them is. So I listen. And I listen.

My mom, the slow-talker in our family, used to tell me: “Oh, you’re SO lucky to have a man to share stories with! Just wait. You’ll be glad to have him when you’re old, and in your rockers, and need something to pass the time. Just rockin’ and talkin’. Be patient.

Trying, Mom. Trying hard.

Robin Garrison Leach is a freelance writer and columnist from Quincy, Illinois."Robin Writes" is published in numerous Missouri and Illinois newspapers. Contact her at  robingarrisonleach@gmail.com.

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