What would you rather do, or ride a bike? Today I feel like a nut.

A clever friend of mine in elementary school found that nonsensical  question amusing. He would say it with tones and inflections as if it were an incantation. Meanwhile, it was just a question with something intentionally left out.

I was reminded of it while reading my Family Life devotional this morning.. There was a link to one of their helpful marriage articles called……

Hey, wait a minute Empath, did you just say you were reading your FL devotional?

Nah, you must have misheard me, you know better.

Anyway, the article is called  10 Ideas: Helping your marriage last a lifetime. Idea number nine is the one that reminded me of my elementary school chum the wordsmith.

9. Be objective and take the emotion out of problem solving. “If I say something to you that’s disrespectful to you and I don’t really know it, you need to trust my heart.” (Mona Sproull)

Do you see the similarities between my buddies gibberish and Mona’s in number 9?

Words mean things. Specific things. Here, however, we have a set of words strung together, the heading conveying its point clearly and the tag line more than negating it, allowing the reader (almost exclusively overwrought women) to be an antique sideboard and a fresh pomegranate at the same time.

This buries the Mounds/Almond Joy nut dichotomy for all time.


14 thoughts on “What would you rather do, or ride a bike? Today I feel like a nut.

  1. The whole framing of “helping your marriage last a lifetime” accepts the wider cultural view of divorce as some sort of stalking monster that follows you around and must continually be staved off, generally be the concerted effort of the husband.

    The way for your marriage to last is not to get a divorce. There’s no complexity to that, in fact you actually have to go do something to make it happen, so just don’t do that. It couldn’t be any simpler — no 9 steps required.

  2. 9. Be objective and take the emotion out of problem solving. “If I say something to you that’s disrespectful to you and I don’t really know it, you need to trust my heart.” (Mona Sproull)

    Empath, this makes perfect sense in womanspeak.

    “Take the emotion out of problem solving” means “Take your negative emotions, man, and hide them away whenever I pick a fight with you”. Or more verbosely: “Whatever I as your wife do to you, husband, you cannot ever be angry or offended or sad. You must always be cheerful and friendly towards me, no matter how rebellious and hateful I am to you. Because True Love Endures All“.

    My translation is supported by the “explanation”: words mean what she says they mean, not just when she says them, but especially when she’s furiously backpedaling and obfuscating in order to both (a) pretend she didn’t say them and (b) insist they don’t really mean what plain English definitions state.

    “Trust my heart” means “I’m always right, especially when I’ve wronged you”.

  3. AR, she rewrites history even while history is actually still the future. That way when it is eventually history it tidily filed away in the manner of her choosing. Oh, and subject to her revision whenever the historic records are consulted. Or……something about my heart or some such

  4. Hmmm. Maybe that is why I stopped apologizing when I realized I didn’t do anything, this has 2 side effects. One, she doesn’t have to forgive something I didn’t do and two it can’t come back to bite me in the ass later when she says I confirmed her.

  5. Reminds me of the green grass thing, or the green grass thing in reverse. Devilishly subtle, infuriatingly effective, elusive as quicksilver, ephemeral as a wisp, a cockroach that flees the light of scrutiny.

  6. Say, isn’t there a Bible quote about the heart, and deceit or being deceitful?
    If true, how does that fit in with “trust my heart”, eh?

  7. Yes there is AR. there is also the Christian women’s obsession with setting the standard of honesty/integrity and not being afraid to dole out consequence for lies, lies are game changers. Meanwhile, the quote is an example of myriad ways women lie to themselves, then lie to their husbands and have these ready phrases to prevent them seeing their deceit.

    She says he should accept the insult or hurtful comment by knowing that in her heart she loves him and would never heart him. if that’s not self deception nothing is.

  8. Online search turns up Jeremiah 17:9

    9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    So how do allegedly Christian women square this quote with all their “the heart knows”, “follow your heart”, etc. talk, eh?

  9. They have developed a set of workarounds to get past inconsistencies in what they say, and between what they say and what they do. The workarounds are like growing a new blood vessel when a blockage is confronted, it happens unbeknownst to the woman. These same workarounds are sufficient to workaround even the plainspoken scripture admonishment to not take the heart too seriously.
    It gets worse as i said above. When actions that were led by the heart, hurtful wrongheaded actions, when those actions are done to the husband and that incident is relegated to the past, on some future date when the incident is recounted, it will look totally different. In history the wrong heart led actions are no longer wrong heart led actions….they don’t need a workaround anymore.The event recollection has been edited to the point where a man starts to think he has gone mad, that either he or she is from an alternative past reality. Here again, Insidious but not premeditated. Like those growing re rerouted blood vessels the history edits itself.

    So, when she does something hurtful, in that moment you need to realize ther since her heart was in the right place, and “she and God know her heart”, that lily livered lying sack of dung she called you should not bother you because her heart meant it as good. A couple years from now if you bring this up she will say no….she never said that…..or….you didnt get the point she was making…..or…..my favorite, “well, youve said stuff like that too”

    Notice that I used a parody of these tricks in the post when I said I had not claimed to read a FL devotional by stating that you know me better than that.

  10. Nearly 20 years ago REM did a song about this dynamic, sort of. Called World Leader Pretend. The difference is the man making the statement is self aware to know he is an unfair debater and prone to pull no punches to win arguments:

    The lyrics in question

    I’ve a rich understanding of my finest defences
    I proclaim that claims are left unstated
    I demand a rematch

    I decree a stalemate
    I divine my deeper motives
    I recognise the weapons
    I’ve practised them well
    I fitted them myself

    It’s amazing what devices you can empathize
    This is my mistake, let me make it good
    I raised the wall
    And I will be the one to knock it down

    The bold is the analog to the quote in my post

  11. Empath 4:18,

    Very well put, that is part of the FI and shaming. Finally knowing about RP made me realize I wasn’t insane. The hard part was hitting new stages of RP thinking I was already done with the stages.

    When they say you do it too, simply say sure, but I admit it. Let me hear you say you are doing it right now…. watch their face distort so much it looks like a demon has taken over their body. I usually smile and go directly into Rollo’s amused mastery at this point and say apology accepted and listen to a door slam somewhere.

  12. Would it be sufficient to extend grace to my wife when she is disrespectful in her ignorance and teach her gently the error of her ways? Do I really need to “trust her heart”?


    “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

    and also from Jeremiah 17:

    “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” Jeremiah 17:5-7

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