In my nearly forty years on Earth, I've noticed that some men have The Sweet Talkin' Gene and others, well, don't. I'm not sure when it kicks in. Sometime after the Ooey Gooey Love Stuff Phase wears off, I presume. During The Teenage Years, perhaps? If that's the case, there is still hope for my sons to learn The Art of Sweet Talkin'. Because as of a few nights ago, my now eight year old son has a long way to go…
At bedtime on Sunday night, my youngest son was trying to finiggle a permanent spot in the middle of our big bed. The answer was, "No."
Yet he still snuggled in next to me, sharing the same pillow, and said, "You have a hairy chin." Lovely. I replied, "Really?" Thinking to myself, "I thought I got 'em all…for now." He said, "Yeah. I bet you could grow a beard." Not what a woman EVER wants to hear, unless she's hoping to get a job in The Circus Freak Show. Which, for the record, I am not.
THEN he says, "You have a lot of gray hair." At which point I did say, "I thought Aunt Lori took care of those for me. Did she miss a few?" I'd JUST had my hair done the day before, by my wonderful sister in law, a hair stylist extraordinaire. *sigh*
At this point in the conversation he deftly negotiated a pillow trade, swiping my favorite pillow in a trade for one of his. Honestly, I was more than happy to escort him to his bedroom, to get his Not As Awesome As Mine pillow for the night. He slept in his room all night that night, but I still swapped our pillows back, while making beds yesterday morning.
Many years ago, his older brother swiped one of my pillows and my green flannel pillow case too. Giving up that pillow made all the difference in him transitioning to sleeping in his own bed every night that followed. I figure the worst case scenario is I go buy a new pillow for myself, and give my youngest this one permanently. I had been considering doing that anyway, as it is losing its shape. PLEASE NOTE: This phrase is to be used for pillows only, not women. Just FYI. I have a shape. It's curvy. Or, as The Same Sweet Talkin' Boy said to me a few summers ago, "Mom, do you want to lose 100 pounds?" I answered, "Well, maybe not 100…" To which he replied, "Well, You're Kind Of Big And Wide." As I reached out my arms, to hug him anyway, I said, "I'm soft and cuddly too." He returned my hug and happily went back to watching cartoons. To This Day I am convinced that conversation was inspired by an informercial for a diet regime of one sort or another. I also made a rule that all commercials were to be muted after that.
Yes, some men have The Sweet Talkin' Gene. There is something to be said for Plain Speakin' though. It's Honest. Notice, I didn't quibble with the words my son spoke. Either time he spoke them. While Honest Words may hurt, or make you cringe at their meaning, at least you're not skeptical about whether they are telling the truth, thinking that they need their eyes checked or that they are full of baloney as they talk to you. The secret, that the wisest of men innately know, is how to balance the Plain Speakin' with a little sugar every now and then, to bring a smile when you need it most. Even if you want something. We'll pretend not to know it, and let the flattery do it's job makin' our hearts soar and our feet float a bit, until Reality beckons once more. Now, where did I leave those tweezers?
P.S. I should add that my wonderful husband, was on the other side of the bed while the most recent Sunday night conversation took place. On one hand, he wisely stayed quiet, but on the other, he could have helped me out a little bit, even if it was just to distract our youngest son away from such up close and personal scrutiny of his mother.
© 2011 Turquoise Tangles, Janean Baird
"Strands of Silver", a poem and a story I posted at Turquoise Tangles on April 17, 2011 , is a companion piece to this one.