Marital Ballistics

Today’s post comes from Renee in North Dakota.

We live on a very “married” block/street.  It was that way when we moved here in 1988 and it remains the same, although “married” status has changed to “widowed” for a couple of the residents. Of the twelve houses that line both sides of the street on our block, ten are owned by couples and two by widows. There has been very little turnover as well.  Gary and Sue, Ken and Rhonda, Elsie and Leonard,  the Maershbeckers, the Knopics, the Lenos, the Kovashes, the Dvoraks, and us have lived quietly and politely close to one another for more than two decades, (but not too close), admiring each other’s lawns, vehicles, gardens , flowers, and children, visiting in a neighborly way, keeping mostly to ourselves but knowing lots of things  about all the others while pretending to mind our own business.

It used to be that the sight of a police car on the block signaled that someone had found a stray dog and had called the city to come and take the animal home. Things got more dramatic a couple of years ago when Ludwig and Martha died. They were a sweet old couple with thick Czech accents who lived directly across the street from us. The Knopics, who lived a few houses south, bought Ludwig and Martha’s home and sold their home to a couple in their late 30’s, oil field people with an aggressive Dachshund and no children.  They are not a quiet couple. They are heavy drinkers who argue and taunt each other loudly and publicly in the front yard, and who have visits from the police.  He has been in the local paper in the District Court proceedings, convicted of simple assault. He always ends up back home and then we see them washing their vehicles, trimming the hedges and mowing the lawn as though nothing has happened.

It has been quite a while since the police have been called or he has shown up in the paper. I was tickled the other day to see them in their front yard, each with a lariat,  roping a horned metal steer head.  They looked really happy and were encouraging and giving pointers to each other.  I wondered if they were  participating in team roping, which is a pretty popular sport out here. If so, I can’t think of a more appropriate activity for a heavy drinking couple who ends up in slugfests.  If you are going to win you have to be sober and you have to communicate well with your partner.  Maybe they can refine their technique by trying to rope the Dachshund. I don’t do marital therapy, but if I did, I might recommend lassoes  and metal steer heads as tools to find marital bliss.

What sort of hobby helps keep the peace at home?

50 thoughts on “Marital Ballistics”

  1. Since I’m single, no need to bring in a hobby to keep the peace with a spouse, but to keep my internal peace there is reading, cooking, gardening and crafting!

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  2. Nice post Renee.
    To answer the question: from aging and loss of spending money, we have both lost all hobbies, except my writing. What we share in common are her health and social needs.
    Any other answer I give would be whining. Oh, how I wan to whine. But I shan’t.

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  3. Rise and Abide in Peace Baboons!

    I love this story Renee. I also live on a very married block, but no one would ever put such an item in our suburban neighborhood. This is so Wild West/Oil Field flavored.

    Gardening, music/band, travel, and now grandchildren are our peacemaking activities. I will write more later. right now I must dart out of the house to the bank for an episode of Mission Impossible–I need to locate a Notary Public on a Saturday.

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  4. My respite is hanging out with the animals twice a day…if only to feed and water them. I suspect one of the reasons I am single is because of the animals, the ex felt he wasn’t getting enough attention. So I chose the animals and the farm over him. Guess he was right to go…and a relief.

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  5. Our tasks for today include canning tomato sauce and buying groceries. Cooking is a mutual hobby. It is going to be a sad day when we are ready for meals on wheels. Since we don’the play cards maybe we will recite poetry to eachother.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Good morning. I think the biggest common interest that keeps the peace at our house is cooking and eating. That isn’t exactly a hobby although I think the cooking part might be considered a hobby if you have a special interest in this activity. Most of our cooking is to not too far out of the ordinary. However, the best part of our day is our evening meal which is almost always food make from “scratch” and does sometimes include new dishes that we find in cookbooks or that come to us in some other way.

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  7. When husband and I were first married we had a wall mounted magnetic knife holder in the kitchen. One of our friends, a man who grew up in France, was really worried because in his experience, cooks were pretty emotional and intense and he was worried we would get angry in the kitchen and grab one of those knives and crave each other up.

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  8. One of the fine arts of marriage I never mastered is the art of resolving conflict. We knew nothing of resolving conflict because we never had any. I’ve pondered that a lot. In my marriage, there was no conflict because one of us was always right and the other always wrong. So, why fight?

    I read today that there is a class of people who enjoy life more single than if they would if married. That class turns out to be people who do not enjoy conflict. This is difficult for me to process. Since I hate conflict, I should be far happier now that I’m single. But if I’m so happy now, why do I not know it?

    The sad irony is that while I was divorced and dating, I mastered the exotic skill of arguing well. But I have nobody to fight now. Who knew, when I was married, that happiness would flow if we got drunk together and threw ropes at metal cows?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Steve, there are two points I want to make with regard to your comments above. One, it’s pure bullshit – if you’ll excuse me being so frank – that just because you and your ex never argued you didn’t have conflict. Obviously you did; you chose not to acknowledge it and stand up for what you believed in.

      Second, I don’t believe that people who are married enjoy conflict any more than people who choose to remain single. If you choose to marry, however, you had better be committed to resolving whatever conflicts you have. No one, whether married or not, is always right or always wrong.

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      1. I find such heavy-handed criticism of a valued contributor to this forum appalling, PJ. “Being frank” is just a Trump-like way of attacking, so I’m being quite frank back.

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      2. Perhaps, PJ, Steve wasn’t being totally serious here. I’m sure he knows there was conflict in his marriage. But, just to offer another point of view, there are some marriages I know that are dead or dying – and there is seemingly no to little conflict. Because sometimes people do just drift apart peacefully. Or when one person just doesn’t care about the other person (or both don’t care about the other), there are no conflicts because they don’t care enough to get upset about anything. I suppose you could say that deep down there is a conflict there, but when you reach the point that you’re past caring, there can be surprisingly little conflict. JMO.

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  9. OT Liam story. He goes to an odd school: a Montessori school that carries a heavy environmental theme and is taught by Catholic nuns. Sister Kathy was reading a book when the head of the school, Sister Therese, came by to speak to her. Sister Kathy asked Liam to continue reading the book while she stepped out. Liam sat in her chair and began reading the book about sharks. When one of the students began wandering around the room, Liam bristled. “Children!” he barked, I need your attention and I need your support!”

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  10. Here is another OT. I dictated a report today for work, and one of my sentences read “The use of pickles was not necessary to obtain compliance during test administration”. I think that is one of the funniest sentences I have ever used in a report.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. my wife and i share turner classic movies as our common love
      to be able to watch those wonderful old classics with jimmy stewart,
      gene kelly, lana turner joan fontain
      gregory peck anthony quinn marilyn monroe etc
      and the middle andy of mayberry leave it to beaver dick van dyke twighlight zone
      took the place of art theater and travel when economy went south
      conflict r us
      it all comes out
      gets voiced and blows over
      it would be nice to get resoloution and on occasion i hit yhe wsll and scream for a different result but the same thing comes around again

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      1. I share your love of old films, tim. It interests me that there has never been (and never will be) a “new Gene Kelly” or a “new Marilynn Monroe” etc. They came once and then they went away. Maybe some of the younger actors who seem so anonymous and interchangeable to me will eventually achieve that degree of uniqueness. But I don’t expect it.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. How can anyone differentiate between any movie star under 50? Cookie cutter ex and pasty. But maybe I do not pay enough attention. Does anyone make a movie anymore? A story? Human interest? Human comedy?

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Last night /i watched St. Vincent with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy. Nice plot. I enjoyed it. Must not have done well at the box office–both comedy and human interest.

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  11. OT: having written a short story about a lumberjack, I was reminded of two 61-year old photographs. Having reluctantly risen at 4:30, I wrote a guest blog about the photos and sent it off.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. This blog produced a discussion between the two of use, which will produce fruitful results. We used to share so much in hobbies and have always been each other’s best friend. Now we have to accept where we are.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. we might be able to help with laughing at weird things little voice
      everyone here on the trail is a little strange except you and me little,voice and I’m not altogether certain about you

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Hey all – sorry I’ve been silent this weekend – extraordinarily busy – this is really my first moment relaxing in a couple of days. And I can’t sit here too long – still have laundry in the basement waiting!

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