Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Share Your World – 2014 Week 29

Have you ever been in a submarine? 


If you haven’t, would you want to?

Nope again. Just last week my friend told me about her tour of a submarine stationed near her home. She described the times when the sailors were in enemy waters and needed to retreat to their bunks and remain absolutely silent. For hours. The submarine was “turned off”, including air circulation. The sonar of another ship can detect the tiniest noise, a sneeze, for example.

No, I’m too tall, too wide, too everything to ever allow myself to tour something as confined as a submarine.

Are you a listener or talker?

This is a very timely question. The quick Reader’s Digest answer is “listener.”

My husband is a man who loves to talk, who has lots to say, who processes his day by “reading it back” to me when he gets home, or, in the case of this coming weekend, when we travel.

The question is timely because this issue of dialogue, of conversation, is a… um, sore spot. An issue. In other words, “What about me? When do I get a chance to speak?”

I mentioned in my Building Rome post that I want to be careful of knee-jerk responses when hubby and I are travelling this coming weekend. It’s a five-hour drive. Plenty of opportunity for conversation, right? Well, you’d think. But usually he talks and I listen. He has a million and one opinions of current events (mostly politics). He will process his thoughts on the topic du jour. I offer the appropriate verbal gestures: uh huh, yes, go on…If I venture to contribute, more often than not, he will cut me off because he’s on a roll. Or he doesn’t hear me. Worse, he dismisses what I might have to say, because it is not in line with his ideas.

This, my friends, pisses me off, and in true knee jerk reaction, I fire at will. Damn the torpedoes, as it were. Of course it makes for hard feelings and taints the better part of the remaining time we have in the car. I’d like to improve my part in the dynamic.

Do you prefer crunchy peanut butter or smooth peanut butter? Anything with your peanut butter?

I like whatever I can get that has no sugar or salt added. From the grocery store, that means the jar with the blue lid. I used to grind fresh roasted peants at the health food store, but it closed some time ago. On rare occasions, I might have jam with the peanut butter toast.

Have you ever been drunk?

Oh yes.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

We paid a visit to some rockhound friends on Sunday. They had just returned from a collecting trip in Thunder Bay, and they hit the jackpot. They spent about two weeks hauling out plate after plate, crystal after spectacular crystal of amethyst. I was getting a contact buzz (speaking of drunkenness) just listening to them recount their adventures. They had pale purple, and dark purple, and a maroon shade they called raspberry. My friend turned to me and asked what was my favourite colour? I said raspberry. He handed me this beautiful specimen and said, here, it’s yours. Then he gave me a purple one, just because. I was speechless.

This weekend: I look forward to the mineral show in Bancroft. And a chance to mind my P’s and Q’s. Possibly an R,S, and T, too.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

In response to Cee’s Share Your World

Categories: Blog Blog Blog, Husband, It's a Hobby, Mineral Collecting, Relationships

Tags: , , , , , ,

48 replies

  1. Does the Yellow Submarine count?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have toured three submarines and I work with a number of former submariners. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the service, but I respect their sacrifice.


  3. Rock hounding would be something I would do if I were fit. Your friends found some wonderful rocks….err minerals and gems. 🙂


    • Hi Cee – You must have learned elsewhere that some hobbyists look askance at the term “rockhound”, did you?

      You are correct in that you need to be fit. I’m about borderline unfit. At least for the long all-day expedition that Reiner likes to make. You often contend with rugged and remote terrain. Sites such as the pits from when these crystals can get very hot with the sun reflecting off the stone walls. Then there’s the bugs. My friends were torn between covering up to protect against sunburn and bug bite or take their chances and have fresh air on their skin.


  4. I am so jealous. We have a rock collection. One that constantly grows, but those specimens are spectacular.


  5. Oh, how gorgeous are those?! Enjoy!


  6. My dad was on the subs in WW2. He took me on one in Gosport once. Awful conditions. He was 6′ tall and had to duck everywhere. I am well over 6′ and couldn’t imagine living in one. Raspberry for me too, please.


  7. looks like amethyst to me… just beautiful!


  8. Let’s get drunk and practice the occasional, “That’s crazy.” Also good is a head nod accompanied by an “mmm-mm!”


  9. My nephew’s girlfriend is from Thunder Bay. She used to work in the museum there. (Now works in a museum here.) Thems pretty rocks you got there. 🙂


    • Thank you! Thunder Bay is a two-day trip from Southern Ontario. A long, two-day trip. So it’s not likely a place we will visit until retirement. Unless, of course, we move there. The mine Reiner works for has an office in Thunder Bay.

      Glad you like the pretty shiny sparkles.


  10. Have you ever been drunk?

    When asked that, I answer, “Officially, only at work”.

    I work for Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, (it’s like a local FBI), and one of our tasks is to train cops to run BAC (Blood Alcohol Content or Breathalyzer) equipment. A perk of the job is that they ask for volunteers to get really, really drunk. It’s like a party at work. Afterwards, they drive you home.

    Haven’t done it in a while though, whenever I volunteer, they say, “Geez Greg, give someone else a chance.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Maggie, those rocks are awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, I have never seen a “raspberry” amethyst…that is absolutely beautiful and amazing. I would totally be into gems and minerals if I just had more time…thanks for sharing! 🙂


    • The raspberry amethyst is actually the purple material, but there are inclusions of red jasper – iron stained quartz. If you look at the close-up shot, you can see small red dots below the face of some of the crystals.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


  13. You were probably attracted to Reiner partly due to his interesting talking–his smarts, his knowledge, his style of presentation…yes? But no one likes too much monologue, huh?

    What if you were to record some of your conversations? The upcoming trip would be perfect for this. He is, most likely, unaware of the degree of conversational imbalance, and might not understand or accept that it exists even were you to be more quietly assertive when voicing your irriation. Were you to have a recording, you could simply cite the number of interruptions–and you could play some samples back for him (for if he is typical, I am betting you will find that he interrupts you again even when you try to take the conversational ball back after a first interruption).

    I believe you–you, Maggie–would not love him if he did not have a sense of fair play. If a recording reveals what I suspect it would, this might take a step toward a cure.

    Studies that have been done where couples agreed beforehand to allow recorders in their homes (! who would agree to this–wow !), and businesses allowed them in their conference rooms, etc., demonstrated the men interrupt women to a far, far greater degree than the other way ’round, and that topics introduced by them are permitted/encouraged by women to be carried forward, but not anywhere near so often the other way ’round. I am not surprised by this, since I feel most men have enormous egos due to their unconscious sense of endowment and privilege over one-half of the human race.

    Despite the conversation imbalance being strongly in their favor, men feel that the opposite is true.

    This stuff predates Deborah Tannen, but I remember she mentions it in at least one of her books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is wonderful stuff, OB, thanks.

      He and I have hashed this out, several times. Usually after I had long lost my patience and got caught up in anger. That’s what I’m trying to prevent. The anger response.

      Initially, he denied it. That’s no surprise given what you’ve written above. However, since I’ve found my voice and have been working at pointing it out, he’s come to realize that he does have a habit of monopolizing conversation.

      On my side of the dynamic, I want to temper the knee-jerk, default anger response when it happens. Not because I think anger is “bad”, or not justified. But because I know he means no harm.

      I’ve read Tannen, years ago. I might just look her up again.


      • I’m kinda thick. Simpler solutions: Use a kitchen timer (friendlier ring than stupid digital beep, don’t you think?), and get a tongue depressor from your doc.

        Set the timer for whatever interval you can tolerate, monoloque-wise. If either of you is still talking non-stop at that point, it’s time to turn over the conversational ball.

        Draw a face on the tongue-depressor. It is now the tongue-suppressor. Whoever is holding that conversational stick is Queen. No one may interrupt them unless they give express permission (or the timer goes off). A useful tool for to control men–or women like me, who have a bad habit of interrupting at times.

        (BTW, that stick is used by couples therapists to break convos up into SMALL intervals–3-5 min. ea., taking turns–for isn’t that what a conversation is? Taking turns? Fang and I used it successfully : )


  14. Maggie, I agree with the above. I do hope Reiner can understand how important it is for you to express yourself and be listened to, without interruption. This is an important issue, that hopefully you will have time to work out on your trip. Blessings and love. Xx


  15. Well, sounds like were in total agreement on the submarine question although our reasons for not touring one may differ. Our city has one that you are more than welcome to as far as I’m concerned. You’ll probably have to furnish your own trailer to haul it though….

    Up until some ten years ago I had no issue with submarines until our cities ex-mayor (and it thrills me to no end so say “ex”) decided the city apparently needed a Navy. So he set out on a path to secure an old World War II submarine currently owned by the country of Turkey which was commissioned by the US Navy in 1943 which was named the “USS Razorback” – the name being the key to this whole horrid tale. We would just have our little city with its own maritime museum or better yet, our own Navy! Now, being from Arkansas one might understand why someone’s eyes might light up momentarily when hearing about such a ship since our beloved University of Arkansas’ mascot is the ‘razorback’ hog. And around here, anything having to do with football and/or tagged ‘razorback’ borders on being holy.

    Now listen up, neither the origin or the name of the submarine ever had anything to do with the State of Arkansas. In fact, the submarine was named after a species of whale which is found in the far southern reaches of the Pacific Ocean (Moby Dick was a razorback whale). A fact kept reasonably quiet by the mayor as you can imagine. The city, present company excluded, purchased the submarine from the country of Turkey for some $37,500 in 2005 using private donations (or so we’re told). Not to mention the costs incurred for towing it from Turkey to the United States, up the Mississippi River, up the Arkansas River to the city of North Little Rock, Arkansas. It how has the distinction of being the extent of the city’s maritime museum.

    If you want to get the entire story just Google ‘USS Razorback’ and check out Wikipedia. That’s about all the submarine chit-chat I can handle for the time being…

    Wait… what was the question? Oh yes, have I ever been on a submarine” Hell No!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Those are great gems!


  17. On the subject of not getting a decent word in – my first husband is one of those blokes who talks ‘at’ you, not with you. Unfortunately I developed the habit of automatically taking the other opposite opinion to that he was busy ranting about, just to stop him in his tracks, in an effort to contribute. I put up with it for 17 years. 😀


  18. I’ve been on a submarine before (in France)…you’re missing nothing. The main thing is you have experienced being drunk! It beats submarine life any day 🙂


  19. gasp … you’re married to a highly opinionated talker too?!!! … and your comment about how he can take a very aggressive tone – I know exactly what you’re talking about and it always makes me feel like somehow I’m responsible. The interruptions, and outright disregard for my opinion or thought … DRIVES.ME.CRAZY.

    Thankfully, there is one habit that I’ve somehow managed to get him to stop doing …. he’d be thinking about something that puzzles or bugs him and then he’d start to talk to me about it – in mid-thought, like I’d know what the hell he was talking about.

    It’s a wonder I haven’t ground my teeth down to little nubs.


    • As much as I am delighted to hear that you know exactly how I feel, I am equally sorry to learn that you know exactly how I feel. Completely. Including the part that I feel somehow responsible.

      Hubby has this way of addressing his invisible audience, the antagonists or opponents of his imaginary argument through me. And I fall for it every time. He’ll ask. “Why is ABC?” and instead of saying, “I don’t know, honeybuns”, or nothing at all, I’ll see this as a chance to maybe partake in a conversation, a back and forth, a sharing of thoughts… So I say, “Well, maybe it’s because of XYZ?”

      POUNCE!! Now suddenly I am on the hotseat.

      One morning, like the ones I wrote about above, he woke raring to go, ranting away. He asked, “Why ABC?” and I made an XYZ suggestion and he jumped down my throat. Whoa, buster, not acceptable! If you don’t want to hear my opinions, why do you ask for them?

      Know what he said? (After he apologized, I must give him credit) He said, “Ah don’t mind me, I just need to ramble.” Meaning, he just needed a sounding board.

      What I need to do is ask, is this a sounding board question, yes or no? If yes, then I need to ask, “am I up to being a sounding board right at this moment?” Because frankly, he may delight in rehashing the same tirade, but I get tired of hearing it.


      • ok – now I know for sure we are married to the same man. After 31 years of marriage, I still fall into the trap and attempt ‘conversation’ and discussion.
        Maybe we need to introduce Reiner to Gilles 😀
        My dad was like Gilles and those 2 could go at it for hours. Sometimes they would reverse opinions and argue the opposite side for a while. It drove my mom and I crazy. Those 2 would argue black is white just for the sake of argument.
        My dad’s been gone for 15 years now and Gilles one day said he really missed him …. there was no one like him that he could argue with anymore.


        • LOL – Sounds like a match made in heaven, our two men together.

          Seriously, it’s been helpful to read your reply. I get a sense that for the guys, it’s a form of entertainment/sport. For my part, I need to learn to decline the invitation to play along! 😀


          • The conversation I had with Gilles about missing my dad was a real eye opener for me. I remember a particular incident when I agreed with him on something and he continued to give me the long monologue anyway.
            I asked him why he was continuing to preach at me when I already agreed with him and he said he still needed to say his piece.
            It made me realize that different people have different needs and talkers use their mouth as an exhaust pipe to get rid of all the excess “stuff” going on in their head.
            I think I’m getting better at avoiding the land mines now although I still make mistakes:)



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