Thursday, June 3


Early on in my relationship with Marilee, it was clear that one of my habits was going to be problematic. No, not that one.

Or that one.

Actually, it was a habit I was not even aware of. "What's the matter?" is what Marilee would say. Not knowing what the hell she was referring to, I'd say the classic maleness "nothing", perhaps with a not-too-subtle air of what-the-hell-made-you-think-there's-something-wrong attitude.

This went on for some time.

It all came to light when Marilee had told me something Jenn had said to her. Marilee enlightened me after one such occasion, when she related the following conversation:

Jenn: "What's wrong with Bob?"
Marilee: "Oh, that's just what he does."


Bob: "What the hell are you talking about?"
Marilee: "Huhhhhhhh"
Bob: "What?"
Marilee: "Huhhhhhhh. You are, al least five times a minute, exhaling really loud. People think you're upset."

On occasion, perhaps. But as I said, I'm not even aware I'm doing it.

OK, so I know I do this. Admittedly, I do catch myself from time to time. But I thought it was only a family matter.

Not so.

While in California for training the last two weeks (yes, you can see where this is going), someone - cannot remember who - caught on that I was upset somehow. Hardly. Though not a vacation, which is something the instructor makes perfectly clear at the beginning, I consider any time you're not working on that which you do on a regular schedule, a vacation. Even going to school. Sure, you're still on a schedule, but it's not your regular schedule.


Apparently, I was on the five-times-a-minute schedule and was exhaling rather loudly. We'd already commented on several of the attendees' habits - profuse use of the word "thingy", "Yo" used as an exclamation, and one person then said "Huhhhhhhhh".

I must have been red-faced, and busted up laughing.

During that evening's phone call home, I had to tell Marilee.

After she quieted down...


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