Wounded by silence

Testimony from a friend:

“I was kidnapped, violently tortured, escaped, went to the hospital and the authorities found my perpetrator and prosecuted him. He was arrested and is still serving a life sentence in prison.

Why? Because I had physical bruises, because people could identify the crime. It’s sad but true.

So many other victims of rape and abuses that were silenced will tell me, ‘Your story is awful,’ but I tell them, no, the story of those victims who suffered in silence is far worse.”

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly.

Married to an angry man: An open letter to the Synod Fathers (GUEST POST)

This is a guest post written by the friend of a friend. The writer goes by Monica More, which is a pseudonym. I have bolded some passages for emphasis. Priests, especially, please take heed.

 

sad woman

 

Dear Synod Fathers,

 

Thank you for your prayerful consideration of how the Church can offer better pastoral care to a world in which so many families are broken, and in which so many have lost sight of the true nature of marriage. I wish to offer my voice as a reminder of why you are here, and plead for you to show the faithful the care of the Father that we so desperately need.

 

I am not asking you to change one iota of Church teaching. Marriage as reflection of Christ’s love for the Church, marriage and family as an echo of Trinitarian love, family as a domestic church and first school of sanctity – it is all beautiful to contemplate, and it shall not be taken away from anyone.

 

And yet, I want you to know that, even for those who fully believe, these images can seem a cruel illusion of an oasis. Even though we strive with all our feeble strength to reach it, we still have not been able to grab hold of any soothing water from the sacrament of marriage.

 

Marriage in my experience has been a cross, and nothing but a cross. It is a white martyrdom that stretches past a terrifying long horizon of time. Yes, marriage requires all of us to lay down our lives for our spouses and our children. But when one spouse won’t do that, when one spouse never says “please” or “thank you” or “sorry” as the Holy Father has exhorted, then there is never any joy of resurrection at the end of the Passion.

 

When I married my husband, I was full of joy and hope because I believed the Church’s teachings about marriage, and my husband professed them too. He was chivalrous and faith-filled and a true friend when we courted. But as soon as we were married, all thoughtfulness and self-giving from him ceased, and a burning anger took hold instead.

 

Bewildered, I looked for answers in spiritual direction and Catholic books. Time after time priests turned me down for spiritual direction, saying they were too busy or wouldn’t meet with a woman, so go to the confessional or counselling instead. In the confessional I was told go to counselling. But my husband did not want to go to counselling—it was too hard to make the time with us both working, and it was so expensive we could never afford to attend more than a few sessions. Those few times we went to a Catholic counselor did not change anything.

 

The Catholic books told me to love more, to sacrifice more, to give him affection and build him up with words. All these things I tried to do, but his temper kept burning a hole in my heart and in the heart of our children. I tried to tell him time and again how his words were hurting us, but he ignored me or simply excused himself as “only human” or accused me of thinking I was perfect to shut me down. I asked what he wanted me to change and he said “nothing.”

 

Over time “love” came to mean praying for his conversion and rejecting hate or revenge, continuing to sacrifice my own desires for him and our children. But it could not possibly encompass respect or admiration or enjoying his company, and certainly not feeling affection. I do not withhold my body from him but every intimate touch is a crucifixion for me.

 

I have come to the point where I find only harsh measures get his attention and quiet the rage, at least temporarily. A threat to leave; a slap on the face. I feel horrible doing these things but at least they buy a little space of peace, and the children thank me for “calming” him.

 

I think if we had aggressively treated the cancer of his rage when it was still “Stage 1” it would not have gotten to this point. But no one recommended that. They only recommended a healthy diet of kindness and sacrifice and all would be well. No one offered affordable “healthcare” for our souls in case that didn’t work. Instead it has festered into Stage 4, and threatens to spread to the souls of our children as well.

 

We have also been failed by the preaching and teaching from our parish priests. My husband does listen; he does not want to go to Hell. They say pornography is a grave sin and he does go to Confession when he falls into that temptation. They say you must attend Mass every Sunday and he goes to Confession when from time to time he decides he’s angry at God and stays away a few weeks. They say homosexual activity is a sin and he cut off his friendship with his childhood best friend after he “came out of the closet.” They say abortion is a sin and he votes Republican.

 

But I have never heard one priest preach against temper. I have never heard one reproach from the pulpit for fathers who would curse at or in front of their children. I have never heard one say in Sunday homily, “Men, how are you laying down your life for your wife and children? If you can’t answer that, you are sinning and failing as a father.” Or speak likewise to the women. I have never heard one put urgency behind the words of Pope Francis: spouses must say “please” and “thank you” and “I’m sorry” or you are sinning against the gift of marriage, just as surely as when you look at porn.

 

I will never leave the Church, I will never seek succor in another man. The Eucharist is my strength and my life to continue on with this great cross on my shoulders. I can’t even imagine how those who do not have recourse to the Blessed Sacrament can walk along this path. But to the pastors I ask you please, be Simon the Cyrenian for me and help me carry this a while. Hold my hand and help me get over that terrifying horizon, whatever lies beyond. Be John taking me and my children under your care. Exhort my husband again and again to “feed my lambs.” I have the flesh and blood of Christ—please be His voice and hands.

 

I know I am not alone in this. Please, don’t forget to treat your many sick sheep in the fold.

 

***
Note: I have closed comments on this post. It was only up for a few minutes before people started criticizing this woman for her behavior. Please pray for her family instead of telling her what to do.

Guest Post: Kristen Herrett on “Raising Daddies”

Kristen Herrett of St. Monica’s Bridge graciously allowed me to repost her sensible and valuable essay about her letting her sons play with baby dolls.  I especially liked the line:  “I want them to understand that sometimes we make mistakes, but our love is never a mistake.”

Raising Daddies

by Kristen Herrett

The images in this post are of my sons. With a baby doll. I posted them on Facebook a few weeks ago to mixed reviews. Most thought they were cute. A few privately messaged me to take them down and stop letting my boys “play with dolls.” The pictures remain and my boys still have access to the doll.

When I became a mother I had certain ideas of how I was going to raise my children. I would venture to guess most mothers do. I quickly found out that some of these ideas I had did not exactly fit my temperament, my mothering style or my kids. I was all about babywearing. My babies, not so much. I thought co-sleeping would be great…but I wasn’t doing any of the sleeping part. Other things, like breastfeeding, were great.

I never set out to raise my children in a “gender neutral” household. And really, they don’t live in one. Yes, when Jeff is home he cooks, but that’s because he is a chef. And I do wear pants. And for a time, I worked while he stayed home with the children. And there have been occasions where emergency or budget have dictated one of my boys have worn a pink pull-up or had a pink pacifier. But, for the most part, boys are boys and girls are girls here.

Shelby has a few “baby” dolls. She sometimes shows interest in them, mostly does not. Real babies hold no interest for her until they are able to sit up. It is only then that she sort of “gets” that this thing that mommy is carrying constantly is a human being. We keep the baby dolls out and praise her when she shows interest, not because it is a girl toy, but because she is behind with her social interactions and encouraging a positive association with infants is important for her to learn.

The phenomenon of the boys and this baby doll is a recent thing. It has only occurred after my brothers began spending time with my best friend’s new-born infant son. Joey likes to “practice” holding the baby so he can hold Baby Ryan and his soon to be born cousin Baby Bella. He also practices how to feed the baby and give it a paci when it cries. He has named the baby “Will” after his brother. For Will, he wants to imitate his big brother and he needs to practice being gentle around babies for sure!

I do not for a minute think I am confusing my boys or emasculating them. After all, they don’t want to wear dresses now and have proclaimed that Barbies are for girls. But I realize that some people very much view it that way. So, I will go ahead and explain why I haven’t ripped the doll out of my boys’ hands.

I am raising children. Some day, my boys may very likely become fathers. I want to raise them to be good Daddies. I don’t want them to fear their children when they are newborns. I want them to approach the task with some kind of confidence. I want them to understand that sometimes we make mistakes, but our love is never a mistake. I want them to be able to support a wife who has difficulty breastfeeding and be able to comfort a crying child. We forget these things are not necessarily traits we are born with. I’ve watched many a father struggle and wish they could have just observed their dads doing some of the parenting things they find themselves doing, let alone been encouraged to do them themselves.

And for the record, my boys do an inordinately large amount of wrestling, shooting each other with water guns, fighting, playing Thomas and rooting for Penn State and Carolina’s football teams.

Parenting is a very difficult task. One that no matter how many books you read you can never fully master. I’ve chosen to try to expose my children to learning through doing. And right now, my sons seem to be proponents of attachment parenting (we say Joey is co-sleeping in the picture above). Will they continue as adults? Who knows, there is a lot of time between now and then…in the mean time I hope and pray that I am raising daddies who will rise to the task of fathering their children in the best ways possible.

“You have nothing else but God.”

Today’s post was written by “Pansy” for her blog, Pansy and Peony — and she graciously allowed me to re-post it here today.  Pansy is a young and lovely mother of seven, who discovered a year ago that her husband was having an affair.  She wrote to readers for prayers, and has this grateful update.
I was going to edit it for length, but it’s a fairly quick read, and I think you will appreciate her candor and her expressive language.  I found this essay moving and, frankly, fascinating.
Please note:  this essay was written by a real person who has clearly been through enough.  Comments criticizing her actions will be deleted immediately.
UPDATE:  A link to this post also went up on Mark Shea’s blog.
————————-
It’s been nearly one year since I posted this. I was thinking of waiting for the one year mark, mostly because I just didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I also wasn’t sure in my heart until pretty recently that it’s all going to be alright, so I didn’t want to jinx anything. Also, something about the whole St. Blog’s Pantsapalooza Event of 2010 made me think here I am actually in possession of some knowledge I should perhaps pass on. In many of the comboxes, in between the yays and nays for pants, there would be talk here and there of not one, but of few couples someone might know, Catholics with large families, breaking up. I stumbled the other day on a statistic that only 1/3 of couples survive infidelity. I cannot even begin to understand why us. I have no idea, except God allowed, chose, helped…He did it. So I guess it was time to write…something. I hope it’s not lame.

As of now, we are surviving, we are building a new marriage and our old marriage is dead and gone. It’s is withered and decayed and the new one is bright and filled with hope. As of right now, I love my husband more than I ever have. We are not merely “riding it out”. Everything is new again. I place the “blame” on you, Dear People. When this broke, my husband was very lost. He will tell you he was in the darkest place he has ever been. He was evil or surrounded by evil, not sure. He was depressed, he obviously wasn’t thinking straight and the more he made bad choices, the worse he felt, and in turn would make more bad choices. He was just piling more “spiritual muck” onto himself. As Mark Shea says “sin makes you stupid”. So many men I see who take the route my husband have become literally unreachable under all that muck. When you all reached out and prayed, my husband will tell you it was around that time he started to wake up and come out the fog. This wasn’t an immediate process and at first, he fought it, but it was a way for God to grab him and take hold and slowly start clearing that muck away.

I cannot underestimate the practical help as well, the donations, the words of encouragement. I was…hysterical. I was scared, confused. At the time, the kind words I read and the support kept me going. I desperately needed it because while I was receiving support here, I was hearing equally…um, “non-supportive” words from some of the icky people my husband allowed to influence him. One of his family members told me it was my fault because I had so many kids. Seven is ridiculous, I should have stopped at three and my husband clearly didn’t want any more but I refused to listen. I must have had those kids to keep him around. She, other family, the girlfriend all told me it was because I “was a bad wife”. So yes, hearing encouraging words was necessary at that point because I didn’t know what was right, what was happening, what was real and my self-esteem struck a huge blow so it was easy to believe I deserved it all for doing things like having children, and being a boring housewife.

The donations helped in more ways than the obvious as well. My husband left and came home in February. Yes, he did support us, but in his very “rational” state, he did not think about what it costs to support a family of 8 in one spot and the cost of supporting himself in the New York City area 3 hours away prior to leaving. The donations helped with practical matters, but it also gave me a great deal of confidence that some how, some way, if things go badly, I’ll make it. I think it also sent a signal to him that despite surrounding himself with nitwits like the family members I described who had his ear, most people looked down on his actions to the point they were willing to donate money! (Incidentally, when this happened, I became adept at finding email accounts, decoding passwords and an ex girlfriend came out the woodwork who had been lurking on this blog to congratulate him on finally getting rid of the “old ball and chain”, to tell him to contact her and to let him know “do you know she’s asking for donations?” I deleted it.)

There has been talk that maybe people should not say bad things about Bud McFarlane Jr for leaving his wife in the comboxes lately. No. He should know that the general population looks down on such actions. Admonish the sinner. It’s not simply for the sake of “siding” with Bai, but for the sake of his own soul. My husband, on his own accord went to confession, and spent an half hour bringing the priest up to speed. Mass that day, ended up starting late because of it. I’m not sure if that would have happened if things did not play out the way they did. Every piece of this had it’s purpose.

So what happened? I cannot even begin to start, it would take a book. It was the hardest year of my life. I now have grey hair, crows feet. I have these permanent bags under my eyes from crying everyday (great product: ).

I can say that this was a spiritual battle for sure. At first our progress was teeny tiny baby steps and a lot of uncertainty. It wasn’t until late June that I decided I would stay married to him. Before that, I don’t think he was certain about staying married to me until February-when he decided he wanted the marriage, I was sick, fed up, done with him. Since June, the progress was slow and then started snowballing. Spiritually, each time we made a large step at progress, Satan was right there with a rebuttal. Every stinking time. This is still the case. It’s almost immediate. We actually can see it for what it is and more and more it gives me the confidence that we are “meant to be”. The only way things will continue to work from here on out is relying on prayer and the sacraments. Satan has a foothold in our lives. No way around that.

I want to share some things I learned for anyone going through this:

1. Pray, pray, pray. You have nothing else but God. I made the Novena to the 13 Blessed Souls a few times, the St. Rita I don’t know how many times. Our Lady Undoer of Knots, St. Jude, St. Joseph the Flying Novena to the Infant of Prague in addtion to tons of rosaries, Chaplets of Divine Mercy, the Angelus everyday for months. I said a Magnificat every time it popped into my head. I don’t even know how many novenas I made. I begged for prayers. I debated a lot between telling people and asking for prayers and keeping my dirty laundry to myself. It’s a tough call because people who love you and see you suffer will not want you to reconcile with your spouse, which is 150% completely understandable. Still, I think the reason my husband turned around was the prayers.

There will be times when you will doubt if God even exists. Pray harder then.

2. Read Love Must Be Tough by James Dobson. And/or implement the “180″ as soon as possible. This will keep your head on straight when you think you are loosing it, and may help get your marriage back-if that is what you wish.

On a side note: we Catholics do a good job in having a preliminary outline how to keep a marriage Godly. We do not have a lot of resources to turn to when things go bad. we have Retrouvaille, but that works only after both parties decide to work it out. There is nothing to stop a man (or woman) in stuck in “the fog” dead in his tracks and let him know what he’s doing. We need something. Now. Maybe Greg can help us with that?

3. Take care of yourself. I did a little, but only after everyone else was tended to. I would only work-out as reward if I finished all my chores, which of course, were never finished. I figured once the kids were gown and out, I’d have “me” time again. Through all this I was tired, defeated, depressed. I started drinking. By most people’s standards, not heavily, but I know I wasn’t doing it “for the right reasons”. So instead, I knew I needed an outlet and it would either be negative (drinking) or positive. I hit the gym, I started getting pedicure, I actually bought clothes for myself, I decided to try once a week and get to a restaurant if I could. Being cheated on is a huge self-esteem killer. People stopping you constantly and telling you how good you look, and then finding out you had seven kids, and in front of your husband…priceless!

4. Sacramentals. I said before this is a spiritual battles. Holy water, blessed oil, blessed salt. I mixed all three up and made crosses with it over every window, every doorway. I spiked my husband’s food…

5. Get support from people who have been through this. People who have been through this have a very unique perspective. It all seems very black and white, cut and dry until it happens to you.

7. Outside professional help. Get counseling/therapy. Find a priest or a few and talk to them. Appraise your medical doctors, midwives, pediatricians what’s going on. My family practitioner knows everything. I have found myself in the emergency room a number of times this year and since my doctor knows what is happening in my life, diagnosing the problems was easy. Did anyone know that you could have panic attacks in your stomach? I didn’t.

6. Some good books:

Love Must Be Tough by James Dobson

Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs

The Love Dare

Here’s one I haven’t read, but I want to read desperately:

Transcending Post-infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing by Dennic C. Ortman

The Bible!!!! This is nothing new and it’s nothing the good book didn’t warn about. Read Proverbs 5

Websites:

Marriage Builders

Surviving Infidelity

Four Stages of Grief (apparently, I’m at “anger” right now).

Lastly, I’m talking mostly about me here. I’m talking a lot about what my husband did wrong. I give a lot of credit for the prayers and help people gave me, but I have to also give credit to my husband. It takes a lot to totally admit you are wrong and to allow God to break you down and build you back up again into a new person. I have notmade it easy. Yes I prayed, yes I tried to stay “right”, but I haven’t been a saint on this journey. I’ve been downright evil and wretched at times. The fact that he stayed when he was unsure if he should to begin with, when he was not raised with a background where people are married is simply amazing. The fact that not only did he decide to stay, but change, that he recognized his bad choices were not the key to happiness…many people can’t or do not even know how to not exist in their lies.

7 In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than over ninety-nine upright people who have no need of repentance.~Luke 15:7

Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Dear Justine

Today’s guest post is written by a fine woman who more or less strong-armed me into being her friend.  Like so many fabled relationships, it all began online.  And, if a restraining order means anything at all anymore, it’ll stay there.

However,  I want it known that this post was published entirely of my own free will, and has nothing to do with blackmail, coercion, or any kind of weird, contagious, free-floating Italian guilt (is that a thing?).  We both like to tease, but deep down are decent people; and so most of our correspondence begins:  “Um, you know that was just a joke, right?  I like your hair!” or “Stay away from my husband, homewrecker!”

 

Again, for the record:  Justine Schmiesing is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life, and that is the reason she’s writing this guest post today.  That and that she’s damn funny, and should probably stop being a blog hog and open up her writing for public consumption again.

One more thing:  if you have a question for Dear Justine, send it to me at simchafisher [at] gmail [dot] com and I will be sure to forward it to her.

Enjoy!

 

_______________________________________

DEAR JUSTINE:  When a Spoonful of Sugar Just Isn’t Enough

Dear Justine,

School’s out for the year, and now my kids are complaining about having to help around the house. I’ve read parenting articles that encourage turning chores into games, but the games are never ones my kids want to play. Any suggestions?

Signed,

Doubting Mary Poppins

Dear DMP,

Ah summer! Those crazy, lazy days when everyone stops eating, using the bathrooms, and wearing clothes.

No wait, that’s heaven.

So unless you LIKE being the only one stuck slaving away inside during the pool party, it’s perfectly reasonable to mobilize your troops and make them pitch in to clean up the mess that they are, very likely, responsible for.

 

My kids hate chores, but they are always up for a game. Of course, MY favorite housecleaning games are based on movies I don’t allow the little tykes to watch (likeAliens and Predator), but here are a few of my kids’ picks that are almost equally fun and effective.

Hot potato

(One player)

Player is handed an object by parent and instructed to put it away where it belongs. Player then pretends the object is too hot to carry all the way and shoves it in the first available hiding spot. Player loses if parent finds the object before they forget who they told to put it away.

Unfreeze Tag

(Single or multiple players)

Game begins with parent assigning a chore (like clearing the table or picking up toys). Players perform assigned duties until parent steps out of the room, then players freeze in place and do not move again until parent returns.

Players win if chore takes three times longer to complete than it should have.

Town Cryer

(Multiplayer)

Players are assigned a task that involves them working at a slight distance from parent, anywhere from the next room over to the backyard. Players take turns shouting at the top of their lungs, “So-and-so, why aren’t you HELPING?” “So-and-so, GET UP and HELP!” Game is won if parent shows up and spanks So-and-so. Game is lost if parent shows up and spanks everyone. (Town Cryer can be played in conjunction with Unfreeze Tag for double the fun.)

Telephone

(Two player)

Game begins with parent giving a message to one player assigning a chore to the second player. First player delivers the message, with the option to add their own embellishments (like, “Ha-Ha”, and “I don’t haaave to”). Second player may choose to obey the messenger, ignore the messenger, or shoot the messenger. If messenger is ignored or shot, they may choose to tattle on the second player or shoot back. Game ends when both players are separated and assigned double chores.

Blind Man’s Bluff

(Single player version)

Player cleans their bedroom in such a manner that parent can’t tell whether or not a blind man did it.

 

The Blame Game

(Two or more players)

Game begins when parent (preferably Mom) questions why an assigned group chore has not been completed. Players take turns blaming each other and saying “Nah-AHH!” while parent tries to sort out the truth through all the confusion. Game is won if Mom starts crying. Game is over if Dad comes home.

Last, but not least, Daddy’s favorite…

Concentration

(As many players as necessary)

Players who are have lost their focus and motivation to do chores properly use paper and pencil to hand copy Pope John Paul II’s encylical Laborem exercens, (On Human Work) until they are found again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So the next time you pull out the vacuum and hear a loud whining sound before it’s even plugged in, just remember that even though Julie Andrews’s charges were only kid actors who cheerfully did what they were told because they got paid a lot of money, she sure got it right when she sang, “Find the fun and SNAP! the job’s a game!”

Hallie Lord: “What’s wrong with you?”

Dear Readers,

Today, I am very grateful to Hallie Lord, who wrote today’s post.  I would also like to point out the importance of proper punctuation in the title above.  To clarify further:  as far as I know, there is nothing wrong with Hallie Lord, other than the fact that she is pregnant and it is HOT.

Enjoy Hallie’s piece, check out her lovely and funny blog, Betty Beguiles, and stay tuned tomorrow for Thursday Throwback, in which I’m so lazy, I guest post for my own blog.

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?

 

 

Jessie dropped lobster and knife and ran to him with frightened eyes.

“What’s the matter, Bob, are you ill?”

“Not at all, dear.”

“Then what’s the matter with you?”

“Nothing.”

Hearken, brethren. When She-who-has-a-right-to-ask interrogates you concerning a change she finds in your mood answer her thus: Tell her that you, in a sudden rage, have murdered your grandmother; tell her that you have robbed orphans and that remorse has stricken you; tell her your fortune is swept away; that you are beset by enemies, by bunions, by any kind of malevolent fate; but do not, if peace and happiness are worth as much as a grain of mustard seed to you—do not answer her “Nothing.”

-O. Henry, The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball

 

Dear male readers of Simcha’s blog: I come in peace. I am not here to judge or condemn you. No, I merely hope to save you the inestimable grief that my poor husband experienced when he uttered his own seemingly harmless “Nothing.”

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Your girl says, “What’s the matter, sweetheart?” and your reply is always—and I do mean always—“Nothing.” Don’t get me wrong, I do know why you say that EVERY. TIME. It is because your thoughts at that moment have to do with some terrible, weighty issue, perhaps related to a feeling of rejection you are experiencing or with concerns you have over the way the war in Afghanistan is being handled. And because you boys love us girls so much you want to protect us, shield us from your inner pain. Of course you do, silly boys. Why else would you choose to respond with something as pithy and uninformative as “Nothing”? To avoid all of our helpful input? Of course not that.

Nevertheless, I feel compelled to alert you to the fact that the above situation does place you firmly between a rock and a hard place. Should you decide to gamble with a “Nothing”—rather than share the concerns of your heart and mind with your lady love—than three most unfortunate fates will most assuredly befall you.

First, she might just assume that you question her love and devotion. I know, I know: how could she reach such an extreme conclusion based on a single indefinite pronoun?  Let me explain. You see, we women spend countless hours studying the ways of our beloveds. We have studied you the way Darwin studied tortoises on the Galapagos Islands, and we’ve been doing it ever since the first blooms of young love seized our hearts. We take great pride in our ability to know and love you (though, admittedly, we may not always understand you). We know when there is something wrong with you. Were you to imply that perhaps we might be mistaken and that there is actually “Nothing” wrong with you—why, that would essentially be telling us that we are not adequately devoted to you! Do you mean to suggest that we do not know you well enough to sense the slightest seismic shifts in your masculine demeanor? Really now!

Second, as O. Henry alluded to above, the female imagination is a thing of wonder. Indeed, were you to take his suggestion and tell us that you had murdered your grandmother it would pale in comparison to what we ourselves might conclude was truly bothering you. It would be better to just lie to us; otherwise, we will be forced to extrapolate. You agree, don’t you?

Finally, there is the very slightest chance (miniscule, really) that we may—in a moment of weakness—decide that you really are in fact consciously attempting to avoid all of our helpful input, as mentioned earlier. The incisive dialogue…the penetrating, emotionally charged analysis of even your most trivial thoughts…avoided? I don’t imagine I need to tell you the ways in which this would be a very, very bad thing, do I? Think of poor Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction—remember how saddened and betrayed she felt? You wouldn’t want that, would you? No, I didn’t think so.

So, do tell us: What is the matter with you?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hallie Lord married her dashing husband, Dan, in the fall of 2001 (the same year, coincidentally, that she joyfully converted to the Catholic faith). They now happily reside in the Deep South with their two energetic boys and two very sassy girls. They are expecting their fifth child later this summer. In her *ample* spare time Hallie blogs at BettyBeguiles.com and FaithandFamilyLive.com.