Chapter 7: My Husband Gets In Hot Water – I Want To Make Soup!
Are you a talker? Or do you prefer the written word? Are you the outspoken type or do you prefer quiet and will do almost anything to avoid conflict? Well, in the best of times, communication between spouses can be challenging. Throw in different communication preferences and it can seem almost impossible. In this excerpt, Red's in the midst of her crisis so communicating with her husband becomes even more critical than usual. And what does she do? She further complicates the situation by wanting to communicate differently than she usually does. Talk about a recipe for disaster!
P. S. – This excerpt's relevant whether or not you're going through a crisis. In fact, communicating with others in a method they prefer is not only extremely effective, but may be one of the "secrets" to good communication. Especially as you can use it in all aspects of your life – family, friends, and even in the workplace.
Sometimes I wish I could be more like Black in that she seems to get away with being blunt, almost to the point of being rude, and yet she can pull it off because it is totally "in character" for her. There's a consistency and sense of predictability in how she handles things. And maybe that was part of Nick's and my problem right now. We were acting out of character.
I wanted to fight and talk about things while Nick wanted to "retreat." And we really didn't know how to deal with the changes. Which made communication even more important. And challenging!
|Is it? Does that mean the love letter worked? Wink-wink.|
|Haven't written it yet, but I plan to.|
|Good. Remember when you came back to the States ready to divorce Nick? You were complaining that Nick did not communicate.|
|Yes. I think I know where this is going, but I hope I'm wrong.|
|Sounds like you remember the talking stuffed animals.|
|They didn't talk much, they wrote me letters.|
|Same difference. Nick communicated his feelings to you through letters "written" by stuffed animals. I remember specifically asking you if you really thought the animals had written to you.|
|Back then I thought it was cute and amusing, now it would piss me off because I want Nick, and not the stuffed animals, to talk to me.|
|As I explained then, and it is still relevant, it does not matter how you two actually communicate as long as you communicate. Letters from stuffed animals, e-mails, conversations … whatever works!|
|OK. I had forgotten how that conversation ended up being a turning point. It helped me understand how we could work together. Maybe I should prop up one of the stuffed animals with the Real Estate section of today's paper and a note "I don't want to live on the street!"|
|I might change the note to "I need a new home!" But otherwise … whatever works!|
I never had intended to tell Black about the letters from the stuffed animals, as I thought she would find it childish and immature. It just slipped out. Looking back, I understood they were the best way for Nick to express himself, yet maintain his "proper" appearance. I forgot the important role those letters played. It was as if I now needed to take a step backwards and remember things that helped in the past, before I made decisions about how to move forward.
Chapter 2: Why Can't Money Grow On Trees?
Red was scared, for herself, and for her family. Having to deal with personal finances for the first time is scary. Especially if you believe you need a finance degree to figure it out. Yes, it's human nature to have a fear of the unknown, but feeling you have to face it alone makes it even worse. Red knew that her sister, Black, was there for her, but it wasn't in the "warm and fuzzy" and sympathetic way that Red wanted.
P.S. – If you were expecting banter between Red and Black, then this Book Bite might surprise you.
Chapter 12: Desserts Spelled Backwards Is Stressed. And Vice Versa.
Although Red has tackled most of the critical issues brought on by her new "life", she now hears herself saying the most outrageous things (at least for her) and recognizes her behavior's out of character. Nothing serious, but enough for her to realize she was becoming overwhelmed by stress caused by her new responsibilities. Black sends her an email with a sarcastic stress management technique, but Red needs more than humor.
P. S. – This excerpt's as relevant today as it was when Red was going through her crisis. Maybe even more so. Because for Red, she realizes it's not always about learning something new, sometimes it's about remembering something learned in the past.
||I loved your e-mail. Obviously, I can't "drown" my problems, but I sure need some other ways to reduce stress. Any ideas?|
|Here are your options:|
A: Identify and eliminate things that are causing you stress.
B: Adjust your attitude and/or outlook.
C: Find a way to temporarily escape.
D: All of the above.
||I vote for C. Listing what's causing me stress won't eliminate any of them. And I'm not sure what you mean by adjusting my attitude or outlook.|
We really struggled with what excerpts from our bestselling book, What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!, to initially put here, as everyone seems to have a favorite, and the topics in our book are so varied. (We hope to get the Table of Contents posted within the next few weeks so you can see what we mean.)
Plus, this site was quickly pulled together in response to recent requests from our readers, fans, and especially educators, so we've had to prioritize what initially got posted. Good news is that we'll continue to post excerpts and hope they not only give you some insight into the very differing personalities of Red and Black (if you find Red unbelievably naïve and Black extremely sarcastic, don't worry, most people do), but also provide you with some amusement and/or useful information.
Included in the forthcoming excerpts will be stories from the book that people seem to enjoy when we talk about them in speaking engagements. Especially since Black finds it really annoying when authors reference an excerpt or a story and then say … to find out the details, buy the book.
In fact, we're not even selling our book on this site – yet. In our rush to get this site up, we decided to let the shopping cart wait for the next phase (don't tell our attorneys or accountants, and definitely not our mom, who's always asking Red how many books we've sold). Make sure to sign up on the "sticky bar" at the bottom of this page to get Red & Black Banter in your inbox, as well as to be the first to know when the book's available.
P.S. - We know that you can find used copies on Amazon, but if you can't wait and want a new (or autographed) copy it's as easy as just contacting Red (the nice one) here.