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Marie’s Blog – Finding the Treat in the Silent Treatment

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Hello Internet!

Apparently, some people feel that maybe I’ve been sharing too many personal details about their lives on this blog. I mean, they haven’t exactly come out and told me, but I can read between the lines. Or rather, I can read between the total lack of lines.

After one little comment last week about my husband’s investigation du jour, Hank’s suddenly become extremely cagey. And by cagey, I mean he’s shut up tighter than a clam with a sore throat. He won’t even respond to innocent conversational questions.

ME: “Do you have anything planned for today?”
HIM: “Uh-huh.”

That’s when I get words. Mostly, I just get grunts.

I didn’t realize it was a federal crime to be interested in your husband’s work. But he says this is a “need to know” situation… and according to him, the only things I need to know are:

1. Paws off the mudslide of papers and folders in his “work area”
2. Don’t eavesdrop on his phone calls.

As far as 1) goes, if you want half-eaten Paydays in between your folders, be my guest. And 2), if I happen to be loading the dishwasher or reorganizing the pantry or doing some other important household task in the kitchen while you’re making calls five feet away, can I help it if I overhear the odd word or phrase?

Plus, how could I know Hank wanted me to keep certain details of his investigation confidential? Whatever happened to politely asking your wife if she would mind not mentioning something on her blog — such as that case that you were constantly talking about every time she turned around?

But at least Hank’s made it clear that I need to keep it zipped where his work is concerned. My good friend “Susan” just stopped returning my calls. One day, she’s sitting in my dining room and everything seems fine, and the next, I can’t get her on the phone. Call her house, no answer; call her cell, it goes to voicemail. Really mature, right?

I admit there could be another explanation: Susan and her husband recently bought a small business (I won’t say what — I’ve learned my lesson.) That could be keeping them extra busy. But I ask you, if you’re setting up new relationships with bulk soap vendors and putting ads in the PennySaver offering free detailing and “Hot Wax Tuesdays,” wouldn’t you want to answer your phone once in a while? Or at least send your friend a text to let them know you’re swamped with work and not dead or mad or anything?

I’m pretty sure the last day or so of radio silence is Susan’s passive-aggressive way of letting me know I crossed a line when I blogged about her husband Warren’s little secret a few weeks ago. (Which is completely unfair — I didn’t even SAY what the secret is! And believe me, it’s a shocker. It took some serious self-control on my part to keep those particular cards close to my vest, so to speak.)

Call me crazy, but I think if two people are good, close friends, they should be able to say what’s on their mind. And if I could get Susan on the phone, I would tell her that I’m a little worried about her. Not only is she incommunicado, but I’ve been by her house twice. Her car wasn’t in the driveway — and the last time, there was some strange sports car parked in front of her house.

And sure, maybe that’s the kind of thing that Susan would prefer I kept to myself, but you know what? If that’s true, then she can pick up the phone and tell me, instead of giving me the silent treatment, as if I could read her mind and magically know what she’s so upset about.

Which, can I just say: I have never understood the silent treatment. It accomplishes nothing. If you have a problem with someone, tell them! Otherwise, how will things ever get better? Like when the woman who does my eyebrows went a little crazy — did I let her trim me down to Faye Dunaway? No! I came right out and told Neelum that she needed to check herself before she wrecked myself. And she was fine. It’s amazing how many situations can be fixed by the open and free exchange of feelings. If only my friends and family would see that, they’d be happier people, and I wouldn’t have to blog on eggshells.

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