Good listening skills

I have to hand it to my good friend Bubba.  He attempts to pacify his lovely wife’s endless desire to talk about meaningless, unrelated, unimportant subjects for endless hours on end. 
These are not discussions as much as one-sided long winded mindless ramblings about her friends, Oprah, Judge Judy, and something about what some lady was wearing to the post office. 
Her ramblings are only interrupted by her desire to breathe… occasionally.  Surely, her babble would test the patience of Job and the deaf.
According to Bubba, the conversation with its endless pointless painful detail can describe his lovely wife’s day to the point of size of her servings, the difficulty in choosing today’s wardrobe, or how someone didn’t even make eye contact with her when she waived. 
He explains that after a long day, his sole desire is to eat and watch TV to unwind; but apparently these prolonged monologues can last most of an evening.
He claims that he truly loves his lovely wife; but “Boy can she talk.” 
I just don’t see why I can’t come home and chill out drink a cold brew and work the remote.  “Is that asking too much?” 
But no sooner than I walk in that door and she launches into a story that lasts longer than the time it actually took to occur in real time. 
“I’m getting pretty good at looking like I am paying attention…kinda like going to the dentist; you just hope it doesn’t last too long.”
He claims that he uses all the good listening skills like nodding his head, grunting, and saying things like, “How nice.” “No kidding” and “No way!”
The “No way”, always results in a complete review and rehash with emphasis added and includes body language to make the point that she is NOT kidding. 
Thank goodness that his wife’s sister sometimes calls, which usually means Bubba can hide in the garage to seek solace and comfort from the dog until it is time to come in again or at the very least stab himself repeatedly with a dull rusty nail.
Bubba has said that “listening” to his lovely wife is not a complete waste of time, as he is often able to review the meaning of some of the subtle scenes from “The Godfather” or what the spark plug gap for his old Chevy Camero was. 
Her inane chatter sometimes soothes his body sufficiently that he can work out problems that have been bothering him at work. 
He has perfected his “really I care” look.  Which when he showed it to me, I almost felt like we needed a group hug, but I resisted as it was way past the acceptable male to male bonding protocol for our homo-phobic world.
Bubba tends to like to work things out in his head, so going to the garage and being quiet is always the best thing to do when he has a problem. 
But, he claims his wife has to talk things out so he is big on keeping his mouth shut and letting her rattle on.  Once and only once did he say, “I sure hope you’re done talking, cuz I am done listening.”  But that was back before he had sensitivity training.
Bubba has been married for many years, sometimes it seems longer I am sure, but his willingness to pretend to listen has been crucial to their marriage and has gotten them through some rough times. 
Otherwise she would start thinking that they have a communication problem, which they don’t, he claims.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

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