Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: TALKATIVE (09/08/16)
- TITLE: Halfway
By Terry Bovinet
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
As an extrovert to the extreme, he comfortably initiated conversations often moving from gathering to gathering with a relaxed ease that fueled him. Jim naturally assumed everyone would want to talk to him whether as the pastor or just Jim.
“Running for office again, Jim?” A church elder, Mark, teased Jim knowing he opened himself up for a snappy retort.
“Do I have your vote? And a hefty campaign contribution?” Jim fired back as those who heard the jesting raised the decibel level with their laughter.
But the person he bothered the most with his never-ending chitchat also lived under the same roof and shared the same bedroom with him. His wife, Jan - an introvert to the extreme - at first found Jim’s incessant talking interesting and amusing. She enjoyed hearing the energy he exuded in his monologues and it took pressure off her to contribute anything of substance, or really anything at all, to the conversation. Jim did not remain quiet long enough for her to speak, typical of most of his interactions, but Jan did not relish speaking so she let this pattern endure.
With people at church, neighbors, and friends, Jim would handle the social arena taking Jan off the hook while she would take her place out of the fray. She would politely answer any questions asked of her, but with short responses and just enough enthusiasm so as not to offend. In the background, she could often hear Jim’s boisterous laughter that easily rose above the setting.
When they returned home, Jim continued chatting as if he still stood in the spotlight, but in this case with Jan as the only ear to bend.
“I need to say something to him about this, but will he understand? Will it hurt him?
Her purpose focused on enjoying some momentary silence. She would often stay home from church meetings just to relish the peace and quiet and to reenergize knowing that when he returned, his voice would remain on autopilot that only sleep would finally shut down.
One Sunday morning after the last service, Mark and his wife Barb found Jan seated by herself at the far corner of the sanctuary. Barb suspected Jan’s growing frustration with this issue and excused Mark so she could sit with Jan.
Jan looked at Barb with a labored expression that displayed both welcome and confusion. The two sat in silence for several minutes.
“Barb gets me,” Jan thought. But finally, she needed to speak. “He can exhaust me. Any way to meet in the middle?” Jan asked with a chuckle and a shrug of the shoulders.
“Absolutely. Let me arrange for someone to help you understand each other better by completing a personality profile with no right or wrong answers.”
“But will it help?”
“Money back guarantee,” came the light-heartened response. “God can use many tools to help us discover how He made us so we can appreciate the wonder in each of us.”
“Makes me wonder.” Jan’s delivered this play on words with a smile and hope in her voice.
Barb and Mark talked to Jim and gave him discernment into Jan’s concerns. He readily agreed to complete the profile and discuss it with the trained interpreter Jan had arranged.
“Your results? Not good or bad, just different. You two stand at polar opposite ends of the spectrum,” the expert explained. “As the cliché goes, opposites do attract but sometimes they can drive each other a bit batty.”
While both suspected this truth, actually seeing it in a graph and then reading a summary gave them more insight into themselves and their spouse.
“Looks like I need to shut up more.”
“What do you mean more?” Jan’s sarcastic smirk perfectly framed her humorous intent. “And it looks like I need to talk more.”
“What do you mean more?”
“We can do this. And who knows, everyone may not always appreciate my razor wit and incredible charm!”
“And people may like me for me and not just because I’m your wife – if I let them in. Meet halfway? Deal?”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.