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>Say No More

February 9, 2010


I’m trying to pinpoint when I started falling in love with words. It’s not like I’ve always had the compulsion to write. I think it was a latent trait, lying hidden for decades only just now rearing its ornery little head.

It might have been in the 4th grade when Mrs. Roback gave us license to read during class, even while she was talking. It was that important, in her mind, that we fall in love with words. (She didn’t have to tell me twice.) My nose was in a book from that day onward; I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Our local library kept me stocked with Barbara Cartland’s and Regency Romances and Beverly Cleary’s and Judy Blume’s (high-literature for the preteen girl). Coincidentally, my love affair with history and art was born at the same time. (I could recite you the royal lineage from Mary Stuart onward by the 6th grade – so there was some good to be found in all that romantic dreck.) I read in the car, on the playground; I would even get up early for school just so I could read before getting dressed.

Another hint might of been that I did SO love to write compositions. Essay tests were my FAVORITE (I should have realized then that this was weird). If an essay was to be written, I knew I could ace the test. Facts, dates, multiple choice…not so much. In college, I chose lit classes, studying the Victorian novel and Children’s Literature by choice and shoe-horned them into a major (we called it “Humanities” which means “hodge-podge of classes that sort of kind of are all about the same period in time, in this case, 19th Century Europe, and therefore we can call it a major and you can graduate and go do something completely different.”

Out of school, I worked with and supervised copywriters, but I wasn’t one of them, not till much later. Budget cuts meant that I began writing copy for my clients and found I not only liked it, I was pretty good at imitating the voice of whomever I was writing for. I started ghost-writing, writing presentations, speeches, even blogs and white papers. I started keeping an online journal after Scooby was born, more for the sake of our out-of-town family than myself (or so I said), but despite knowing that all 6 of my readers were hardly checking in frequently, I pounded away, giving vent to emotions and epiphanies alike.
I guess it has been a gradual discovery that I am in love with words. I love to read them and I love to write them, and I dearly love to speak them in large, copious amounts (another clue: I never got in trouble in school for anything except talking out of turn. Incessant talking. Sorry Scooby, it’s all Mama’s fault.)

Do you remember the song “You Say it Best When You Say Nothing at All“? At the time of its release, I was dating a guy that I fancied myself quite in love with. The thing was, he was a talker, like me. In fact, I secretly wished he would just shut up sometimes and STOP talking. I liked the song because that’s what I WANTED to have, not what I had.

Not long after, we broke up (big surprise, that) and I forgot all about it until, laying on the couch and nursing a cold last week (my own, for once) I heard it on the soundtrack of Notting Hill (perfect movie for a sick day!)

Suddenly, it hit me.

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near
You drown out the crowd
Try as they may, they can never defy
What’s been said between your heart and mine

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me wherever I fall
You say it best, when you say nothing at all

You see, the funny thing is, the love of my life turned out to be a man of few words. He loves with actions – it’s in the way he makes my morning latte, in the way he empties the dishwasher, cleans the kitty litter and wrestles with my boys. It’s in the way he does the nasty stuff that he knows would’ve made me gag – like plunging toilets and killing spiders and sticking his hand into the garbage disposal to fish out Scrappy’s spoon. It’s in the way he does the mundane daily tasks, over and over, trying to lessen my load, and in so doing, his actions speak far louder than words ever could.

I fuss at him sometimes, for being taciturn. I do so love to hear that I am loved, perhaps even more so because it’s not so common as it was in that prior relationship.
But, realizing now, I’ve gotten just what I wished for. Clearly, I harbor enough words for us both; I don’t need help filling up time and space with my babble. And thus, I have it just right – there’s no competition for words in this house – he lets me have that honor and he does what he does best.

He says nothing at all,
but does everything he can,
and in the end,
the lover of words
is loved.
7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2010 5:49 am

    >You: "Can I get an Amen on lovin' the strong but silent type? On the 'I've enough words for us both?'"Me: "A-MEN, sistah! Preach it!"

  2. February 9, 2010 4:21 pm

    >Great post. You've got yourself a keeper!

  3. February 9, 2010 10:09 pm

    >I loved to read at an early age and it was a great escape. But I liked numbers a bit more. Sometimes it felt like being Milo in "The Phantom Tollbooth", one of my favorite books.

  4. February 10, 2010 1:11 am

    >"The smile on your face let's me know that you need me, it's the truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me…" I see Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in the garden… I love that movie. My hubby is also a man of few words. He loves to write though. We are opposites attract. I can talk talk talk and he can write write write. I think that's good Adelle. We all balance each other out.Final note, "I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy asking that him to love her." Such great lines…in such few words!

  5. February 11, 2010 1:12 am

    >I'm so glad you fell in love with words/writing.I'm also glad I got a little glimpse at 4th-grade -Adelle 🙂

  6. February 15, 2010 3:59 am

    >My husband's an "Acts of Service" kind of guy, too. This is probably why I found some of the things your guy said last Sunday to be so thought-provoking for me. (And Greg, I *love* the Phantom Tollbooth, too. SO good.)

  7. February 16, 2010 5:43 pm

    >"These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves." – Gilbert HighetCheers from a fellow bibliophile…Heather

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