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Carol Perkins: Home self is the truest self

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By Carol Perkins

A typical Sunday is to come home from church, have lunch, and disappear for the perfect nap, which is guilt free from chores I feel I should be doing instead of stretching out and drifting away.

Last Sunday was no different. After lunch, I disappeared into the bedroom down the hall from the den, stretched out under the bedspread of the made-up bed, and finished the Auburn/Tennessee game while Guy reclined in his chair in the den and watched golf.

While on the edge of dropping off, I heard a shout, "Carol, you alright?"

What did he think would be wrong? Had I been talking in my semi-sleep or rolled off the bed and not felt it?

I answered, "Yeah, Why?"

He said, "Just checking." I caught on that he was making a joke. Sometimes I can't tell.

So I waited for about five minutes and yelled, "Guy?"

He replied, "Yeah, what?"

I said, "Are you alright?"

He answered, "Fit as a fiddle," he said. "Why?"

I replied, "Just checking."

We all need our space and silence. Many couples can ride from home to Louisville without saying two words and no one is upset, mad, or pouting. They are just thinking and riding or driving.

Guy and I do this all the time. We might listen to the radio, but most of the time, he thinks and I play a game on the phone, read or sleep. We don't have to talk. Maybe we have talked out. We've covered politics, religion, community affairs (both types), his work, my writings, his plans for the yard this summer, and my plans for the inside of the house. We have gone through the topics that come with children, teenagers, and young adults. We might talk about our adult children and our grandchildren, but they live far enough away we don't know their problems or their daily lives.

One of my acquaintances told about riding across the country with her husband and they said very few words to each other. "Is that normal," she asked. I don't know what is normal, but Guy and I can easily do that. However, when the dynamics of the people change, so does the conversation.

When my women friends and I travel, we talk non-stop from point A to point B. In a vehicle, we don't turn on the radio; we are the radio.

In an airplane, passengers can hear us because we talk to them or each other across the aisles. If there is a celebrity on the plane, we will spot him/her and tell others around us, "Did you see Vince Gill up there?" We wouldn't want others to miss what we've seen.

The reason we talk so easily is that we don't see each other daily or even weekly. We have catching up to do. Men are the same way. If they go on a golfing or a fishing trip, they do a lot of talking, joking, and telling stories.

We don't always act the same with our family as we do with others. At work, we may be more engaging, more fun, and more entertaining. Most of us have several versions of ourselves but the closest one to our true selves is the home version.

Listen to Carol's podcast at for entertaining stories and a replay of Susan and Carol-Unscripted on 99.1 the Hoss in Edmonton.

This story was posted on 2019-03-21 08:41:11
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