Friday, June 15, 2007

Garrulous Old Man

Several times recently I’ve heard my dear sweet husband, of less then three months, telling someone that he is in training to be a garrulous old man. Not wanting to admit that I was clueless to what he was referring, I had to spend some time online seeking the correct spelling and finally the definition of the word "garrulous."

For those of you who, like me, need the word explained, here is what the American Heritage Dictionary had to say. gar·ru·lous adj. 1. Given to excessive and often trivial or rambling talk; tiresomely talkative. 2. Wordy and rambling: a garrulous speech. And the thesaurus gave me Adj. 1. garrulous - full of trivial conversation; "kept from her housework by gabby neighbors"
chatty, gabby, loquacious, talkative, talky, voluble - marked by a ready flow of speech; "she is an extremely voluble young woman who engages in soliloquies not conversations"

Well, since learning this definition I have assured my husband that I will have him a tee-shirt made stating that he is a "Trainee in the Garrulous Old Men’s Club." for his upcoming birthday. My Frank certainly lives up to this description, NOT.

Like all women I have heard all the jokes that men make about how women can spend hours in conversation and not say a thing that they consider worth hearing. Well that does not apply to my Frank. This man continues to amaze and astound me with the amount of trivial, factual and complicated knowledge that he has stored away. When you combine all the stories culled from 30 years of navy service, the world travels he made at Uncle Sam’s bidding, the number and variety of books that he read idling away off duty hours at sea plus his uncanny ability to never forget a single statistic and who can recall the name of anyone he has ever met; then you have a person that has plenty of interesting stories, factoids and useless trivia locked up inside his head to keep a conversation from lagging.

It is true that my Frank is a “know it all” but he is actually someone that legitimately does know it all, and is not one of those “smart asses that just thinks they do and tries to outdo everyone else. Frank just tells it the way he learned it, his facts are seldom wrong and he is genuinely not trying to be a show off or a knowledgeable jerk. While Frank may be wordy and rambling he is certainly never tiresomely talkative. He is voluble and I suppose a small case could be made for his using soliloquies instead of conversations.

The dictionary defines soliloquies as; A dramatic or literary form of discourse in which a character talks to himself or herself or reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener. And no, Frank does not talk to himself, but, he does like to give long dissertations on an assortment of topics. And, if I were to be completely honest then I would have to admit that he is sometimes not addressing a listener or I am not qualified on the subject to carry on an actual conversation. Truth is, that growing up in a house with twelve siblings I developed a life long ability to tune out the conversations around me and become solely focused on my own thoughts. So if I am not paying attention or responding then I suppose the soliloquies definition might apply.

Sorry dear, you were right when you accused me the other day of not always listening to you. But, I only do it when you get overly engrossed in your operations of a navy carrier mode or want to expound on the complexities and virtues of aspartame over saccharine or some equally enlightening topic.

I will admit that when getting involved in conversations with my sweet husband, I sometimes feel as if it is my first day back at school after a very long absence and I am leagues behind the rest of the class and will never catch up. But, that is a good thing. Where he is concerned I really have to stay on my toes and keep my wits about me and it is a very rare day that I do not go to bed with a lot more knowledge then I started the day with. I use to question his facts on occasion and he was always able to prove me wrong. Now, I just head for the old computer and do my own research before I end up finding my extra wide foot stuck in my mouth.

And, in case you’re wondering, this little “Salute to the man of the hour” was just my way of letting my Frank know that he will never be a garrulous old man. One, he just does not fit the profile. And two, I will not allow him to become an “old man” because then I would have to admit to being an “old lady” and that is just not going to happen.

I swear! So there!

And, Frank darling, I do love you ------ and your soliloquies! Really I do.

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