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Monday, September 19, 2011

What It's Not

If you follow me on Facebook, you may recall  that I recently posted about how my husband, after 14 years of marriage to a native English speaker (me), still persists in calling the pharmaceutical reps that visit the hospital "drug dealers." Sometimes when my husband starts to tell me a story about what happened at work that day, he'll pause, remembering that he's been corrected in the past, and start the story with, "You know those guys who aren't drug dealers?"

That reminds me of another story from our family archives. My husband's high school friend was killed in a motorcycle accident, so my husband is vehemently anti-motorcycle (take it up with him, not me), and he has always told our sons he never wants to see them on a motorbike. When our boys were going through that transportation fascination stage (at about ages 3 to 5), motorcycles were naturally a part of it. One day we were walking down the street and we happened upon a hyper tricked-out bike. It was that sparkly fiberglass in purple, with a side car and lots of chrome everywhere. My older son walked all the way around it, clearly awed, and then said, "When I grow up, this is exactly the bike I'm not going to have."

Thinking about these stories got me considering the power of saying what isn't, rather than saying what is. The subtlety in that (sometimes), the blatancy (sometimes), the humor or the poignancy (again both sometimes). I predict I'll be employing that technique is some poetry soon.

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