Avoid "Clyde" and "Earl"

Posted by on Jun 7, 2011 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

This is just a stock photo.  : )

Dear Sigourney,

The winter of 1973 here in Columbus, GA was a memorable one.  I was in third grade.  We had a record snowstorm and its effects lingered for more than just that day.  The sweet memories still live on.  School was cancelled and life was grand as Steve, Louann, and I built snow forts and hid behind them throwing snowballs at one another.  We would hide and hurl.  We kept Mother busy as we would come in from the cold and she would toss our wet clothes in the dryer, prepare hot chocolate, and get us warmed up to venture out again for more  hiding and hurling snowballs.

Fast forward some years and picture me as a young bride, BC (before children).  Rob and I were blessed to attend a marriage conference that Dennis and Barbara Rainey led.  (They still do those weekends to remember.  Click on their names to learn more if you’re interested).  We came away with much good instruction and encouragement that I believe has been a foundational blessing in our marriage.

One of those excellent topics they walked the group through was that of constructive arguing and the importance of not dredging up your spouse’s past mistakes and throwing them back in his face as a weapon of mass destruction.  They called this tactic “hiding and hurling”. 

Much like my memory of those fun snowball fights where we would prepare and stockpile our snowballs, hiding them from each other in order to hurl them at the proper time to “take them out” of the game, such is the case of hiding a stockpile of those things he has done or said in the past that you find a sure weapon to hurl back at him during an argument.

It could go down something like this.  “Remember when YOU said __________ to me?  Well, I do and you are so mean and….so on!”  Or, “I remember when you did __________.  That was the stupidest thing you have ever done!”

Hide it.  Hurl it.  Down the target goes.

I know this works.  I’ve been on both ends of the battle.

Now, you know Rob and I have a crazy sense of humor.  Shortly after we attended this marriage conference, one of us (probably me) forgot this topic we had just finished learning about and discussing together and out came the ammo in the midst of a more serious discussion (aka. argument) between the two of us.  We stopped, looked at each other, and chuckled as we realized what we were doing.  Hiding and hurling.

Amidst the chuckles we somehow came up with the phrase for hide and hurl we now refer to as “Clyde and Earl”.  Sometimes, when we sense a tense moment of opportunity for “Clyde” or “Earl” to show up and fling their verbal snowballs at the other, we break the ice and remind ourselves that “Clyde” and “Earl” need not be flinging the dirt, snow, or nasty comment at the other and we move on.

So, now you know the story of “Clyde” and “Earl”.  Avoid them.

I love you,

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