Yet another bad blurt

We blurt, right? That’s part of who many of us are. Thoughts race through our crowded brains and, with no final filter, are unleashed in the same second. We can’t bring the blurts back. Good or bad, mostly the latter, we’re stuck with them.

Let me share my latest.

My wife and I are organizing the living room of our condo. There are several large stacks of albums on the floor, overwhelmingly of the vintage variety. I still have a lot of stuff bought while in college in the late ’60s and early ’70s — Creedence, Stones, Dylan, Doors, Beatles. I don’t keep up with the latest releases and possess only a handful of discs recorded by folks younger than me. MaryAnne is more into folk, Irish and classical, but our tastes occasionally overlap.

The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young reminds me of the youth movement. And Nixon. And my dorm room that was adorned by several anti-Vietnam War posters. And how I went woman-less for most of my higher education because I wasn’t cool.

MaryAnne wasn’t cool either but, unlike me, didn’t aspire to be. I think about how lucky I am to have her. Best friend. Mother of our children. Eager companion when we’re on yet another quest to pad our knowledge of American history.

I watch as she groups the records by genre to make them easier to find. Peter, Paul and Mary over here; “Magical Mystery Tour” over there.

Next to be sorted is “American Pie,” Don McLean’s masterpiece from 1971. MaryAnne cogitates. Does the album belong in the soft-rock side of the cabinet, or should it be placed next to The Association?

I blurt out. “It’s mine.”

An instant later I’m in full-regret mode. We have been married for 39 years. We’re long past being a solo act. These are our records.

But I said it. The evidence is in. The look is on her face.

We’re doing a nice husband-and-wife-type thing, and I ruin it with a nitwit act of selfishness.

I give it my best, “But-but-but-but,” but the damage has been done. The moment has been lost.

MaryAnne is more disappointed than angry. This has happened before. Everything is going great and then my bad self rears up.

I need to do a better job of understanding her feelings. I need to do a better job of thinking before putting my mouth in gear.

It’s like MaryAnne has told me many times. Is it because I can’t? Or because I won’t?

A new thought has emerged. I’ll blurt it out on paper.

I need to do a better job. Because I must.

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