Fussin’ and Fighting

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       July 11, 2019


I think it’s a Southern thing. Probably Kentucky-ish, in fact!

My sister made me aware of it. You see, there’s a difference between fussin’ and fighting! The longer a couple is married the more likely that their disagreements are characterized as fussin’. Newlyweds have not put the time in to qualify as fussers. Their conflicts are fights, because egos and power struggles still dominate the battles.

Fussin’ happens in the momentary conversational differences. Quite honestly, the older the couple the more likely the fussin’ derives out of their communication misunderstanding…like not hearing what was said!

The Mrs. will ask, “Why didn’t you answer me?”

            Mr.: I didn’t even know you said anything.

            Mrs.: Oh, you did, too! You never hear me when that ball game is on.

            Mr.: I swear I didn’t!

            Mrs.: The only one who has a right to be swearing is me, because you never listen!”

            Mr.: Would you stop your fussin’?

            Mrs: (without a pause in the conversation) You okay with green beans for dinner?

            Mr.: Why sure! I am a blessed man with a wife who can cook better than Rachel Ray!

            Mrs.: You know it, sweetie!

Fussin’ doesn’t last. It’s just a pause in the rhythm of ongoing conversation. It’s a personalized action verb that gets used by husbands with their friends not in ear shot of their  wives.

Mr.: The Mrs. keeps fussin’ about the fact that I keep forgetting to put the toilet seat down.

           Friend: I hear ya’, Hank. Gertie is fussin’ all the time that I never take her out to dinner.

           Mr.: If they’re not fussin’ about one thing they’re fussin’ about something else.

           Friend: Well, I’m fixin’ to take care of the fussin’!

           Mr.: What are you fixin’ to do?

           Friend: Haven’t figured that out yet, but I’m fixin’ something up.

           Mr.: Why don’t you just take her out to dinner?

           Friend: Why don’t you just put the toilet seat down?

           Mr.: Oh, now you’re fussin’ with me, too!

Fussin’ folk never get divorced. They just scratch each other’s itch until the blood is about to flow, and then kiss like they’re on a amusement park love boat ride.

Fussin’ folk also never raise their voices very much, but have mastered the art of inflection to play the role of the wounded and falsely accused. Fussin’ folk are like two puppies wrestling with one another in the playground of life.

Fighting couples want to win at all costs. Fussers don’t even remember the cause.

My wife and I will celebrate 40 years of blissful fussin’ on July 28. Our oldest daughter can only remember us having one fight in her 37 years and that one was so surprising she almost went into shock. Mostly, we now use phrases such as “I suppose you’re right!”, “It’s not that big of a deal!”, and “No reason to make a big fuss about it!”

And, anyway, she’s usually right, and when she’s probably not right…I just blame it on my hearing!

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