Comments you should never offer

About to give birth…to the new novel.  Any time, any day.  When available will share that.

For reasons unknown let alone fathomable I thought today of things you should never say.  Silly, maybe irrelevant, perhaps even
irreverent, but here goes:

To someone knocked down by event or accident or “whatever,” who’s obviously hurting, either emotionally or physically or both:  I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.

No, not true.  We NEVER know the feelings of others.   Better:  I care about how you are, how you feel.   Please let me know how I can be helpful and supportive.  THEN.
Let the person fashion/suggest the next step.

Once said [yes, by yours truly] after a worship service, to a new member coming through the greeting line, Oh, nice to see you…when’s the baby due?

As you can anticipate, she wasn’t pregnant, her husband had “left Dodge for good,” and there I was.  A hand to the mouth while I coughed was no consolation.  Flat-out screw-up.  I never said that to her again.  And, in fact, it was one of those lessons-learned.  Never said something like that again.

Better:  “Thanks for worshipping with us today,” and offer that NEVER looking at any bulge.

When on a fishing boat with a guide, drifting by another guide, NEVER yell across to them, How many fish have you caught?

One of my fishing friends did that once and our guide, if looks could kill and homicide an option…well, you can imagine.  Guides have an ethic:  Never ever talk about how many…only offer the generic, “Hope all is well.”

And, if you ever go in a boat with a fishing guide, NEVER bring along either bananas or fried chicken.  Two of the most taboo-items ever when fishing
in a guide-boat.

Never ever comment about someone’s gain or loss of weight, Boy, you’ve really
lost weight since I last saw you.
  Was said to me recently.  Nothing could be further from the truth, in terms of the bad relationship I have had the last year with the scale.

I only smiled, one of those benign smiles that says nothing…when politeness trumps honesty.

And finally, perhaps the greatest “I don’t really mean this”—when someone says, Let’s
have lunch.

The better offer would be, “How about having lunch with me next week…each day but Friday can work.”

That way, you’ve offered something specific and you are looking to make it happen.

Well, enough for now.

On the personal side of things:  held my grandson, Noah, this afternoon.  He’s great…opened his blue eyes, then promptly fell asleep…must have been my sermon.
Diane’s in Lexington, Kentucky, with her sister, Cheryl, to visit family.  Diane and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this Friday.  [Yeah, team!]

And, a pleasant surprise when the Head Librarian of the Tillamook County Library last week ordered 4 copies of “Murder On Tillamook Bay,” and has arranged an evening for me to speak in their Common Room on “Writing my first novel,” plus do a reading and sign books.  That will be on Wednesday, September 14.  Wow, how special is that?

In addition, I have set up two fishing trips on the very real Tillamook Bay…the fall Chinook have begun to show up.  And I gotta believe, unlike the first chapter in the novel, if I catch a fish, bring the netted prize to the boat, I won’t hear a rifle shot.


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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