Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 23

Ben and Barb would claim the extra clue from Teresa. I wasn’t too thrilled with that. The odds were good that one of them was the Falcon, or the Scar – if it wasn’t Sheila or Eric.
We took a half hour break before staring the pool games. Same teams, same format, because the losers all wanted a chance at redemption. I went upstairs to check on the weather. The deck was wet, and it was still raining, albeit lightly.
Craig caught up with me in the kitchen. “Got a minute, Colin?”
– “Sure. What’s up?”
Craig didn’t answer right away. He led me into the den. “OK if we talk in here?”
– “No problem.” I said. “What’s on your mind?”
I was expecting something game-related, but he surprised me. “Hey, ah – thanks for teaming me up with Claire.” He wasn’t being sarcastic; Craig was rarely anything but completely genuine. “But listen, ah … I don’t want to step on anybody’s shoes, you know.”
– “Craig, are you talking about Claire? You and Claire?”
– “Yeah. I mean, no – I was talking about you and her. You guys have some history, right? And I saw how she was looking at you. So, I just wanted to ask: are you serious about Claire?”
I felt a tremendous sense of relief. And satisfaction, too. Craig was a truly decent guy. He would be great for her. “No, Craig.” I told him. “You called it right. History. All in the past. And neither of us ever wanted to get serious. It would have made things awkward, you know? With Leo and Eliza, I mean. We’re old friends, and we both think it’s best to stay that way.”
– “You’re sure?” asked Craig. “Because I can back off, if that’s what you want.”
– “Craig – just answer me this: are you interested in Claire?”
– “Yeah. I am. Very much so.”
– “I really appreciate you coming to me like this.” I told him. “It’s a classy thing to do. But the field is wide open, my friend. Better than that, even. Claire has been trying to get your attention for a while now. She was worried that you had a girlfriend, or something.”
– “No, no. Nothing like that. I just … wanted to make sure.”
– “She’s a great girl, Craig.”
– “I know. Hey, thanks, Colin. Thanks a lot.” We shook hands, and parted as friends. This might just turn into a perfect solution for all concerned.
We started playing pool in the basement. It turned into a very, very different game. For one thing, Eric was better than Eliza, changing the balance of power on that team. For another, Sheila was not so good, and Leo was … Leo, so they went from one of the strongest teams to one of the weakest. Claire was still terrible. But the biggest surprise of all was Lena.
Now I know that they have pool halls in Slovenia, because she was a shark. I can hold my own on a pool table, and she was damn good. Unless somebody ran the table on us, we weren’t going to lose.
– “Stacked the teams, Colin?” said Ben. Asshole – he wasn’t complaining when it was ping-pong.
We made it to the finals, against Barb and Ben, and we cleaned their clocks.
It was a great confidence booster for Lena, and she got a lot of positive attention. Beating Ben never gets old, so I enjoyed it, too. But we also prevented those two from getting a second clue. Lena and I went to see Teresa to claim our prize.
– “Congratulations.” she said. “Here you go.” Teresa handed us a teabag each.
I just looked at her.
– “Oh, the expression on your face, Colin!” Teresa actually laughed. “Priceless!” Lena was just as confused as I was, so Teresa took pity on us. “This is a clue to the location of the treasure. Redbeard captured a whole cargo of this from a French merchantman. He liked it so much, he put into it the code for his treasure.”
– “That’s it?” I asked.
– “That’s it. Now I have to try to explain to Lena.” Teresa pulled out a small book. It was a Slovenian-English dictionary.
– “Hey – that’s awesome.” I said. “Could I borrow that, later?”
– “Why?” asked Teresa.
– “So I could maybe use some words that Lena would understand.”
That half-smile crept across Teresa’s face. It was a sight I knew so very well. She was pleased. “We’ll see.” she said.

 

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Tales of Rock: Elton John: I insisted ‘Rocketman’ film be honest about sex, drugs, rock and roll

Music icon Elton John says he insisted that the musical-fantasy biography “Rocketman,” opening Friday, be honest about his life’s sex, drugs and rock and roll.

During the movie’s long gestation, wrote John in an article Sunday for The Observer Magazine of the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, “Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life. I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the ’70s and ’80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.”

The film, eventually rated R, stars Taron Egerton as John and Jamie Bell as his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, whose numerous hits together include “Rocket Man,” “Daniel,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Candle in the Wind” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

“[S]ome studios wanted us to lose the fantasy element and make a more straightforward biopic,” Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John continued, “but that was missing the point. Like I said, I lived in my own head a lot as a kid. And when my career took off, it took off in such a way that it almost didn’t seem real to me. I wasn’t an overnight success by any means … But when it happened, it went off like a missile: there’s a moment in ‘Rocketman’ when I’m playing onstage in the Troubadour club in LA and everything in the room starts levitating, me included, and honestly, that’s what it felt like.”

During that tumultuous period, he wrote, “I’d also lost my virginity, to a man — John Reid [played in the film by Richard Madden], who later became my manager — and come out as gay, at least to my friends and family. This all happened in the space of three weeks. To say it was a lot to take in is a terrible understatement.”

 

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The Number One Difference Between How Men and Women Form Bonds in Relationships

How communication styles affect intimacy.

There are many differences between men and women, including in the types of communication styles they use to bond and create intimacy in relationships. And when couples aren’t on the same page, differences in men and women’s communication styles can cause unnecessary tension.

Unfortunately, this easily avoidable relationship problem is all-too-common.

As an example of how differences in communication styles can escale, take a conflict my client, Andrew, shared with me.

While his wife, Ceceila, was getting something for him, he jokingly said, “Don’t break it.” She came back with a fairly harsh, “What’s going on with you?” He reacted to her judgment of him, and it didn’t go well from there.

After a few minutes, they calmed down and talked about it. She understood why her tone upset him, but even though they had talked about this very issue over and over, he didn’t get why his joke upset her.

He judged her as being too sensitive and she ended up feeling even more hurt and unheard. She believed that his judgmental ‘jokes’ were passive-aggressive, and she wanted him to address this. However, he looked inside and when it came to the sarcastic jokes, he couldn’t find any aggression within himself.

This is when the importance of communication styles in relationships come into play.

I told Andrew that I, too, would not have liked the comment and asked him if he was open to going deeper with what was going on. He was on board.

The first thing he said was, “This is the way I and my guy friends are with each other. We are constantly sarcastic, insulting and ridiculing of each other. But only with my close friends. We make fun of each other a lot and it’s fun.”

“Andrew, is this the way you and your friends connect with each other?” I asked.

“Yes! It’s fun and it’s bonding. You know, guys don’t share their feelings a lot and this is a way of being close.”

“I understand. So it’s not actually passive-aggressive. But I know that you know that Cecelia hates it. Why do you do it with her?”

“I just forget. I slip up. I’m with guys a lot and we do this all the time so sometimes I just forget.”

“Would you be willing to share our conversation with Cecelia? I think it might help her to understand why you do this and to not get so hurt by it.”

“Yes, I’d be happy to talk with her. And I’m glad to finally understand it myself!”

Andrew later sent me a Reddit thread about this topic. One of the quotes on this page is interesting: “Men socialize by insulting each other, but don’t really mean it. While women socialize by complimenting each other but don’t really mean it.”

I think there is some truth when it comes to gender differences between men and women in communication styles.

Women often “compliment” each other insincerely or are “catty” behind each other’s backs. It’s one way the wounded self tries to connect when they haven’t learned to connect with their heart. And, for some men, the bantering can be hurtful rather than bonding.

The real issue is that many people never learned how to have an open heart and connect with their feelings when communicating.

Men likely learned in their families to connect with insults and sarcasm, and women learned to connect with compliments and gossip. Yet, these forms of connection can leave each person feeling empty and unsatisfied, if there is a lack of the authentic energy of love.

For both men and women, these indirect behaviors can be tricky, depending on the intent and context. If you are a person who has learned to relate to others this way — whether it’s “masculine” insult or banter or the “feminine “cattiness” — it is important to really examine how the behavior makes you and the people with whom you engage in these behaviors feel.

If you both feel a genuine sense of intimacy, ease, connection, caring, and fun, then great. If not, it is worth looking at the behavior to see if it might be one of the many ploys of your wounded self to try and feel in control or to keep others at bay (which is most likely), rather than connecting.

The only thing that truly fills us is love.

As you practice Inner Bonding and learn how to love yourself, you may find that you no longer enjoy the way the wounded self has learned to connect and communicate.

If you are a sensitive man, you may find that you have had to ignore your hurt feelings regarding the insults and judgments you might experience with other men and it no longer feels okay to ignore it.

Being true to yourself is always the important thing to do and often it takes some work to discover that truth.

Inauthentic ways of communicating often leave us feeling bad, while authentically sharing love and intimacy is always deeply fulfilling.

 

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