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 By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

What Does the Fox Say?

“A fox is a wolf who sends flowers.” –Ruth Brown

Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom. –Song of Solomon, 2:15

 

If you know about planking and the Harlem Shake, you either have kids of a certain age in your home or you’re very plugged into Internet trends. We have the former – two boys, ages 11 and 15. Neither boy is tuned into Billboard’s Top 100. They couldn’t tell you a thing about Miley Cyrus’s latest hit, thank goodness, or even Justin Timberlake’s. But they both know the words of a whimsical tune called “The Fox,” one of this season’s most downloaded songs. And with good reason. It’s catchy – even though the lyrics about animal noises are preposterous and reminiscent of a pre-school primer. The electronic pop beat drills the question into your head: “What does the fox say?”

And if you’ve seen the music video you know you can’t look away. The two comedic brothers, one in a squirrel costume and the other in a bear costume, synchronize their dancing and sing with deadpan seriousness. It’s stupidity makes you keep watching. It’s bizarreness keeps you laughing.

“Dog goes woof, cat goes meow,” our eleven-year old, Jackson, will start singing, and that’s all it takes to crack up the whole family. And when Jackson asks us, with all seriousness, “What does the fox say?” we laugh even harder.

As we were driving earlier this week, Les began singing his own parody of the song: “What does my spouse say?” The boys didn’t find the humor in it, but we both laughed – until we got serious.

“That’s a pretty good question,” I said to Les.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“If we were known for saying a phrase we use a lot with each, I wonder what an observer would report? If there was some impartial person looking in on our marriage, what would they conclude about what we each say most?”

That got us talking. Les confessed, to his embarrassment, that he’d probably be known for saying “Hurry up.” I had to confess that I might be known for saying, “Be careful.” Have you ever considered what phrases you say most frequently to each other? Warning: It can be soul searching. So to brighten the conversation we also asked each other what we most like hearing from each other – besides the obvious, like “I love you.” I learned that Les loves hearing me say, “I’ve got your breakfast ready.” And I love to hear him say, “I’m so glad I’m with you.” Simple phrases, to be sure.

So what does the fox say? We may never know, but one thing is certain: We can keep the “little foxes” in our marriage from spoiling our relationship by being intentional about what we’d like to be known for saying to each other.

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Discuss with your spouse: What would you like to be known for saying to your spouse? What do you like hearing most from your spouse that they might not know?

In case you haven’t seen the video you can see it here.

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