Chat with Deb: Fighter or Lover?

Fighter? Nah! Lover? Ummm…

Jack Herlocker
3 min readMar 28


Image by author using DALL-E, then modified

Harry Hogg answered the question of whether he was more of a lover or a fighter.

Which raised the question for me in my mind.

ME: Debster, am I more of a lover or a fighter?

Deb looks at me, hoping for more clues as to where I’m going with this. Nope, nothing.

DEB: Honey, you hate to argue. With anybody about anything, mostly, but especially not with friends and definitely not with family. And that’s about the lowest level of conflict that could be called fighting, so I think we can rule out you as a fighter.

I was in US Navy subs during the Cold War, and there were a couple times I thought I was going to die in a violent sort of way¹, but that wasn’t actually fighting, really.

The closest I came to an actual fight was while I was tourist in Edinburgh. I was strolling along one of the side streets, checking out shops, and became aware of a skinhead shadowing me on the opposite side of the street. I stopped and checked out a window; he stopped on his side and watched me. I resumed walking; he resumed walking. Hmmm, there was a cemetery up ahead, if I ducked in there I might be able to ambush him…

At which point my Navy hand-to-hand combat training kicked in. So rather than enter the cemetery, I waited until a bus came between my stalker and me, doubled back and entered a shop, then retreated out the back. Because the Navy taught me that, when confronted by someone in a potentially violent situation, the first thing to do is run away. So I did. (The second thing to do is try to talk my way out of it.²)

ME: But do you really see me as a lover?

DEB: Okay, when you say “lover,” I think of your romantic side. You give me neat cards with poetry. You make sure I have flowers for our anniversary, sent to our B&B ahead of time. You think of special things to do for me, like encourage me to color my hair again. So all that, to me, is what makes you a lover.

I can see that.

I could also point out that I was a virgin until I was thirty-one, basically because I wanted my first experience to be with someone who loved me — somebody sober, that is.³ And then I found sex to be nice, but not nearly as nice as being with somebody I love who loves me back. Cuddling is just as satisfying for me, and usually much easier.⁴

But yes, if we take “lover” as someone who loves and is loved, rather than rating sexual enthusiasm and prowess, I guess I qualify as a lover.

I can live with that.

¹I can give you the declassified version: We were out, somewhere, doing something, and then something happened, and we thought we were going to die. Then something else happened, and we didn’t. The End. (I’d love to tell you the classified version is more exciting, but it would barely make a paragraph in a Tom Clancy novel. Although I admit I found it very interesting when I was there at the time.)

²The third thing, if #1 and #2 fail, is go all out at them, even if they might get killed. Our instructor explained that there are non-lethal methods to overpower someone, but they take frequent practice and if done badly will still get someone killed. Probably us. Don’t want to kill somebody? Give option #1 another try.

³In my youth, I was apparently a babe magnet⁵ when viewed through beer goggles. Alas, I rapidly discovered that a drunken romance lasts only as long as the intoxication does, and I wanted something real and a tad more permanent.

⁴Also, nobody has ever complained about sleeping on the cuddle spot. At least not to me.

⁵Deb asked me if the women who threw themselves at me when drunk knew me already?
ME: Some better than others, but yes.
DEB: So basically, they knew if they threw themselves at you, you’d catch them and set them down safely.
ME: So “babe magnet” might not be the best description, is what you’re saying?
DEB: Sorry, honey!



Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.