It's true--you do need to know when, in fact, hold them. I usually do know when it would prudent to hold them, and in this case, "them" is my tongue, or whatever snarky, defensive, or downright mean thing I'm about to say. Ah, but knowing when to hold them is different from know how to hold them. No, Kenny Rogers didn't cover that part of the relationship game when he sang his professorial top 40 hit. Enter joke about Kenny Rogers' Roasters being super gross here.
When I was growing up, I found solace in sayings like "acknowledge, move on" and "knowing is half the battle." For me, half of the battle was PLENTY, especially if it was the first half. That's when the threats are thrown down, when the posses gather with bicycle chains and bandannas. The second half of the battle is when everyone dies, and the victors, breathing heavily and bleeding from their arms and heads, survey the battlefield, collect their dead, and head back to their homes. No thank you.
This explains why I excel at ditching in the middle of fights--no, let's say arguments--with my husband. If I decide it's time to fuck shit up, I do just that. And that gets old pretty darn fast. At some point, usually after he's tried to diffuse the situation or unsuccessfully pacify me three or four times (which is also when he starts to get pretty pissed off at me, and therefore invested in said argument), I decide it's time to acknowledge something obvious ("We have different perspectives on that" or "That's the difference between men and women" or "I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree") and move. the. fuck. on. And of course, that's just about the time Max has gotten riled up and ready to see this thing through.
It's amazing that he has the power to just shake his head, step aside, and let me drive the argument. I tend to steer that wreck over to shoulder, pop the hood and wait for the tow truck to arrive. Tonight, the tow truck a vodka cocktail. Good night.