The Legend of Rhonda Brickman - Christine Kane

As Ben (my new CD’s producer) and I spend day after day in the recording studio, we often share stories about our lives and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

He shared a story that has become an inside joke between him and his partner, Gina. This story has now become part of the recording studio vernacular as well.

Ben and Gina run a yoga studio. They are both are gifted teachers with a devoted following.

One their students is a woman named Rhonda Brickman.

Ben and Gina became friends with Rhonda, and they often spent time after classes talking about their lives.

In these conversations, Rhonda talked about her husband often.  And Ben and Gina began to weave all kinds of stories about this man.  They made him into sort of a corporate giant, giving him all kinds of powerhouse personality traits.  They were even a little intimidated by all of their pre-conceptions about him.

Finally, they all went out to dinner together.  And as it turns out, Rhonda Brickman’s husband couldn’t have been more unlike their fabricated image of him.  All evening long, Ben and Gina glanced at each other in sheer amazement at how completely wrong they had been.

They’ve stayed friends with the couple – but Rhonda Brickman is now legendary in Ben and Gina’s relationship.  Any time either of them begins to obsess or weave pointless stories, the other one will look at the obsessive party and say in a sing-songy voice, “Rhonda Brickmaaaan.”

This serves as an instant reminder of how completely wrong we are when we project our “stuff” onto the situations in our lives, or when we waste our energy telling tales about other people.

During our time in the studio, any time I obsessed about anything or took something personally, Ben would simply sing, “Rhonda Brickmaaaaan” to remind me to shut up and cut it out.

Last night as my husband and I were driving, we had several moments of getting upset with the drivers who weren’t turning off their bright lights as they drove by us.  We occasionally saw them as aggressive, thoughtless people who purposefully left their bright lights on just to create havoc in our lives.

Then, once or twice, I forgot to turn off my bright lights.

So, it was the perfect time to tell my husband about The Legend of Rhonda Brickman.

Today, it’s your turn.

What legends do you innocently spin throughout your day?

  • Pat K.


    I’m (partially) with you. At least it would be good to consider that she may think the world of him. But I guess it might be that she is just bragging/telling tall tales. I’ll just trust Christine to know the woman better than I do. 😉



    Your point about your body size is on the money. Because I think I’m still a size 7, I don’t do anything about my size 10-12 body. I guess it’s time to change that one!


  • Pat K.

    The spinning of ‘stories’ can be a good thing. Especially a good, N-E-W story. I’ll watch myself for the next few weeks to see what stories I weave about myself that are self-deprecating and make them more positive. (I can’t do X….I’m clumsy….I’m fill-in-the-blank.)

    Stories about my mother? THOSE are legends, because she is one. :^)

    Anything my Grandfather did, heck that’s legend. He built this lake with a shovel…no…a SPOON! (Kind of a Paul Bunyan of the family in terms of legend quality.) He told the most fascinating Elfman stories, complete with owls that you road on the back of, and gigantic snow storms that the Elfman would help him out of when he was out in the woods. I wish I could hear JUST ONE MORE STORY! My dog? Greatest Dog in the Universe, naturally.


  • Katharine

    Am I the only one who, rather than reflecting on differences between preconception and actuality, thinks that this is in fact a really lovely comment on Rhonda Brickman and her relationship with her husband? Clearly, she believes he’s amazing.

  • chris zydel

    What is it about cars? I think of myself as a relatively open, fairly compassionate, non-judgmental person until I get behind the wheel of my car and then my mind decides that it has all KINDS of permission to judge people with total abandon! I think that it is so much easier to project onto a person when you can’t see them or have never met them ( like Rhonda Brickman’s hubby), so I have really been making myself look at the people in the cars that have been pissing me off ( when possible) and it does seem to be helping some. Especially the young guy hot shots who speed past me and whip around in front of me and scare the living patootie out of me. Boy oh BOY do I ever want to make THEM bad and wrong! But lately, I’ve been trying to imagine being these guys, really putting myself inside of their hyperdriven, 20 year old hormone fueled bodies, and I have started to realize that they really can’t help themselves! And of course, their wild and crazy driving behavior has nothing at all to do with me. And it makes me IMMENSELY grateful that I am no longer 20 and hormone crazed… well, at least in that way!!

    Thanks again for another great post!

  • Amylia Grace

    I’m usually way off when it comes to my preconceived notions of people vs. my first impressions vs. my later impressions. I know not to trust myself in this regard and to be open-minded about people because they so often are much different from the way I pigeon-hole them in that limited thinking part of my brain that likes to compartmentalized people. There’s freedom in no longer believing that voice!!!

  • KatherineME

    I am not used to my now, size 14 body. I eat the same, play the same, work the same, sleep the same. So why am I not the same size 7 I think of myself as? Yes, I know the reason. My age is not the same. My metabolism is not the same. I just have not accepted these cold hard truths must effect my weight. Today in yoga class, the idea of acceptance came into my practice and in talking with the teacher after class, she said acceptance is the beginning for something new to grow. We were refering to things that came up about balance, but my weight could use that same loving acceptance so that I can grow from here. (Not bigger–God I hope not!) The stuck place I have been is: “I ‘should be’ a size 7 and I won’t be totally content until I am”. I need to accept where I am and be light-hearted and easy about it, like I experienced in yoga. who knows, maybe I will be that size again, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being a bit cranky all the time because I am not. I think I like the idea of sing-songing my own name when I catch myself sulking about my weight. Kaaatheriiiine.

  • Sassy

    I live in Oregon, and like most Oregonians, I like to take my time while I’m driving down the freeway. Every once in awhile though, there will be a car behind me that wants to go uber-fast while I’m trying to pass a car going slower than me. For the most part, I chalk up these tail-gaters to selfish jerks who don’t care about the safety of others, and can’t understand why they don’t have the decency to put on their brakes for a moment.

    Recently though, my son had a major allergic reaction and it was imperative that I drove him to the emergency room on the freeway. I sped the entire way. There were several times I intentionally tailgated the slow cars in front of me to get them to move out of my way because I was in such an emergency. The tables had turned, and now I was the selfish jerk who couldn’t put on her brakes for a moment.

    I now have much more compassion for those people who have pressing needs to get ahead of me. It’s funny how walking for even an instant in someone else’s shoes can create a whole ocean of compassion in us. I hold on to experiences like this one, so that the next time I’m feeling put-off by someone in any situation, I take a deep breath and practice compassion.

    Thank you for letting me share this story. And thank you for sharing yours.


  • Diane

    I probably spin my own legends thinking about how I appeared to have things so together in my past.

    Often I find it very interesting when I meet someone’s spouse because they are rarely what I had envisioned. They usually just don’t match the stories I’ve heard.

    School started yesterday and my son got the teacher he didn’t want. All summer long he said, “I sure hope I don’t get Mrs – ” I told him to go with an open mind and form his own opinion. First thing he said yesterday when I picked him up was “Mom, she was nice! She was nothing like what I had heard! We even get to play games on Friday if we’re good!” I just said, “Wow” and smiled…especially inside.

    Looking forward to meeting you Christine! I think you will be even more spectacular in person!

  • Christine Kane

    Thanks everyone!

    pam and linda – yep. it’s so easy to try to categorize people. i had a friend who was a self-proclaimed “bulldyke” whose favorite movie was Pretty Woman!

    Mark – I altered her name slightly so that she wouldn’t google herself and find an entire block post written by someone she doesn’t know!

    colin – well, when it comes to cats – you’re allowed to make up stories!

    sue – I think she does the sing-songy voice – and says, “meeeee.” 🙂

  • Sue

    This cracks me up. So many times when I’ve only ‘spoken’ to someone via email for work, then met them much later, I’ll find myself thinking things like, “Hmm, I didn’t picture her dressing that way.” And what, from her voice I had this opinion?!!! 🙂
    I wonder what Rhonda Brickman calls her Rhonda Brickman moments??

  • Colin

    The Brickster! She is on a par with that cat that has a former lover in South America, eh?

  • Mark

    I’m kinda laughing imagining how Rhonda Brickman would feel knowing her name is being used like this, first among her friends, and now in an international forum. 🙂

    In fact, I’m having a Rhonda Brickman moment right now trying to picture what Rhonda Brickman looks like.

  • Linda

    I am always amazed when I finally meet someone in person that I have “met” on the Internet or their blog. They are never even close in appearance to what I expected, and not always like their writing either.

  • ChickiePam

    Aaaaaahhhhh Christine!

    That’s a good one. I love it! So many times I have misjudged someone. What I have come to know is that people are many faceted. I am frequently reminded to think of everyone as a diamond and wonder which facet I get to find out about next. (That reminder would be when I have a limiting view of someone and it bites me in the ass.) My late partner, Bruce, was an amazing person to get to know. He was a computer programmer for 28 years. So you think nerdy….nope! He was a Harley riding, beer brewing, militant vegetarian, tattooed massage therapist (2nd career!) and master chef from Wisconsin who loved mountain music and voraciously reading spiritual books! No pigeon hole for him. Rhonda Brickman for sure.

    Always love your posts.