your sentence is so long
While most affairs are based on novelty, on the pull of the new and the danger of the illicit, Charlie and Helen’s adultery tested limits of all kinds — of their patience and that of their other partners and friends, of the very idea of romance itself. Charlie’s affair with Helen had been going for a much longer time than his marriage. It was like a song that would not end, a note held for an impossibly long time. It is a wonder they are still both drawn to it.
your word is not so much
It was a period in which promises were made, tested, and found wanting, a decade in which the world grew suspicious and cold. The sky, it turned out, was indeed falling.
your kind is not my own
Helen didn’t answer when Johnnie emailed her that he would be back through town. She had tested the hypothesis that he might serve as some kind of substitute for his brother, and found that it had a good many flaws. She had felt a little guilty about that night ever since, and she hoped that Charlie would never find out.
your America is not the world
Kent met an interesting artist and commissioned her to do a mural on his office wall. The mural was an abstraction of satellite imagery of the surrounding neighborhood, a kind of meta-mural. It would give him, he felt, a better perception of his place in the world. He tested his ambitions against the scale of the map.
your move was not kind
Jenny tested the extent of Dave’s loyalties in a variety of ways. She knew the nature of his work, and accepted that there were differences of political consciousness between them which would never be bridged, but she could make him pay for his work, and she had a certain degree of power over him. So while he might well have helped bring a species of tree frog to the brink of extinction, he had made significant contributions to the Environmental Defense Fund. While he worked for gay-bashing candidates, he gave money to the ACLU and had even attended Pride parades. He would do almost anything to quiet down her righteous anger, and truth be told, it helped him keep a sense of balance. Not that she could stop him from renewing his NRA membership.
your show will not end
Roger always considered himself a more conceptual than representational artist, though sometimes he tested the borders between. His “Rainbow City” consisted solely of one day distributing pastel chalks to three thousand schoolchildren, and encouraging them to draw on the sidewalks.
your play may need one line more
Although she was afraid of his reaction, Anna tested Charlie’s dedication to their relationship when she told him that she could not stand the sense of stasis in their lives, the sense that they had been frozen in a place from which they could not move. She felt like a statue, she said, and marriage hadn’t changed their lives in the ways she expected it might. They need to do something, to move, or to have a child, or join a new church. Something had to change soon. Charlie nodded sadly, suggested they could maybe move across the river again, or maybe she could go back to school or something. Maybe something even more drastic. They could move out West. He agreed something needed to change.
your boy is a mean one
Sometimes their ads tested the limits of tastelessness. In parts of the South, anything is fair game. They took advantage of a series of grisly murders along the Appalachian Trail to bring out the fact that the incumbent was soft on security, and that the state police were more corrupt than competent. The point was completely valid, but the thirty-second re-enactments of specific crimes were, granted, pushing the envelope of civility.
your animal must be put down
Charlie never seriously attempted to quit smoking, though sometimes he tested his willpower by abstaining for two or three days. He knew that he would likely die young, but young is relative. He had already outlasted his old man, and his boy was cheated altogether, even of his youth.
your letter was not kind
Though he was capable of more self-control than his brother, Charlie did sometimes make impulsive moves that he later regretted. Though he had not spoken or communicated with Helen for nearly a year, for instance, he was almost consumed with jealousy at the thought of the other men who were likely enjoying her charms, and one night after several heavy pours of scotch, he tested his hypotheses in a blisteringly accusative letter, going so far as to stumble down to the mailbox on the corner to send it without advantage of a morning’s reconsideration.