My husband has a soft voice. He doesn’t always enunciate. And every once in a great while, he emulates the country land from which he hails by mispronouncing a word. Mix this together and what we end up with is a failure to communicate.
This evening he went for his nightly walk while I finished up a different blog post I’m already supposed to have finished a week ago. Yeah, I suck. Get off me. Anyway, on his way out the door he tossed something over his shoulder, grinned, and skedaddled out of the room.
All I had heard was, “gurgle, gurgle, Rob and them.” I went through my mental Rollidex and came up empty. The only Rob we both knew was a guy who used to work at the Borders where we met, over ten years ago, and he had no reason to come up in conversation. So I knew it wasn’t that Rob.
I made a huge mistake, asking the love of my life, “What?”
Here’s what I meant to convey:
“I have no idea WTF you just said.
Please repeat entire message.”
Here’s what he heard:
“If you say the last couple words over and over again, I’ll be able to guess what the first few words are, because I am a great wife possessed of mad ESP skills and able to fill in blanks like no one you’ve ever met.”
So he proceeded to repeat,
“Rob and them. Rob and them. Rob and them.”
Of course, this meant nothing to me, awesome though I might be. Even geniuses get stumped at times, I guess.
Also, depressingly, I do not seem to have ESP, despite what my man might think.
I should know better, at this point in our marriage, than to ask, “What?”, because this is what always, always, always happens. So I next stated what I should have stated in the first place,
“I didn’t hear any of your words and I have no idea what you just said.”
Of course, life being sarcastic as it is, he started to repeat himself half-way through my declaration. So I still had no idea what he said.
“Rob and them” was all I had to go on.
Instead of causing physical damage to all the inanimate objects surrounding the two of us, I waited for him to finish his ridiculous repetition of “Rob and them”.
Silence fell over the room.
Finally he broke it: “You still don’t know what I said, do you?”
No. No I did not.
He looked like he wanted to punch me. I looked like I wanted to punch him.
This was heating up fast.
“Can you please say the entire thing from the beginning, waiting until I finish this question so that I may actually hear what you’re saying?”
The angry silence continued. We glared at each other.
“Are you finished with your question?” he asked.
I nodded. And then he said what he said.
“Since I’m wearing all black, I hope no one thinks I’m robbing them.”
A bit anticlimactic, yes? I like to share the misery for all to feed upon. Eat it!