In other news, it turn out my husband thinks I am an idiot. He is under this (mistaken) impression because he doesn’t listen. Perhaps you don’t know this about me, but I have a mantra (everyone should). It’s simple (as mantras should be): NOBODY LISTENS!
I am forced to silently chant my mantra (mantras, like vespers music, need to be chanted— apparently it’s a rule) many, many times throughout the course of my day; often as I am being forced to repeat what I thought had been clearly stated THE GODDAMN FIRST TIME because NOBODY LISTENS!
Sometimes I wonder if I might not be speaking on some frequency that only dogs can hear. Because my husband is not the only one with whom I have this communication problem. It happens with my daughter, with my coworkers, with the folks at Dunkin’ Donuts, with my customers, and even with convenience store and, oddly enough, delicatessen workers. I refuse to believe that all of these people are hearing-impaired. So, it must be me, right? Except that it’s not. Do you want to know how I know that? Because, miraculously, I have no issues making myself heard when I am speaking with friends. In point of fact, they almost always hear me the first time. It’s really quite refreshing. Quite refreshing.
What I think drives me nearly to the brink of insanity, though, is when people ask me a question and I answer it, only to have their response be WHAT? or, the ever popular, HUH? (Rhymes with DUH!) I just cannot wrap my mind around how someone can ask a question and then be so slow-witted as to not make the required brain-shift to prepare to absorb the answer! DUH!
I have to admit that I have grown used to the guy or the gal at the deli giving me a half-pound of Virginia ham when I clearly asked for a pound of Thumann’s boiled ham (thinly sliced, please— but don’t even get me started on that debacle). And the folks over at the Dunkin’ Donuts? They almost always put sugar in my coffee. No matter how many days in a row the same employee processes my order. I think I would just about fall over if the guy at the convenience store even once remembered what kind of cigarettes I smoke. My customers neither read or listen. So, I am quite accustomed to their shock at discovering the onion on their salad. The day my teenager actually starts listening to a word I say, she won’t be a teenager anymore. I know that for damn sure. I could chalk people’s shortcomings up to stupidity or, even, ennui. It doesn’t matter. The result is the same. NOBODY LISTENS!
My husband does it all the time. He did it again tonight (for about the one-millionth time in our relationship). I will not even get into what the question was. It doesn’t matter. What I will tell you is that I fully answered it. Of course he asked me to repeat myself, which I did (but not before thinking for about the half-millionth time that I should really wait a full ten seconds, you know, to give his brain a chance to catch up). He then proceeded to ask a series of follow-up questions that led me to believe that one of two things had just occurred: either he a) had experienced a small stroke or b) had not listened to a word I had said, TWICE. I decided to go with b), mainly because he was driving the car, so the stroke theory would have been inconsistent with the gross and fine motor skills required for this activity.
When I pointed out that he had failed to understand my very simple answer to his very simple question because he was not listening, he had the nerve to ask me to repeat myself again. for what would be the third time. I refused. On the grounds that I am not an idiot.
Fast forward to a couple of hours later. We were in the car again. This time on our way home from my daughter’s field hockey game, which they managed to lose in overtime. (For those of you who have been keeping up, they are 2-8 now; it’s been a banner year!) We were having our usual lively discussion/debriefing following the game. At some point my husband turned to me and accused me of insulting a child’s playing skills right in front of her mother.
For the record, I am a terrible sport. I hate to lose. This was a game (one of several this season) that they absolutely could have won. Will I critique payers (including my own kid, by the way) after a game? You betcha! Will I ask my daughter what the hell the coach is thinking putting a certain player in a position that she is clearly unsuited for? Why, yes. Yes, I will. Will I also make suggestions, helpful ones, regarding how they might capitalize on their strengths versus allowing the opposition to capitalize on their weaknesses? I have been known to give just that type of unsolicited advice. Would I ever bad mouth a coach or a player publicly? Would I ever do so in front of said players mother? No. And. No, I absolutely would not.
He then went on to express dismay at my behavior following the game. He was shocked that I would have the nerve to chat the woman up after I had insulted her daughter just minutes before. He went on and on about how very impressed by this woman’s highly evolved nature he was, in the face of my horrible behavior. He lectured me on how I would have behaved toward her had the situation been reversed. I was forced to repeat my mantra (NOBODY LISTENS!) as I asked him, while shaking my head in a most disappointed fashion, just what kind of an idiot he thought I was?
Let’s not get into the fact that he has been associated with me, intimately I might add, for nearly thirty years. I’ve done one or two stupid things and, truthfully, probably said a half-dozen things (no more than that, I’m sure) that I’m not proud of, but I would NEVER talk trash about a kid in front of her mother. NEVER.
Admittedly, I have been known to have a thought or three flit through my head. So, I might think negative things.I definitely don’t always think the kindest things about people. But you will never convince me that my husband knows what I’m thinking. Or maybe he does. Not that it would matter. Why? Because, as I think has been clearly established, NOBODY LISTENS!
photo credit: pickthebrain.com