It used to be kind of frustrating, but now we just laugh about it. I would ask a question and Brent would give me a piece of totally unrelated information. Over time, I came to understand the hidden thought process and economy of language that give rise to this phenomenon. Here is an example, with hidden thought processes in italics:
ME: “How many miles are you going to ride this afternoon?” Just wondering how far Brent is going to ride his bike. Pretty straightforward, eh?
BRENT: She’s probably wondering how long I’ll be out, and whether we’ll be able to get to the party on time. No problem; I’ll be back, showered and dressed by 5:30 PM. “The party isn’t until 7:00.”
ME: “Right. Um… how many miles are you going to ride today?”
You see, Brent tries to anticipate the “real” question I am leading up to. He would like to save time and words by answering, say, Question C directly, thus bypassing the cumbersome process of first answering Preliminary Questions A and B. However, the effort sometimes backfires and he ends up having to answer the same question twice. In these cases, he reckons without my ability to simply ask for the information I want. So it has become a bit of a family joke…
ME: “Who all was at the luncheon today?”
BRENT: I had told her that Dave was going to try to come; she wants to know whether he made it or not. “Dave went to a program at his son’s school.”
ME: (Blinks, then recovers.) “The wind is in the southwest!”
BRENT: “I did it again, didn’t I?”
ME: “Yep. We sound like a bad spy movie.”
BRENT: “The goose flies at midnight!”
ME: “The lemon pie is exceptionally good!”
I love that guy. Our minds work very differently, but that comes in so handy when I’m stuck on one detail and Brent comes along to remind me of the big picture. Or sometimes I’ll have a moment of clarity, and offer a suggestion that helps him get past some mental block or other. So we’ll continue to communicate, and when we start sounding like a bad spy movie we’ll just step back and laugh. Maybe someday I’ll even find out who all was at that luncheon.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to pick up my trench coat from the cleaners, and brush off my fedora.
Thanks for reading!
Today I am linking up with Rachel’s Company Girls Coffee. You are welcome to come have a cup too… and take a peek at her beautiful new book on friendship (it’s especially for women!)
Love it! Sounds like a conversation my husband and I would have. Only my husband’s biggest thing is to move from one subject to the next in the same sentence.
Something like…”What are we going to have for dinner tonight? Can you believe her practice is at 6:30?” I am still on what is for dinner and his thought process has moved on to three other topics. I just have to look at him at times and tell him I have absolutely no idea what he is talking about!
Men and women…ya gotta love the differences!
I confess… I’m the lightning-fast topic-hopper around here! In all fairness, I should write a post about that too. But I agree… ya gotta love the differences! Thanks for commenting.
This is awesome. I think my husband is absolutely hilarious by nature, so when I make him laugh, I feel like a queen. I love how you write about your husband. So honoring. So loving. But, so real, too.
Thanks so much, Jen. And I LOVE your Friday blog post!
That is really funny. I’ve learned that when I am looking for something and I ask my husband if he knows where it is, he gets defensive immediately, as though I’m accusing him. I get doubly frustrated because I can’t find what I need AND I have a crabby man to deal with, when all I wanted was to find out if he knew where the thing was or if he could help me retrace my steps! I’ve learned to phrase things much more softly so that he doesn’t feel accused (like, ‘I can’t find the hand broom, do you happen to know where it is.’) Or I’ll do the ‘woman-speak’ thing where I’ll say ‘I need to vacuum’ when really, I mean ‘will you get your shoes put away, because I need to vacuum before these cookies come out of the oven.’ Makes sense to me, but not to him.
Ha! We have that same “where-is-it / defensive” dynamic going on. With us, it’s because any time I can’t find something, I’m genuinely afraid that it’s gone in the trash. But that’s another blog post…….
I love it. Isn’t it funny how we communicate so differently? You two sound as if you have learned to laugh at yourselves, and have communicated well over a potentially frustrating thing. Way to go.
Thanks for the chuckle this morning!
Thanks, Dawn, for the sweet comment. I just came back from visiting your blog, and I love it.
Thanks for making me smile 🙂 I know some women who would get so frustrated by this, but I love how you 2 have turned it into a joke.
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