Communication breakdown

Over the last few days, I’ve learned that The Wife and I are not proficient at communicating with each other as we might like to think we are.

Exhibit 1: The story where she doesn’t get to the point right away

This past Saturday she was at the ambulance building getting ready to do bills for a meeting tonight (she is the secretary for the ambulance association) when a call came in for a car accident.

I’ll let her tell the story (paraphrased, of course, but with the essence of the story still intact):

“I heard on the radio about police finding a car they had been looking for. At first, I thought it was a stolen car, but then they said it was off the road, and I knew we would be called out. Sure enough, we were.”

“When we arrived at the scene, we saw a car flipped over in a field off Mount Zion Road. We discovered the driver had fled the scene…”

“Joe [ambulance chief] was looking at the skidmarks on the roads and thought something was odd…Police then told him the driver had been driving backwards up the road…’Oh, that explains it,’ he said.”

“Evidently the car was a stolen car…”

Me: Wait, he stole the car and was driving it backwards?

“Yeah, it was a 17-year-old kid who stole the car…from his grandfather…”

“It was the second time in the last couple of weeks that he’s stolen a relative’s car…”

Ah, finally we got to the crux of the story. Why she didn’t tell me this first?

“Then the family is there talking about it…”

I imagine a family not dissimilar to the Beverly Hillbillies, minus the Beverly Hills, standing on a porch, spitting their tobacco out off the porch in between words, as they look over the wreckage of Grampa’s car.

“Well, there went Billy Bob again.”

“What did he expect trying to steal Grampa’s car? He should know that thing hasn’t gone forward in 20 years.”

Exhibit 2: The story where she misses the point

Last night I was supposed to go to stay overnight at a hospice where I volunteer. However, I received a phone call earlier in the day that the guest was quickly taking a turn for the worse, and his family would be staying with him for the duration.

So first thing after The Wife gets home, I decide to tell her that I won’t have to go.

Her response: “Yay!!!”

Me: “Jeez. He’s not dead yet.”

Her: “Oh, I thought you were talking about the borough council meeting to which you had to go [note: she always talks in perfect English, no dangling prepositions can be hung on her].”

Me: “Er…no.”

She: “Oops.”

Exhibit 3: Subtlety

Shortly after that conversation, she hands me a sheet of paper with a list titled: “The Seventeen Evidences of a Lack of Humility by St. John Vianney.”

Me: “Er…are you trying to tell me something?”

She: “Oh, no…no, no, no…I didn’t mean it that way. It’s just something I came across on the Internet today…and thought was interesting. It was more for me.”

Me: “Uh huh, sure.”

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