Saturday, May 05, 2012

Don't Wanna Wait 'Til Tomorrow


The good news is, I’m sometimes inspired. The annoying news is, it’s never when I can do something about it. For example, if I’m ever going to have the Big Idea—the one which eventually pays for my very own island—I have it in the shower, as I’m shampooing. So I rinse and I condition, all the while chanting something like “Edible paper clips, edible paper clips,” so I don’t forget. But by the time I reach for the robe, 99 times out of 100, all I can remember is that for one shining instant, I was going to rule the office supply/snack industry.

So you can imagine my joy this morning when I actually remembered something all the way through robe-tying. Jeteing nimbly from the bathroom, I accosted Consort and announced, “We need to change the wallpaper on my Twitter-page to the new book.”

Consort, no one’s idea of a morning person, blinked at me and waited for me to stop being three people and become one. Eventually he played back what I said and said agreeably, “You’re right. We can do that now.”

I careened to the office and turned to ask him how I did this again, because while I might someday create edible paper clips I never remember how to change Twitter wallpaper. Consort was still standing in the hallway, staring approximately where I had just been. We morning people are a trial and a torment to the other kind of people.

“Sweetheart,” I said, a trifle impatiently, “If you're too tired, you don't have to do it, but tell me how to change the wallpaper.”

“What’s your rush?” Consort asked, looking longingly towards the kitchen, with its paper and its coffee and its not-careening.

“I’m not rushing; we just agreed I could do that now.”

Consort rumpled his hair. “Yeah, now. As in, soon.”

And with that, I just solved 15% of the Pointless Spousal Discussions we’ve had in the decade-plus we’ve been together. When I say “Now,” I mean Ideally, before another minute passes. Consort uses “Now” when he means The omens and augeries have aligned, and this thing can be done at some point from this present second to when the Sphinx crumbles. And then one of us ends up sighing, because the other one is insane.

Since it’s my blog, I am obliged to note my definition of Now is correct and Consort is insane. But he’s a better person than I am in all measurable ways, so I’ll cut him some slack.

[He is, however, insane. And wrong.]

So, here’s the question; is there a phrase with your loved one, or a friend, or a family member, that you two simply don’t use in the same way?

12 Comments:

Anonymous the golddigger said...

My husband and I also have different concepts of time. I operate in the western, modern world, whereas he is more like the indigenous women I worked with when I was a Peace Corps volunteer and "10:00 a.m." meant "any time the sun is still in the sky."

He would say he runs closer to football game time than indigenous women time.

But that's why yesterday, when I called him from the pet store to ask what kind of cat food he wanted me to get and he said, "Wait! I have to take this call! I'll call you back in a minute," and I didn't hear from him and didn't hear that I did not panic or become alarmed.

I merely went on about my business, thinking, "I'll go next door to the grocery store and get the salmon and the milk and he'll call me while I'm there."

It did not occur to me that my phone - thank you, T-Mobile, does NOT FUNCTION INSIDE THE PET STORE and that he had been trying to call me for 15 minutes.

After all, his "just a minute" is "while the sun is still in the sky" to me.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Rosa said...

My husband and I disagree on the definition of the word "ready". To me, "ready to go" means "let's walk out the door now". To him, it means he is ready to start preparing to leave. He still has to put on his shoes, comb his hair, get his coat, etc. Meanwhile, I am standing by the door holding my purse, saying "I thought you were ready, I could be finishing ..." while I wait for him.

3:21 PM  
Blogger MomQueenBee said...

Whatever. When he says it, it means "I don't really care, and any decision is fine." When I say it, it means "You are so totally wrong that you are going to regret it for the rest of your natural life."

3:38 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Sunshine State said...

In our house it's "What are we doing about dinner?"

He means: "What are you making for dinner?"
I mean: "What restaurant will be cooking our dinner?"

3:49 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I learned a long time ago that when my husband says "When you get a minute, can you help me with...?" means RIGHT NOW!! Silly me, I thought it meant when I finished this sip of coffee I was taking.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Lissa said...

Scott and I have different understandings of what it means when I say "Why don't we (fill in the blank)?" He thinks it means I'm throwing an idea out there to be considered, discussed, acted upon or not, depending on how the various pros and cons and small children line up.

What it really means is: This is what I want to do, and is, in fact, what we are going to wind up doing, so why don't we cut to the chase and do it immediately.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Karen Edmisten said...

Why, no -- such variations of meaning never occur in my marital communications (by which I mean, "Are you kidding? Do you have time for me to list the hundred-and-seven ways in which he and I do not mean the same thing?)"

Also?

Aqua Notes.

Granted, we end up using them to write each other notes in the shower, but the idea is sound. And I wish I'd invented them. (But, of course, I had this idea once in the shower, and forgot it long before robe-tying time.)

6:26 AM  
Blogger ChrisinNY said...

When I say, "Fine", it totally and completely is not acceptable and someone's life may be in jeopardy as a result. When the spouse says "Fine" he means he sees no objection and totaly does not care.
To quote a favorite movie: "You keep using that word. I don not think it means what you think it means."

7:15 AM  
Blogger ChrisinNY said...

When I say, "Fine", it totally and completely is not acceptable and someone's life may be in jeopardy as a result. When the spouse says "Fine" he means he sees no objection and totaly does not care.
To quote a favorite movie: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

7:15 AM  
Blogger Mrs.Bump said...

Ours is very similar to the "fine" concept, but slightly different.

When I ask my husband a question and he responds with "I guess so." I hear it as "I don't really agree but I'm not willing to commit to an argument about it." Which drives me crazy, and instantly makes me want to argue about it. Because either you care or you don't. But there generally isn't guessing involved in the matter.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Just like Rosa, ready has two meanings. I finally Got him to quit saying he is "ready" unless he is st the door, shoes on, keys in hand.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Paula said...

Where to begin?

When My Man says "I'll be there around 3" I have learned that I will see him between 5 and 6.

When he sends me a link via e-mail to some entertainment, I have learned to extrapolate that he is saying "I wish to go to this with you" because no further details will be forthcoming as to date, time, etc.

His idea of intimate conversation is a debate about the comparative theologies of Plato and Moses. That's my idea of a cure for insomnia.

4:13 AM  

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