Translator Please

>> Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It happens to all of us. For some reasons it seems to happen more to wives than husbands, but I could just be bias because I am a wife. But doesn't it get under your skin when your attempts to communicate with your spouse goes haywire. You don't have to be in a heated discussion either, it could be when life is at it's normal pace. Sometimes I wonder, "are there invisible creatures snatching the words from the air and disfiguring it's essence and meaning" to turn into something your spouse believes because it comes from you.

For example, one morning, we were car pooling for work. He parked the car to get something. The situation went like this:
Husband: I'm going to get some coffee, do either of you want anything? (So Sweet)
Friend: No thanks.
Me: Yes please, can you get me a red zinger tea?
Husband: Sure but last time (three days ago) they said they had no more. Would you like something else?
Me: O.k. if they do not have red zinger tea get me anything else except peppermint because I do not like peppermint tea. Whatever you get do not get me peppermint tea.
Friend: (silent)

*Husband leaves to the store while me and friend chat in the car. Husband comes back with paper bag.

Me: Thank you.
Husband: (takes tea out of the bag and hands it to me) Here you go.
Me: (smell of peppermint hits my nose) Is this peppermint tea?
Friend: (silent)
Husband: Yeah you said to get peppermint tea if they did not have red zinger.
Me: I did not say that.
Husband: Yeah, they did not have red zinger and you said whatever else, to get peppermint tea.
Me: I said whatever you do, do not get me peppermint tea because I hate peppermint tea.
Husband: I could go back and get you something else.
Me: (his niceness diffused my anger and perplexity) Forget it.
Friend: (silent)
Me: (in my mind) Translator Please.

I am sure you have a story also. I still can't believe how sure he was that he heard me say the opposite of what I expressed. There are so many scenarios of different categories of miscommunication between partners. It's no wonder that we ever really bond. This is where the true effort comes in. I once told my husband did you know...(some trivial pursuit, interesting fact). He said, "oh". I was so intrigued with the concept that I took his answer to mean wow, really? Three months later he comes to me...Honey, did you know... (the same trivial fact I told him)... that such and such just told me... isn't that amazing? I never knew that." God forgive me for laughing because it is downright funny to me that he doesn't remeber me saying it. But because it comes from someone else it is a new discovery. Translator please! I used to get bent out of shape and take it personally with the "you don't respect what I say" bit. Now I just laugh when these things happen. There was a time when miscommunication wasn't so funny. I came home with him sitting in candlelight thinking we were going to have a romantic evening. His first words resonated with me as he had told me several times but it was drowned out by my many life tasks.......and this evening he said it again, this time in a low but steady voice..."Did you pay the light bill?".... (Translator please).


Unknown January 31, 2011 at 9:13 AM  

Ruh roh.
Someone forgot his translator book! :)
Stopped by from Sits...enjoy your day!

Unknown January 31, 2011 at 9:31 AM  

This scenario occurs every minute somewhere in the world. That's a real statistic...look it up, LOL! Sometimes I wish I had a court reporter who would read back what I said to him. :-)

Rachael @ Tutus and Tantrumns January 31, 2011 at 9:59 AM  

hahaha! yep, typical man...happens all the time in our house! One of my favorites is when I tell him something and then a week later he's like "well you never told ME that!" I always respond, "uh, ya I did, clean out your ears!" LOL

Unknown January 31, 2011 at 10:24 AM  

Stopping by from SITS.

Your last scenario comes up all the time. I think we're so distracted with life that we don't really listen to each other. I get "you never asked me to do that!" Yes, I did - like 13 times. Ugh.

Unknown January 31, 2011 at 10:30 AM  

Seriously I might have LOL'd so much at the end there I snorted. I'm glad that you are at a point where you don't take it's taken me a while but I am finally getting there.

Marilenn January 31, 2011 at 10:59 AM  

Stopping by from Sits! I can totally relate to the translator thing! hahaha :D

bianca January 31, 2011 at 11:18 AM  

Found you thru SITS - and boy can I relate to this! Sometimes I swear we have our own meanings for the same words. Communication is something we have to CONSTANTLY work on!

Unknown January 31, 2011 at 11:35 AM  

Stopping by from SITS. This cracked me up because I can totally relate to this. AND, if we're being honest, I'm guilty of it myself. LOL

Anonymous January 31, 2011 at 12:09 PM  

Saying hi from SITS! Congrats on your big day. My husband would say that you used too many words - he needs things brief and to the point. You told him what not to get if they didn't have red zinger - you needed to tell him what to get. I give my husband good directions all the time, the way I would want to hear them and he just doesn't get it. He doesn't even start listening to my words until I am half way through the directive. I have to call him to attention first. Go figure.

Kim Lockett January 31, 2011 at 1:13 PM  

Happy SITS day! I know what you mean about the translator thing. I came home to find my ex had wrapped a Tshirt of mine around my oldest daughter as a diaper. I flipped but he couldn't understand why I was mad, wasn't I the queen of frugality? I tried to explain that being too lazy to run to the store to pick up a pack of diapers is not the same as being frugal.

I'm following you.

Anonymous January 31, 2011 at 2:51 PM  

Never mind a translator, I'm convinced at times my husband is deaf.
When he's reading a magazine or watching something on TV I literally have to stand right in front of him and say, "I have to tell you something and I need to make sure you actually heard me."
rolling my eyes.
Congrats on your SITS day!

Licia January 31, 2011 at 3:12 PM  

Congratulations on your SITS day! Enjoy the attention, as you well deserve your day for your great blog.
I can completely relate to this. Lately I've been feeling that I need a video camera. That way, when a missunderstanding happens, we can replay the scene and see what went wrong. When missunderstandings like that happen often, I get mad. My husband, who is not doing this consciously, just gets slapped with my angry reaction and can't really see what the big deal is. Dissecting it afterwards seems petty to him, so I get stuck being mad and don't really know what to do with it. The anger is not about a simple peppermint tea. It's about not feeling listened to. It's about feeling like when my mouth opens his brain goes elsewhere.

Anonymous February 1, 2011 at 8:58 AM  

I just had a similar comment with my husband yesterday, but it was about our cable/internet. He doesn't seem to remember me mentioning the fact it needed paid.

I enjoyed your blog. It is soooo true, and I think the longer you are married the funnier it becomes. You learn to laugh instead of reacting.

KDC Events February 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM  

Hello! Visiting from SITS! Typical man...gotta love em'