Saturday, December 5, 2009

Short Circuit

I have never understood relationships, not really. It seems to me that a man and a wife can exchange some of the most wound-inflicting words possible between them. Love, caring, tenderness, listening. Where did they go? Why did they go? These skills and tendencies were once right there - obvious to the outside world and obvious to the inside world. The other day I overheard half a telephone conversation between a man and his wife. It was the morning of the big nor'easter that swept through our area. After several hours at work, and with conditions continuing to get more and more perilous outside, this man grew palpably worried about his wife who had decided that morning to drive to an event some 60 or 70 miles away. He was muttering to himself and his words were bourne out of concern and love. Oh why didn't I just tell her to stay home. She shouldn't have gone. This is just too risky.

As his emotions reached a crescendo, he finally got through to his wife on his cell phone. What he was saying to those of us in earshot of his desperate call was "thank goodness you are safe". What he actually said in words was more like "why did you decide to make this drive today of all days?". The next thing I heard was "Hello? Hello? Honey, are you there?". He assumed that his call had been cut off because of the raging storm. He called his wife back and got through. I then heard "What? You hung up on me?". She never heard his concern or sensed his love. She took what he was saying as an attack on her sensibilities. A nagging insinuation. Speaking different languages. She hung up on him.

Him: Comment je vous aime.
Her: Wie können sie das sagen?

Please, remember to listen and remember to be mindful with your words. Seek out and express love in a manner that leaves no room for misinterpretation. A wise investment that you will never regret.