The Art of Conversation, Marriage Edition

The Art of Conversation, marriage edition

Handsome Hubby and I are approaching our 32nd wedding anniversary, and I must say we’ve really got the art of conversation down to a science. The renowned Navajo code-talkers have nothing on us. With just a few words, HH and I can decipher (and deride) each other’s meaning perfectly.

Here are a few true-life conversations from our household that I bet you’ll recognize.

Conversation 1

I say: “What about those forms I needed your help with?” reminding HH about this or any long-ago request I’ve made.
HH says: “Hum, it rings a bell.”
HH is hearing: Blaring alarm bells.
HH is thinking: “Mayday. Mayday. Marital iceberg ahead.”


Conversation 1 continued

I repeat: “What about …?”
HH says: “Send me a reminder, a note.”
HH means: “Send me an email, so I can add it to my ‘tedious stuff wife wants me to do’ folder.”
(You know, the folder with the ever-expanding chore and “must talk to the kids about” list.)


Conversation 2

I say: “Does this outfit make me look fat/old?”
HH, no fool, says: “Of course not.”
HH, joyfully, thinks: “Nailed it!”
I think: “But do I look cute/good/sexy?”
HH: (The sound of silent self-satisfaction.)
I’m thinking: “Insensitive clod.”


Conversation 3

I say: “Won’t it be fun if we have a dinner party this weekend?”
HH is thinking: “Won’t pizza and dinner in front of the TV be simpler?”
HH says: “Sure, honey. Whatever you want.”
I’m thinking: “Sure, easy for him to say. I’ll have to do all the work.”
I say: “Great.”
HH says: “Swell.”


The Art of Conversation … in the Beginning

In the old days, when we were courting and first married, HH and I weren’t as “skilled” in reading between the lines. We were more eager to please, more insecure, more tentative, and definitely less assertive. “Are you sure?” “Really, is that what you want?” “I mean, only if you want to.” Phrases like those peppered our conversations.

Not today.

Today we tell it like it is or, at the very least, sorta say what we think. Yet, sadly, middle-aged men are a little slow in picking up the not so subtle “cues” we women hit them over the head with. Don’t you agree?

Yet, giving HH and his gender their fair due, there are occasions – few and far between – when we woman miss the messages they send to us.  Here’s a sampling offered up by HH to make the guys’ case.

Conversation A

I say: “Do you have your shoes on?”
HH is thinking: “Oh, oh. I know she doesn’t want to go dancing.”
HH reluctantly asks: “Yeah. What’s up?”
I say, option 1: “Oh, that’s great. Would you mind taking the garbage out?”
I say, option 2: “Oh, that’s great. Would you take the trash down to the street?”
I say, option 3: “Oh, that’s great. Would you please go get rid of all those nasty spider webs by the mailbox?”


That’s it. That’s all HH offered up. Otherwise, I am, in his words – and I quote – “open and above board.” Now, this statement, I believe, is itself code, but I confess I cannot yet decipher it! Still, I’m sure it’s a compliment. Right?

Ah, yes. The language of love, the conversations of middle-aged married folk. Maybe it is an art after all, not a science.

And as for HH, all I can say is that he’s definitely got job security. As long as there’s a blog, I cannot divorce him! He’s such an endless – and good-natured – source of writing material!

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