Some days communication is difficult, other days it’s entertaining. On this day we had one example after another of how funny misunderstandings can be.
Last Friday morning I took a wooden blind into a window shop to see if the broken plastic mechanism which tilts the slats could be replaced. I was told that the independent repair man, Greg, would stop by the store in the afternoon. Either he would call to say he could repair the blind, or the shop would call to say come pick it up. However, when I called at 4:30, I only reached voicemail and didn’t expect a call until Monday morning, since they were closed on weekends.
At 6:30 that evening I answered Greg’s call. I heard him say, “I’m feeling terrible.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said. “Are you sick?” I was expecting an apology because he hadn’t contacted me before close of business.
“No. I’m fine, thank you.”
“Oh, then why are you feeling terrible?” Maybe he needed a nudge to apologize.
“I said your blind is repairable.”
We both had a good laugh.
I went back to making dinner—mac & cheese with sausage for my husband. We had shopped at the meat market earlier in the day, but were told they hadn’t started grinding the Italian sausage yet. It would be ready around 3:00. When I returned in the late afternoon, they still had no Italian sausage so I decided to try something new. The day-old chorizo sausage was highly recommended by the owner.
That evening after I set my husband’s plate of mac & cheese and sausage on the table, I turned to the stove to finished making my dinner–not mac & cheese or sausage. With my back to the table I heard my husband say, “I’m eating poop seeds.” I thought he was referring to the roughage in the sausage.
“What part is that?” I asked.
“What part is Mac?” he said.
“No, you said you’re eating poop seeds.”
“I said when I eat, Poop eats.” (Poop is his nickname for our dog.) “See, I sit down, she lays down next to her bowl and eats too.” He was not commenting on the new sausage.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you why you didn’t get Italian sausage,” I said, still facing the stove.
“Because the sausage maker died,” I said, turning back to the table.
My husband’s eyes opened wide. “The young guy we saw this morning?”
“Huh? What do think I said?”
“You said the sausage maker died,” he repeated.
“Yes, the owner lady had to go to Reno to buy a new grinder.”
So just when you think you’ve clearly communicated, you never know what the other person will hear, especially with your back turned.
–Belinda Riehl, August 2014
Submitted for consideration to be included in September Redwood Writers Newsletter