Married conversation is a thing unto itself. It takes a translator to make it intelligible to anyone other than the two persons directly involved.
Except some things are universal I guess. Meaning that all married people recognize the special meaning of various words and phrases that, well, are unknown to the non-married population.
This morning as I was relaxing from a grueling jaunt into the wind to the next state with dog in tow, (hiking in the foothills of the Organs), my other half, (better is certainly a matter of opinion and I’ll argue that I am that, as would he argue that he is), poised in the doorway to my office/craft/retreat room and said,
“Where did we get my last pair of sandals, babe?”
Now this question is loaded. First there is the use of “we”, which as I recall did not include him at all, rather “I” got his last pair of sandals.
Then there is the use of “babe” which is a generic term husbands use from long use as bachelors when getting the wrong name attached to the woman in your bed was likely to result in the end of your getting laid, thus all “girlfriends” become “babe” or “sweetie” or “honey” or some term that can safely be applied to all females. This carries over to the marriage, where it’s still better to be safe than sorry even if you are swearing under oath to be monogamous.
Third there is the implied problem that necessitates knowing where the old sandals were purchased, which suggests that another pair might be needed.
“I got them at Penny’s. Is there a problem with your sandals?”
“Yes, one of them is broke,” he uttered softly. “When you get over that way next time will you pick me up a new pair?”
Now this one is similarly loaded. First he is saying he doesn’t want to go to the mall (he hates malls). Secondly he is setting me up on a number of levels. First I can’t say, “why don’t you go”, because he’s not telling me to go today, just “anytime I happen to be there for another reason” so it would be unfair for me to protest that he should go himself since they are his feet.
I wrinkle my brow for a moment and respond, “I’ll go today when I get done at the pool.”
“Oh, no, you don’t have to go today!” He retorts again, that “anytime I’m in the area” will do.
Now this of course doesn’t mean that at all. In that little protestation are two things. First, I’m aware that he has balance issues and man with balance problems needs a secure shoe, so anytime I’m in the area darn well better be today!
And of course if I do continue to insist that I will go today, well, I better not complain about it EVER since he made it clear that I could do it “anytime”.
Ya see how this goes? You have to have a manual to follow the true gist of what’s being said.
I go on. “Instead of making gazpacho for dinner, we’ll have leftovers.”
“Fine,” he grins.
As I get a cup a coffee, I see the dish with the leftover mashed taters conspicuously empty on the counter. Somehow mashed potatoes goes well with fried eggs (his breakfast).
I confront him.
“Well that was bad of you. You ate all the potatoes from the leftovers.”
“Are there enough leftovers for today?” he queries.
“Well, I’ll have to boil some more potatoes.”
“No, I mean the Salisbury steak, I ate some yesterday.”
“You ate it yesterday????”
“You told me to, and a man always eats what his wife tells him too.” (the grinning again)
“You never eat what I tell you to!”
“Well don’t worry about the sandals then, get them another day.”
“No, I’ll get them today. I’ll figure something else out for dinner.”
“Well, I’m off to the pool.” as I start for the door.
“Oh, what size shoes again?”
“10 1/2, the standard size for all married men.” he intones.
I can hear him as I open the car door, “game, set and match!”
I’m sure he said that.
The echo of his chuckling haunts me during the drive into town.