08 May 2009

Miscommunications

Sometimes I'm not good at listening or hearing or understanding. Recently my friend's wife was in the library. Someone else was helping her at the reference desk, but as she was leaving we were doing the hey, how are you thing.

MBC: Hey, how are you?

Friend's Wife: I was playing softball last night and I missed a throw.

MBC (in head): That's really weird information to be giving me. Do you mean that it's been a long time since you've played? Because I used to go to your games and you never missed the ball.

MBC (out loud, working with what I'm given): Heh, you'll have to play some more.

Then she turned to walk away and I saw her huge black eye and the conversation suddenly made sense. And I realized that she'd just told me she had a black eye and I'd told her she's a bad softball player.

It was not unlike a conversation I had with E and her friend Heather the first week we were roommates when I asked E what she'd studied as an undergrad.

E: Communications (is that right? it suddenly seems wrong)

Heather: And men . . .

MBC (in head): Neither E nor Heather seem like the kind of people who would say that they majored in men, even if they dated every single hour of the day in college, but OK . . .

MBC (out loud): Oh, were you a big dater in college?

E: No.

Because Heather didn't say and men she said and THEN, as in E completed her bachelor's degree and then went onto get her master's and was now beginning her law degree.

8 comments:

Lady Susan said...

*laughing* That's really funny. ;)

CSIowa said...

Awesome! You are awesome!

CSIowa said...

You know, I do this kind of thing all the time. I am then so stunned that by the time I have figured out that there is something to clarify and how I might do it, the opportunity is gone. The awkwardness is left hanging there to replay in my head until the next such incident.

And what people must think of me! I envy the people who seem able to smooth over such mistakes with minimal thought and effort. I'm just wondering: are you one of those people, or did you just let your friend's wife go (as I would have)?

E said...

I will fondly remember that day, eating mac and cheese on the cardboard boxes. I remember thinking it was a weird transition from my college major (it was communications--you were right) to my dating habits, but whatever.

And our friendship was able to blossom in spite of such adversity. Go us!

MBC said...

CSIowa-I just let her go. I thought it would be more awkward to start talking again.

E-I kind of loved that week of life without furniture. Maybe that's how I'll live when I get back from the TofA.

Kirsten said...

Was I there for that conversation with E and Heather? Because had I been there I am pretty sure I would have snorted the mac and cheese.

You never cease to make me laugh MBC. And for that, I thank you.

rebekah said...

i have such a hard time hearing things. i smile and nod through most conversations now. actually, i have a good 'engaged and interested' face that i use all the time. it works for light to intense conversations, both happy and sad. then i end every interaction with a smile.

Breanne said...

Haha! Oh that makes me feel better about some of my gaffs...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...