Thursday, December 2, 2010

Game Over Man, Game Over!

I've been corresponding with my wife's friend J.  J, you may recall, came down for the rally.  She's looking for advice on a new computer, and, well, I never pass by an opportunity for some "girl talk."

She wanted to chat about the list of good computer values I had sent her.  She got home late, and e-mailed, asking if we could talk earlier the following night.  I said sure, but at the time she wanted to call "I might be enjoying my Chanukah presents....  I'm hoping to get some new outfits.:)"

When we spoke, she started by asking if I "got any new outfits" and before I could answer said that she wasn't sure what I meant at first and then figured out that I meant "Christine outfits" and that that was pretty funny.

Throughout the conversation, my wife was sitting five feet away, so I couldn't say "I really need some dresses now that the holidays are here."  Instead I said "one can never have enough."

You know how in a tv show or a movie, a character is on the phone and doesn't want the other person in the room to know that the call is from a certain party or about a certain topic and he dances around the subject so as not to give it away?

"Oh hi... 'mother.'"
"Mother?  What are you talking about?  Is she there?"
"Yes, uh, 'mother.'  It was quite unexpected."
"Did you get the package?"
"Yes, it was exactly what I wanted."

And so on.  That was how I felt.  I really wanted to start an outfit conversation, and I'm sure she would have enjoyed it (she brought it up later), but my wife wouldn't have and so after a bit of innocuous small talk, we talked computers.

At the end of the conversation she asked what I did get.  I told her and she said "maybe tomorrow you'll get a new outfit."  I said "that would be nice.  You never know."  She said "or at least some nice heels.  You can always go to DSW."  I said "I'll write that down" and she laughed.

What I wanted to say was "you didn't like my shoes?" and maybe get into a conversation about how I didn't want to wear spiked heels on the grass and had considered boots but they were EXPENSIVE and besides most guys like the skirt-and-boots combination and I didn't want to get P too excited.

I suspect my little guardian angel ~ the one that's kept me from doing something fatally stupid all these years ~ was keeping my wife in the room so I wouldn't say something fatally stupid.

If we follow up via e-mail (about computers) I might thank her for the lead at DSW and say they don't have a lot in my size.  The problem is, I'd rather TALK than WRITE.  Talk is much more dynamic and fun, and I can see if she's enjoying it and end it if she's not.  it also does not leave a record she can forward to my wife!

Now, why that Alien quote as the subject for this post?

I wanted to remember the e-mail exchange between J and me, for a new post (this one).  So I snipped a portion and sent it to my work address:

I'm not expecting sudden laryngitis, so yes, I should be able to talk
tomorrow evening.  I might be enjoying my Chanukah presents though, and
not want to be interrupted.  I'm hoping to get some new outfits.:)

>  Thanks for working on this today! I have been sick since Thursday of
>  Last week and although I am beginning to feel better, I still have
>  Some kind of bug so am not sure if I will be up to talking with you
>  About this tonight(I won't be back home till close to 9:30 from the
>  office)
>  Are you able to talk tomorrow evening between 8 and 9?
>  J : )

Yes, she always signs with a smiley.

I copied-and-pasted this into a new message.  In Thunderbird, if you start to type the address it fills in the rest.  I typed the first letter, hit tab and added a subject ("More fun with civilians").  Then I hit send.

The "sending" window appeared.  It should have taken no time at all, but it lingered for a second or so.  I glanced at the message and saw that the address I had approved wasn't mine.  It was P's.  I hit cancel as quickly as I could

It did indeed cancel.  It said "send failed" and it wasn't in my outbox.

After I recovered from the mini-heart attack and thanked the angel for working late, I sent it to myself.

It's not horrible, but it would not have been easy to explain.

1 comment:

  1. Meg
    Communications between people may be the one interactive activity that people appreciate the most and think about the least.

    We have the unique ability to communicate on several levels at the same time and we often do so with a combination of tacit and latent comments, double entendres, hints and oblique references. I have noted all of these commnication techniques in your exchange of emails with P and not J.

    I agree with you, however, that the adventure and excitement of communications in written form (email exchanges) is tepid and a bit sterile compared to verbal exchanges (phone) which are amped up to full volume when you are with a person face to face.

    In person communications use a combination of words, gestures, facial expressions, tone changes, body language, etc.

    If you look at my comment to your post "Shopping with the Missus", you will see what I mean. My wife and I were in the shoe stores and dress stores for several hours during that shopping trip. While we did talk we really did not exchange all too many words. She would pick up and try on a shoe, look over at me, read my facial expression, know that I was more interesting in eyeballing the stilletos than the 2" dress shoe she was considering, all the while subtling understanding that having me, a CD husband along for shoe and dress shopping was a different experience than having a non-CD spouse.

    The verbal, semi-verbal and non-verbal communications were ramped up once we started dress shopping. She knew that as we went over the racks of dresses looking for something that she could wear to a wedding, that I was enjoying the tactile experience of touching the fabrics of the dresses we were poring over. She knew that while my 'official role' was to consult as to what dress may look best on her, part of my mind was lost in the reverie of wondering how different dresses would look on me. She knew, especially when I would drift over the the 'womans' section that I was on edge, anxious and craving the hard fix of a dress purchase.

    What do you think happened to the non-verbal energy level after she selected her dress, saw that I was checking out an almost identical dress in my size, and she then decided that she may need some 'shapewear' for the dress she just bought, and I walked over to the shapewear racks, still holding the larger sized sister dress, to help her consider what types of undergarments may work best with the dress she had just selected.

    All the time this was going on I was acutely aware that I was wearing panties and pantihose under my pants and I am sure that she knew that I knew that she knew what I was wearing.

    I suppose that is a long way of saying that I agree with and understand why you may really want to press forward with your verbal communications with J rather than kicking the can around by email.



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