You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

This past Tuesday seemed to have been a day of lessons in miscommunications. The first was this morning’s conversation with Al.

“Let me explain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” -Inigo Montoya

I had read something online in the morning and interpreted it positively based on what little recollection of previous information I had. Al’s response to the same information was negative, because of the information he knew about the history and background of the statement made. He began to enlighten me, and at that moment I recalled hearing him explain it to me before. So I got it, and I let him know I didn’t understand it the way he did when I first read it. So, maybe my “letting him know” sounded more like, “I do not need another history lesson!” Ya’ll, mornings and quarantine crazy gets to me sometimes! 😆

Anyway, a bit later in the day I received a request from a friend to pass along something while I am out on Wednesday, the next quarantine allotted women’s day, as my friend could not due to his time constraints. I said sure and told Al about it. He asked what hours it could be dropped off today? I explained the situation to him again. He once again asked what the hours are for the business’ drop off location. I snapped, “I don’t know, you’re the man about town, go look it up!” See what I mean, I’m getting snippy! Well, about 2 hours later, I finally realized why he was asking. Tuesday is his day to go out, and his hours are later, so he was offering to drop it off today. Yes, I am an irritable dork who does not deserve his affection sometimes.

The last conversation early Tuesday evening was hilarious. Before I share the conversation, allow me to give you some history and context to the information.

My mother is in a nursing home with dementia, over 70, and she no longer retains new information for more than a couple of sentences. My phone calls to mom usually go one of two ways. After about an hour, I either end up crying, or I keep us both laughing. Although talking with her in some ways profoundly sadden me, when I leave the phone call laughing, I have peace. I know I did the only and best thing I could. I reached out to her and made her laugh for awhile.

Enough seriousness. Now that you understand why and how this conversation happened, it’s okay to laugh at this. I give us all permission to laugh and be thankful for laughter in the face of so much chaos in this world!

Last time I talked with mom, she was completely unaware of the Coronavirus pandemic. Not to say she wasn’t told, but she had no retention, and I made sure not to mention it. This time it came up fairly early in our conversation and I explained to her several times about the safety measures and why no one can come and see her anytime soon.

Anyway, she said her TV hadn’t been working for a while now. We were discussing me trying to get through to someone to check it, or see if they allowed deliveries to get her a new one if needed. She again asked why my sister couldn’t come to fix it. I was explaining again about quarantine.

All of a sudden, she interrupts with, “Hey, I bet you that’s what happened to my TV. The Ebona virus is coming through the TV and making people sick, and that’s why it won’t work!”

She put Ebola and Corona together, she was insistent people in her place were dropping from Ebona, and has figured out how it spreads through the TV! 🤣 🤣🤣🤣 I had to put my hand over my mouth, so she didn’t hear me laughing while she continued to explain.

Eventually, I regained my composure, and we were chatting away. I was letting her know I’d look into the TV issue to see what I can work out with no one permitted there. She then states, “I know what’s going on out there I watch the news.” Followed by, “Hey, I haven’t been able to watch the news on TV in weeks. I think it’s broken.” Okay, mom, I got you. When I finally got off the phone, I was still giggling about the entire conversation.

As I think over today’s communication,  some of the unpleasant interactions I’ve read lately come to mind. I’ve read so many things across the spectrum of extremes involving the pandemic, its origins, the best way to handle it, which group supposedly caused/released it and for what reason, etc. It has indeed been mind-boggling. My mother’s TV explanation is not even the most unbelievable one I’ve come across.

I believe some of us are having these exact types of miscommunications often lately, in person and through social media. We are all seeing the same things, but receiving them very differently. For this particular season, I also understand some are operating at very different emotional levels than they would normally.

So, many of us are just a bit off our game, cranky or more sensitive. For those of us that are usual chatty, it is getting more complicated to traverse the minefield of other’s information, emotional buttons and beliefs. I’m hoping that we all are doing our best to communicate our love and laughter to the world more than ever.

Nobody gets out of life alive, but while we’re here, may we live, love and laugh.

2 thoughts on “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”

  1. Day, my friend’s husband is in the late stages of Altzheimers. She told me this story: Her husband said to her one morning “I think we need a bigger house.” She asked him why he thought so, as it is just the two of them living there. His response was “ because there are so many other people here. There is the woman who sleeps next to me, the woman who gets me dressed, the woman who makes my breakfast” and so on…

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