Oh, Now I Get It!

by | May 1, 2013 | Every Day Life

The suddenness of the “ah-ha” moments in my life keep me quite entertained. I had one of these moments just recently. The perplexing thing about these moments is how it’s taken 49 years of my life and 28 years of marriage to finally understand these situations clearly. In truth, my husband is glad I’ve finally seen the light. Here is how it played out.
It was a Sunday afternoon. My husband and I were headed to Springdale, Arkansas where I teach ACT prep classes on the weekends. I had a full day of classes ahead of me – 1:00pm – 7:00 pm. I’ll blame the behavior I’m about to confess on the full class schedule (you know how we women always have a reason for our bad behavior) and let my husband off the hook this time. For some reason, my husband decided an interesting topic for discussion would be tires.
Really? Tires? OK, I will play along.
Now, it might be important for me to add that my husband is an engineer. As many of you that have been reading my column for any length of time know, I am not. He proceeds to discuss — in great detail — good tires vs. bad tires, the proper way to balance tires, how tires are made…
When he reached the last point, I thought, “Does he remember who he is talking to?” Translation: “This is going way over my head and, more importantly, it has gone way past my ability to even pretend to be interested.”
As he continued to talk about tires, I began to think about my lesson plans, then about each student I would be meeting with and their individual strengths and weaknesses. Now, please understand, I did not ignore my husband completely. I continued to nod in agreement at the appropriate times and chimed in with the customary, “Oh really” and “That’s interesting.” At one point, he did say something about our son Adrin’s tires, and I reengaged in the conversation briefly. Shortly after, he turned the conversation back towards tire construction and I was quickly gone again, into my own little world of thoughts, with one of those thoughts being, “Please stop talking about tires!”
All of a sudden, the “ah ha” moment hit me. This is what he must feel like when I am telling one of my stories! I began to think of how I have been torturing this man for years. I actually thought, “Oh my, how in the world did he endure this long?”

At this point, I began to laugh out loud and it dawned on him that I had not been listening to a word he was saying. The conversation in my head was way more interesting.
Oh, this poor man. How many times have I gotten so upset when he wasn’t listening to what I was saying? Now I fully understand why he wasn’t paying absolute attention; most of what I was saying didn’t interest him. He really doesn’t care about what everyone was wearing, where everyone sat, what everyone ate. He certainly doesn’t care what everyone talked about down to the tiniest detail. I finally get it. It really does all start to sound like a Charlie Brown cartoon, “Wah wah, wah wah, wah wah.”
What will I do with this information now that I have it? I’ll tell you what I’ll do. The next time I see his eyes start to glaze over, or he has said “that’s interesting” one too many times, I will stop and say, “It’s kinda like tire construction.” Then I’ll just stop talking.
Oh, who am I kidding? I won’t stop talking but I will understand that all he is hearing is, “Wah wah, wah wah, wah wah.”

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