Spouses are couples separated by a common language.
Just yesterday as we were taking our walk, Terry was prattling on about something or other when I remembered an important message.
''Tim called about that question you had,'' I said. ''He said if you go ahead with that, it'll be the whole banana peel and dog thing all over again.''
''Huh?'' she said.
''Tim called about that question '' I started again, rolling my eyes just a tiny bit.
''I got that part,'' Terry said. ''What's with the banana and the dog? Does that mean you're angry? It's my blouse, isn't it? You don't like it?''
''Huh?'' I said. ''What blouse? We were talking about the dog. And the banana. From when we were 6.''
''Oh,'' she said. ''I was listening for the subtext, trying to understand the unspoken and probing for the layers of meaning. I must have missed your point.''
''I'm a guy,'' I said. ''Subtexts and layers make our heads hurt.''
''How does this make you feel? What's behind it all?'' she said.
''Stop!'' I howled, clamping my hands to my temples.
''Also,'' she said, ''I didn't know you when you were 6. Or your dog or the banana.''
OK, maybe that was a bad example of her inability to grasp my clear and logical statements.
The other day I walked into the kitchen and told Terry, ''Kyle got a new car, a Cavalier.''
She continued chopping carrots, concentrating so as not to nip a finger by mistake.
''That reminds me,'' I said, ''of an old wrestler who went by the name of Cavalier Saber. Wow, was he flashy!'' And over the next five minutes, I regaled her with stories of Saber's antics, all of which were highly amusing.
'' and there he was, leaping from the top rope to drop a flying elbow ''
''What color is it?'' Terry said.
''Huh?'' I said. ''His elbow?''
''Whose elbow?'' she said. ''You were talking about Kyle's new car. What color is it?''
I saw a storyline the other day that acted out what many of us have experienced. It ran something like this:
Harry, wanting to clear up a misunderstanding, dropped by the house where Sandy was lodging with an older couple, Lionel and Jean. Lionel knocked on Sandy's door and called out, ''Harry's here to see you.''
''Tell him to go away. I don't want to see him.''
Lionel reported this to Harry, who hung his head and left.
Moments later, Sandy bounded down the stairs. ''Where's Harry?'' she asked.
''Gone,'' Lionel said.
''Because you said you didn't want to see him.''
''And he left?'' Sandy asked incredulously. ''Why would he do that?''
At which point, Jean looked at her mystified husband and said, ''Oh, Lionel, how could you? You knew she wanted to see him.''
''But she said ... Are we speaking the same language?''
At this point I looked over at Terry and said, ''That's ridiculous.''
''It sure is,'' she said. ''Imagine Lionel and Harry not knowing that Sandy wanted him to stay and fight for their love. What guy could be so dense?''
''Huh?'' I said. ''Are we watching the same DVD?''
''So whatever happened with the dog and the banana?'' Terry said.
----- Drop hints to Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be best to make them obvious.