February 21, 2011

Reader Submitted Quick Rant: Am I Picking Up What You're Putting Down?

From Eric, who wants us to understand that he doesn't want to be misunderstood.
Is it wishful thinking to believe a woman might pepper ordinary conversation with hidden meaning or am I looking for something that isn’t really there?

When chatting up a potential squeeze, I often feel as though multiple lines of communication are available, but I’m unwisely using only one of them. Moreover, even though I’m paying close attention to the words she’s speaking, I seem to be missing nine-tenths of the information she’s sending my way.
It’s like we’re characters in a spy novel, meeting covertly in a crowded cafĂ© behind the Iron Curtain, except that I’m not getting all the winks and nudges. When she spots the counter-surveillance and says we’re hot, I remove my hat and ask the waiter for something cool.

And why, after she asked for the third time how far my apartment is from the pub, did I fail to realize that she didn’t want me to count city blocks or use GPS technology to approximate the number of miles?

Sadly, I’m as incompetent at sending as I am at receiving. Cryptic messages, that is. If only I were comically obvious or impossibly obscure, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But I’m so focused on “hearing” what she’s “saying” that I’m unaware of how wildly I’m being misinterpreted. At a Mediterranean BYOB, I mentioned that I like both hummus and baba ganoush, meaning we should get a plate of each. She got this, but she also got the “eating oysters” and “eating snails” scene from the movie SPARTACUS. She thought I was using an innocent order of appetizers to proclaim my liberal sexuality. Normally, I wait for the Greek coffee.

However, I sometimes feel that she willfully hears more than I’ve said. When she asked what I needed while she finished getting ready, I glanced around her living room and noted the absence of magazines on her coffee table. “Stimulation,” I answered. So why did she throw her cat at me?
I always say exactly what I mean. Except when I don't.


Anonymous said...


Eric E. said...

Yeah...this made more sense in my head. I was hoping it'd be funny, but I missed the mark. When Tony Curtis died last fall, I was reminded of his weird scene in "Spartacus" with Laurence Olivier. The movie's dialogue was meant to be sexually suggestive yet veiled enough to pass the censors. Now, every time I'm comparing two foods that I like equally, I feel as though I'm making a veiled reference to sex. For example, if I were to tell my date that I like both Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, I'd feel as though I were admitting to having an "Asian fetish." So...yeah. I'll try harder next time.

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