Tuesday, May 6, 2008


One thing (for of course there are many) about having been married a little longer than “newly” is how a couple gets better at communicating—or at least you’d really hope that they do.

Now to be clear, I don’t mean I that my assumptions about what El Husband is thinking at any given time have gotten any more accurate or that I have stopped getting perturbed when I think he might be thinking something that bugs me. We are (I am) working really hard on getting the telepathic communication down, but so far we’re (I’m) pretty crummy at it.

What I’m referring to in getting better at communicating is how El Husband and I use certain words for our unique purposes. Vague, I know. Allow an example for the sake of clarification:

The word “thing.”

El Husband and I use the word thing for everything (oh, that was a delightful little pun of sorts, wasn’t it?).

Me: We can’t have any company that last weekend in May. I have to get ready for my regional POA meeting.
The Husband: No problem. I’ll reschedule. It’ll be a thing.
Me: Absolutely.

In his “it’ll be a thing,” I understood that he knew that my stress level will be high that weekend, so I wouldn’t be any fun for company. And that he knew that if the company came anyhow, I’d probably end up hating them and wish they’d go away and never come back. I knew that he understood that interference during that weekend would have long-lasting ramifications.

The Husband: I’m going to go paint my office.
Me: You have paint?
The Husband: Yup.
Me: Where’d you get it?
The Husband: The store. (Duh.)
Me: So it’s not a thing?
The Husband: Nope.

In my “it’s not a thing” The Husband understood that I was verifying that it wasn’t going to be a hassle for him and that he had all the materials he needed. I woke up the next morning to see that his office is now a lovely limey green.

Thing can mean important event. It can mean a hassle. It can mean mountain. It can mean bike. Thing can mean anything we want it to. And miraculously, we two always understand, without clarification, what thing is being substituted for.

I like to reflect on how nice it is that we have become adept at this abbreviated conversation over the course of our togetherness. Especially nice since El Husband and I are a communication couple; we discuss everything ad nauseam—weekend plans, doctor’s appointments, future plans (those actually get charted on a spreadsheet), what should be in our 72-hour kit, and on and on and on. "Team Romo" isn’t some cutesy moniker; we team up on everything from money matters to color of drapes for the bedroom.

It doesn’t matter to me that if someone were to listen in to a snippet of Romo conversation they are likely to infer that we are unintelligent for the use of thing as opposed to drawn out, detailed dialogue, but I like to think that our way of using words like thing abbreviates conversation in a terribly efficacious manner.

Over the years we’ve become all about efficacy. It’s a thing.

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