Thursday, October 2, 2008

Garbled Transmissions

You know what I think the root of all evil is?

Miscommunication.

Seriously.

I think if we humans communicated better with each other and understood each others motivations, the world would run smoother. Yes, there would still be conflict as people disagree on methods of solving problems, but I think it'd be clearer how much we all want the same things.

Food, happiness, health, peace, goodwill, etc.

Do I sound naive? Is this unrealistic?

Growing up on a ranch in the country, we had live-in help and ranch hands. The most memorable live-in that I remember was a young woman from El Salvador who didn't speak English.

She started taking English classes while she lived with us, and my mom worked on increasing her own Spanish vocab so she could communicate back. In fact, my mom started labeling the entire house with English/Spanish flashcards. Pretty soon, it was normal to me to see flashcards taped to the drawers, to the refrigerator, the trashcan, EVERYTHING.






But, what an ingenious idea! It sure helped everyone's communication.

I remember once telling our live-in that I was hungry and wanted a hot dog. She didn't understand that, so I switched to Spanish. I knew the Spanish word for "hot" was "Caliente" and the word for dog was "perro." So, I told her I wanted "un caliente el pero!" She looked confused and mildly horrified. I think what I saw is translated as "a hot the dog." Confusing, yes? Si!






We moved to this town a year ago, and I was immediately confused by our neighbors. We had one neighbor that would park their cars sideways across their driveway. The message seemed clear, "no one use our driveway." We had some guests turn around in their driveway, so it seemed they didn't like that. But we didn't get why?

It just seemed rude of them. We didn't understand.

Then one day the neighbor came over to talk. And then I understood. They worked from home and were on the phone a lot. AND, whenever someone used their driveway, their small inside dog would bark like crazy, causing problems with their home business calls. Now their actions made more sense.

Men and women operate so differently. I truly believe there are just some innate differences that are hard to overcome. I think we need classes on communication. How to do it best, how to be better at it, etc.

I could promote world peace, I tell ya, if I had a chance.

Have I told you that my bed communicates with me? It teases me and tempts me to climb back in. Except today, since someone had an accident in it (and I woke up soaked in said pee). Now it's telling me it needs to be washed, desperately.

Have you had some miscommunication in your life lately? Have you made funny mistakes while trying to speak a foreign language? Does your bed talk to you?





38 comments:

Mind of MadMan said...

No matter how hard one trys miscommunication is evident. The greatest task is always with my wife. We are as differant as two people could be. Her being the love of my life makes the desire to communicate even greater

Karen said...

Yes, my bed more than talks to me. Somedays, it holds onto me with both arms and refuses to let me out till I start to threaten it.

Ok, so here is my miscommunication that is so embarressing. We have a friend who at the time was fighting brain cancer. He had had a 3 different brain surgeries. The last surgery really worked over the whole right side of his body. He is still learning how to control the side of his body. But at the point of this moment I am referring to he still walked with noticabel limp and struggled to get his right arm to do what he directed it to do. Did I mention that this friend is over the top attractive. The kind of attractive, that no matter how in love you are with your spouse, you feel a little nervous around them. (and it's not just me. Many women suffer from this around him.)Well, we hadn't seen said friend in about twelve years. Now he has cancer and is standing in my front yard talking with me and my family. My kids of course are playing with a ball. One of them throws it to me. It sort of catch it but not really, jamming my middle finger in the proscess. Then before I can manage to keep the words in my head. I blurt out, "My coordination is really off lately." OH CRAP. Did I just complain to someone who has to re-learn coordination, that mine is off. Yep, and really what was in my head was, "I'm such a big goof and you are standing there looking all attractive, and I can't even catch a ball thrown at my by my kids." Not that, that would have been the right thing to say either. See, communication for me is just a problem.

Valarie said...

I can only imagine the things you thought you were saying in spanish. :)

Living on the Spit said...

You communicated this very well!!!

I told you that you should run for public office...or maybe be a principal or something.

My bed is talking to me now while I am at the office....it is saying, come home to me...and run away from the big bad world.

Gawd, I love your posts.

Marlene

Susie said...

I think you should be an ambassador of good will:-)

Cristin said...

Ok who peed the bed. It was you wasn't it? Come on you can tell us...

At the hospital a few weeks ago a nurse was showing off that she knew some sign language. She thought she was showing us the sign for 'Hungry'... imagine her embarassment when I told her she was signing 'Horny'!!!

Mama Dawg said...

I have miscommunication with my mom all the time but it's mostly my fault. I'll have a thought and only verbalize part of the thought so it doesn't make sense.

And, yes, my bed speaks to me every morning.It tells me "there's no need to go to work, come back here and let me take care of you".

Jen said...

Yes my bed is so calling me today. Thats all I got.

April said...

Oh my LORD you're reading a page from my book. I am H-U-G-E on communication! Have the problems, arguments, etc. that we all have is due to lack of communication (like at my job? LOL)

goodfather said...

Oh man! This post is hilarious! I LOVE the hot dog picture, hee hee.

We are a bilingual family (English and German), and my three-year-old daughter has started correcting my German. A couple days ago, I said das Flugzeug(the airplane), and my beautiful wife said, 'Panda, is it das Flugzeug oder der Flugzeug?'

'Der Flugzeug, Papa.'

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

My bed calls to me incessantly... especially today when I see it when I open my blog.

I think you're right about communication. As Mr. B and I have started building our relationship, it has become SO clear to us how important communication is. Especially right now when we are 3 hours apart. He can't see my face, I can't read his body language... if something's bothering me I HAVE to tell him, or it festers... and he doesn't like that becuase he can't fix what he doesn't know is wrong.

But it's hard... my ex, anytime I communicated a frustration, would get mad and fly off the handle and I finally just stopped... so I have to get past that feeling with Mr. B... becuase everytime I've brought something up, he's been kind, most times apologizing or explaining why he did what he did... And I'm finding that being free to communicate with him is making such a difference in the many ways I love him.

Okay... I'll shut up now.

Shamelessly Sassy said...

I am with you on the thoughts about miscommunication. In fact, I'm quite inspired by the idea.

Monogramchick said...

Great post today Rhea and oh so true! I wanted to come by and thank you for turning me onto Piknic...I am totally addicted and have been making collages like crazy. Thank you for sharing your vast wealth of knowledge! Hope you're having a great day!

Christy said...

Holla! I think you're right and that miscommunication is the biggest cause of issues with EVERYONE. Hands down.

gingela5 said...

I agree completely! I can't count how many times the hubs and I argue just from miscommunication! And my bed doesn't talk to me but my dogs do.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Rhea, this was hysterical. First, I have to ask WHERE did you get the diagram laid out in Spanish. And then the hot dog picture was priceless. Yes, communication is key and often the biggest problem. My hubby & I have issues with this too. He'll say something and I will take it the way his words indicated it and he will wonder why I "took it that way." And I say, take responsibility for the words you choose, blah blah blah. And don't get me started re: my job. UGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

only a movie said...

Nice post, Rhea. Sorry about the pee. My bed does beckon me every night...

Mercury is retrograde until 10/15, or so I'm told. It is supposed to be a crappy time in which to try to solve things by communicating. I heard that last week and it made sense for me, but I bet it would make sense any week!

Andrea said...

The timeless man/woman miscommunication comes to mind. Why is it that you can't just say what you mean so the other person knows your meaning instead of deducting?

My bed asks me, "Hey, you used to sleep until noon. What happened??"

Krystyn said...

Life in a classroom with students is all miscommunication.

Insane Mama said...

Yes, My bed and I are in constant communication. Things are VERY VERY clear between us and it makes me happy and in turn my bed is happy.

San said...

This is a hot dog of a post--meaty and with just the right condiments.

Lula! said...

Oh, but you are funny!

I know what "punta" means, you know. But I dare not say it, for fear of getting my boo-tay kicked.

My bed talks to me in a very seductive, alluring voice..."Stay...don't leave..." Wish I heeded its calls more often.

sassy stephanie said...

My husband and I have "miscommunications" almost every day.

I get an "allowance" if you will each month, to keep me in check. I have to budget my "allowance", meaning, if I make the 1.5 hour drive back to the old 'hood and burn up some extra fuel, me gotsta take it away from another category included in my "allowance". I use our joint card for emergencies and doctor visits, car crap, things like that. Not supposed to be for clothes, lunches out, ANOTHER workout outfit. You get the pic.

Him: I told you to use the joint account for emergencies only.

Me: It was an emergency.

Him: How is buying a pair of shoes an emergency?

Me: I don't get more "allowance" money until the first and this shoe sale will be over by then!

sassy stephanie said...

Did I mention my "allowance" money is handed over on the first and usually gone by the 3rd?

sassy stephanie said...

Do you like my meaty comment today? You have nothing else to do but read my crap, right?

Captain Dumbass said...

My bed has been mocking me a lot lately. "Why bother, you know you're not going to sleep?" Bastard.

Foreign language wise, no mistakes lately, but I've heard Mama Dawg on video recently and I was wondering if you knew what language she's speaking?

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Some conversations with my hubby feel like I am speaking a foreign language! lol

My hubby calls my name ALL of the time!

Kat said...

I am thinking that your level of genius runs quite deep. So this piece of brilliance is what you come up with after this morning telling me that you "got nothin'."

Michael and I are full of miscommunication. Because I think that he should just understand what it is I am trying to say. And I also think that he, like someone else I know, just likes messing with me. Because he'll take things that I say very literally. When knows that I didn't MEAN that.

Even my girls have started doing that. Like yesterday, I told them to take a shower. They ran with it. They heard A shower. Not showerS. Meaning, they must take one shower. Together. Even though they know they are not allowed to do that - because they make a horrendous mess.

And my bed always calls to me. It's beckoning right now. With its 400 thread count sheets that the houskeeper put on this morning. I love getting into a bed that's made. And fresh sheets.

jenboglass said...

Oooh. My bed does NOT talk to me, but now I so wish it did. Now I feel like I'm missing out. I had a miscommunication the other day with my boss, but I'm going to blog about it next week so I'll save it. Sorry I'm so late stopping by. I came by first thing this morning but this post wasn't up.

Justine said...

Ah, great post, Rhea! I think what your mom did for you live-in was wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!! It probably made her feel a lot more welcome, that your mom was going out of her way to communicate!

I haven't heard a damn word out of my furniture, but my coffee pot often speaks to me. Do appliances count?

Justine :o )

SheSue said...

Miscommunication can also be a result of different generations. My grandmother has her 'supper' at noon-time. One Thanksgiving, she told everyone it would be served at suppertime. Nobody showed up at noon-time when it was ready because we all thought she meant at 6 o'clock.

WheresMyAngels said...

I feel your pain, I hate when my husband pees on me!! ha ha

DysFUNctional Mom said...

My husband loves to throw out phrases in Spanish. The problem is, he does not speak any Spanish, so the things he says either make no sense, or are quite offensive! lol
On a serious note, miscommunication truly is such a problem. My ex can take the most innocent statement by me and 'understand' it as a bizarrely horrible thing. It's mind boggling.

Mama Dawg said...

Hey Captain...I was speaking Southern. You Yankee from another country.

How's that for slagging? Boo-ya!

Captain Dumbass said...

Ouch! Wait, that's an insult, right?

Adrian said...

Here's a fun one. Obviously, this was a while ago, but I sent one of my Filipino co-workers to take notes for a meeting that was being put together by one of our bosses who was from the South.

She typed up the notes and published then. Everyone kept coming up to me and asking what the deal was with the AD4 report she'd put in the notes. I had no clue. I asked her and she said that's what he'd said. Finally I realized it was the 1984 report she was talking about!

Misty Dawn said...

My bed literally cries out to me... calling me back to it while I try to force myself out the door. hehe

Miscommunication... Yes, that can be a problem. The husband and wife bosses/owners of my out-of-the home job are from Argentina. Oh yes, I can truly relate to what you are saying, Girl!

At home though, the problem I'm experiencing is a complete LACK OF communication, rather than MIScommunication.

Angie's Spot said...

My bed & I speak frequently. She's always trying to lure me back in from the moment I step out in the morning, until the moment I step back in at night.

And recently, my incredibly comfy couch has gotten in on the action. I'm surrounded!