What We Say, What We Mean

Calvin says: “Here comes that new girl. Hey, Susie Derkins, is that your face or is a possum stuck in your collar? I hope you suffer a debilitating brain aneurism, you freak!” Hobbes knows he means “She *cute*, isn’t she?” And we can all relate to the memorable balcony scene in Annie Hall with Diane Keaton and Woody Allen’s real thoughts seen in thought-bubble subtitles at the bottom of the screen as they carry on absurd, small-talk about photography:

Alvy: So, did you do those photographs in there, or what?
Annie: Yeah, yeah, I sort of dabble around, you know. (Subtitle: I dabble? Listen to me – what a jerk.)
Alvy: They’re wonderful. They have a quality…     (Subtitle: You are a great – looking girl.)
Annie: Well, I would like to take a serious photography course. (Subtitle: He probably thinks I’m a yo-yo.)
Alvy: (pretentiously) Photography’s interesting because, you know, it’s a new form, and a set of aesthetic criteria have not emerged yet.    (Subtitle: I wonder what she looks like naked.)
Annie : You mean whether it’s a good photo or not? (Subtitle: I’m not smart enough for him.)

We’ve all seen that in action.  I was reminded of that today when I was reading comments to one of my Facebook posts. I usually make a lot of posts about what I am working on during the day with the magazine, and what healthy foods I am eating.  Earlier this week I posted: For safety sake, when I make Facebook posts, I never say I’m about to go somewhere so no one (really) knows my schedule. If I say I’m headed out, I likely just returned.
These are the comments I’ve gotten so far:

Barbara Nowak: What a wise woman!
Esther Seymour-Vogenitz: Smart!
Sharon B: Hmmm, so when you say broccoli, is that really a code for cheetos?
Pete Hitlin: Sharon, you may be on to something. I believe I shall be using such a code!
Lounge-a Rama: I like it to! Ripe avocado= warm chocolate chip cookies:D
Dale Yeager: Fresh fruit = chocolate mousse
Sharon B: Doing magazine layout = watching Judge Judy
Pete Hitlin: Meditating=plotting revenge on Sharon

These guys had me cracking up.  I thought how often do I say a particular thing, although we all know it isn’t so.  One of my favorite lines to escape a phone conversation with friends (once it has reached the pointless stage) is: “I think I hear my mother calling me.”  That is our signal that I love them, but I’ve had it with the phone call.  Mom, of course, left her body years ago.

My mom was also a good one for euphemism.  Ever the diplomat, she taught me early on to say I had to “powder my nose” when I was going to the rest room; that it was “my time” when I had menstrual cramps.  It was confusing, however, when I heard her say it was my grandmother’s time as she lay dying.  I thought, “Jeez to be dying of old age and have cramps, too, what a drag.”  Yes, growing up, there was a lot that was unsaid and a lot of confusing euphemism, but as a kid I didn’t pay all that much attention to what I didn’t know.  And there was lots I didn’t know.

One thing I always had a hard time with was when I wanted to break up with someone, because all my partners were really neat guys.  I historically have a pattern of 3 years in, I’m done and want to be alone again, no matter how much I love someone and am compatible with them.  I tell them directly how I feel and even used to tell them ahead of time that I anticipated it – yeah, bad move, that.  But somehow they thought that there was a hidden meaning or hidden person, behind the words I said.  They thought there was something wrong with them.  But there wasn’t. They thought there was someone else.  There wasn’t. They thought I didn’t love them.  I did.

It took me a lot of years to realize that nothing I say is going to convince anyone of anything.  All I can do is speak my truth and live my truth and know that those who end up alongside me are those I am in vibrational resonance with.  And for those people, we will all know that, no matter what words we speak, we know the hidden language beneath it and we’re having fun with it all.

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