He said (a little), she said (a lot)


Out of the corner of the eye I saw he’d texted me, which isn’t unusual but in the past few weeks had been less frequent. We’ve both been busy: he has gone back to school and I have been traveling quite a bit for work. And there were the holidays: Parties. Family. Gatherings. Shopping. Lots of people to please.

I know, right? Serious Third World / “This is 40” problems.

For an insecure little second I wondered if he was cancelling our date tonight.

Shortly after my divorce I went out with a man who had a habit of that: texting at the last minute to say he couldn’t make it… I don’t know why I continued to set up new dates with that one. I don’t know why he continued to cancel.

And I don’t know why I thought my current sweetheart would do likewise.

I looked at my phone.

A link to a song. I smiled. THIS is his habit. He texts me songs. Sometimes I’ve heard of them, sometimes I have not.

Simon and Garfunkle. A Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Occasionally there is context in the lyrics of the songs he sends me – a harkening to a conversation we had the night before or anticipation of the one to come – but I’ve learned that more often than not, it’s simpler than that. He thinks I’ll appreciate the lead singer’s ridiculous platform shoes. He likes the rhythm section.

When we fight, it’s usually because he’s asked me something that – in his mind – is a simple question, but – in mine – is wrought with complexities, context, (baggage!). Or I’ve asked him something and have expected a thoughtful, nuanced response but received a simple answer.

This variety of communication problem is so common in relationships that the self-help culture has given a shorthand to it: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Or as one of my girlfriends says: Men are easy. Women are batshit.

I don’t know if I’d take it that far.

But indeed, what I know is that if he were to read into things as much as I read into them, I would definitely lose my patience. Possibly my mind as well.

“I love you and am writing about you. Why this song?” I texted back.

“Just struck me,” he responded.

Me too.

Three-hundred-and-eighty-nine words worth.


6 thoughts on “He said (a little), she said (a lot)

  1. Ha ha not all men are simple. We can be as sensitive and butt hurt about stupid shit just like anybody else. And of the ones that are, I wonder how much of that is the self fulfilling prophecy stuff? You know, men are conditioned with the idea of what men are supposed to be so they try to pattern themselves after that idea.

  2. My hubby starts belting out songs and I’m always asking him why that song and what it reminds him of and he usually says things like, “I heard it on the radio yesterday. It doesn’t make me think of anything.” Why do we always assign meaning-with-a-capital-M to stuff?

  3. I remember days like those, but it usually involved sitting by a phone and willing it to ring, or rushing in and praying that the answering machine was blinking!

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