Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Do you read me?

We've had a few moon boots incidences this week in which we've completely misinterpreted what the other has said.


One day Grandpa had taken our van to the temple because Andrew had the car and Karen needed her car. Andrew was surprised when he got home to find the van gone but his family at home. I was in the kitchen working on dinner.

"Where's the van?" he asked when he got inside.

"In the backyard," I replied.

"You're...eerily calm about that," he said.

I looked at him funny.

He looked at me funny.

Crickets chirped.

"I'm typically pretty calm when the kids are playing nicely in the backyard..." I explained.

"Oh!" he said. "I didn't know you were talking about the kids!"

"Well, what were you talking about then?" I asked. "You're the one who brought up the kids!"

"Did not! I was talking about the van. It's not in the garage."

"Oh!" I laughed. "Your dad took the van. I thought you said, 'Where's the Benj?' No wonder you thought I was going crazy!"


Miriam asked me permission to do something and I said, "Not yet," and then she started doing the thing (I can't remember what she had asked to do).

Quite annoyed (because she was doing the thing I'd just told her to not do), I said, "Miriam! What are you doing?"

"I'm doing the thing," she said (whatever the thing was).

"Why?" I asked. "I asked you to wait!"

"Oh!" she said. "I thought you said, 'Oh, yes!'"

Because I am often just that emphatic about granting permission. Ooooh, yessss!


Today Miriam and I were tying a fleece blanket together (we still have a couple unfinished ones leftover from her birthday party...which was in January...) this afternoon and she remarked in a silly voice, "Mom, you knot very fast!"

Ignoring her ghastly grammar (because grammar is moot when you use a silly voice), I feigned offence and said, "Uhhhh...rude!"

"What?" Miriam said. "No! Mom: K-N-O-T. It was a compliment. 'You knot very fast,' not 'You're not very fast!'"


And because this story popped out of the miscommunications folder in my brain while I was searching for the other miscommunication we had this week, I will share it. But it's not the story I was searching for...

At one of Andrew's graduation events—a cozy gathering of graduating PhD students, their advisors and families, and a few supporting PhD candidates—the dean was giving a speech about the graduates (lauding their hard work, highlighting their accomplishments, and bragging about what they were going to go into the world to accomplish) and he said, "Some of them have even secured an elusive J-O-B!"

Snickers and chuckles danced around the room for that zinger, so the dean threw it out a couple more times. It's what we all want, that J-O-B. They can be hard to find, those J-O-Bs. But, really, a J-O-B is the next step.

Finally, Andrew's advisor leaned over the table and whispered to us, "What's a J-O-B?"

"A...a...job," Andrew stammered.

"OH!" his advisor whispered, looking rather sheepish.


And, I just remembered the last story!

Benjamin raced up the stairs late last night (about 10:00). School is out now so he was having a sleepover in the basement with his sisters and apparently had come all the way upstairs (passing three other bathrooms) to use the toilet. Andrew and I were sitting on the couch.

"What are you up to, Ben?" Andrew asked as Benjamin raced past.

"Good!" Benjamin answered as he popped into the bathroom.

But I'm honestly not sure that counts as a miscommunication because that's pretty much how well Benjamin ever listens...


  1. "Finally, Andrew's advisor leaned over the table and whispered to us, "What's a J-O-B?" -- made me LOL; wow, those Duke folks are reallllly smart!

    cute post!

    1. Yes! I know I was like, "We found you intimidating for so many years and now...not so much."

      In the advisor's defence, they are a non-native English speaker AND there are a ton of acronyms in academia (true for a lot of things). There's the JOP (Journal of Politics or Journal of Psychology (and more)), there's the JD (which lots of public policy folks go on to do (or do in conjunction with their PhD)), and lots more. So, I could see how it could've been confusing.

      Still funny though! :D

    2. Ah, yes, well that makes it more understandable. Thanks for the explanation. :)