Marriage Is A Short Sentence

Now that I’m in the final stages of polishing Book 15, my brain has apparently decided to become creative in more questionable ways.  For instance, last week I figured out why language skills seem to diminish with age.

It’s not normal aging.  It’s not even dementia.  No, the cause is much more widespread and insidious.

It’s marriage.

I determined this through exhaustive scientific research, of course.  To be exact, it occurred to me at the dinner table.

Hubby and I were chatting about nothing in particular when I mentioned that I’d finally taken time to clean my engagement ring.  I’m an avid gardener and even though I always wear gardening gloves, fine particles of soil sift through the fabric and sully my diamond.

I attempted to communicate that idea as follows:

“I always wear gloves, but you know how fine dust always comes through the…”

I didn’t bother to complete the sentence.  Hubby was already nodding, so I knew he’d gotten it.

And that’s when it hit me:  After being together for twenty years, we don’t have to finish our sentences anymore.  We each know what the other means.  (Or we don’t; and then we accuse each other of conversations that never actually took place.  Marriage is all about give and take:  Give blame, take credit.)

But it proves my point:  We don’t lose language skills as we get older; we just expect others to decipher our meaning after only a few cryptic words.

And Hubby and I have only been married for a couple of decades.  People who have been married for fifty years probably don’t even need to use nouns.  In another few decades, this will be our dinner conversation:

“Did you…”

“Yep.”

“How about…”

“Uh-huh. But don’t forget the…”

“Got it.”

If we were married even longer, we could probably communicate with only the lift of an eyebrow and a nod.  (Or the lift of a certain finger; but that’s more of a universal gesture so I’m excluding it from my scholarly research.)

But now that I’ve identified the problem, I’m stumped for a solution.  It seems like a lot of work to change my habits just for the sake of keeping up language skills; and it’ll likely be a while before the COVID-19 isolation protocols are relaxed enough that I can visit regularly with people who require me to express complete ideas.

So I guess I’ll have to start conversing with inanimate objects that can’t possibly nod and indicate their understanding after only a few words.  As long as self-isolation doesn’t last so long that I develop an unhealthy relationship with my teapot or my dining room chair, everything should be fine.

But if they start replying…

I don’t think I’ll finish that sentence.

Book 15 update:  I’m expecting the final feedback from my beta readers this week, so stay tuned for a release date announcement in my next post!

48 Comments

Filed under Humour, Life

48 responses to “Marriage Is A Short Sentence

  1. So true! I’ve been married only 14 yrs but my hubs hardly bothers to complete a sentence. He simply finishes with “you know what I mean”… and I do.

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  2. I think your title is in error.
    If “I am” is the shortest sentence in the English language, then ”I do” is the longest.

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  3. I nodded through the whole post, in between laughing. We have been together over 40 years and we are at the “Did you…” ” Yes I’ve got it.” phase. I had not really thought about it but will pay close attention going forward. To that and the talking teapot.

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  4. I recommend watching “Quest For Fire” for a quick refresher.

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  5. We just celebrated our 46th anniversary in April (got married in college….would have liked to have said as kids and that would have made us younger, but can’t stretch the truth that far)….anyway….I had to laugh because we go from one or two words and the other knows exactly what we are talking about to one or two words and the other gives the look of “Where in the hell did that come from” or “What the hell are you talking about”. Great post!! 🙂

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  6. OK, Diane. Are you going a tad stir-crazy? Losing your mind? Just kidding, of course. I totally get what you’re (almost) saying! But, I wonder whether it’s laziness. I find the older I get – I mean, the longer I’m married – the lazier I become in articulating my ideas, assuming my other half can just read my mind. Or wishing it was so. This doesn’t always end well!

    I love your expression “Marriage is all about give and take: Give blame, take credit.“ Why does that come so easy and explaining a thought doesn’t? I blame COVID-19. It’s stealing my inspiration and zest for communication…

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    • LOL! I’m both stir-crazy and losing my mind; but I think my verbal issues are unrelated to both. 😉 It’s tough to stay motivated and productive when your whole life has changed overnight — I hope you can stay sane, and cut yourself some slack. You don’t have to be productive every single day. (But you might want to try completing a few verbal sentences every now and then…) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Barbara

    I have an idea for you.
    They (scientists) say that your brain does wonderful things and lets us get into routines by default. In order to keep your brain challenged, try learning to write with your non dominant hand, also brushing your teeth and crossing your legs in the opposite direction that you normally do. This will activate stimulus to all areas of the brain and I believe it will improve your language skills.
    However, having read your books, I find nothing wrong with them. In fact I have found hours of humorous and exciting times with them.
    Thank you for being an awesome author.

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    • Thank you, Barbara — that makes my day! And maybe there’s something to that brain-stimulation thing. I do quite a few things with my non-dominant hand, and I always make sure I give both sides of my body “equal time” in positions like crossing my legs. It’s a habit that rose out of necessity years ago from various sports-related injuries; but now I do it without thinking. I’m not exactly ambidextrous, but I can get along okay with either hand if I need to. So who knows? Maybe it’s been good for my language skills, too. 🙂

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  8. Not just married people. Years back my two younger daughters went to England with a friend. The poor friend had no idea what was going on as the girls rarely talked complete sentences.
    What I dislike are the conversations that either happened (one spouse’s version) or didn’t (the other spouse’s version). There is no winning there, I just apologize and shut up.

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    • Yep, you’re right — it’s not worth the fight. Not to mention that fact that if I’m deeply absorbed in writing, I’m perfectly capable of forgetting a conversation immediately after we’ve had it. Chances are pretty good that I’m the one who owes an apology anyway. 😉

      Sibling in-jokes are another story. To this day, my brother and sister and I can utter a single (apparently random) word and burst out laughing, much to the confusion of those around us. It’s not actually insanity; it just looks like it.

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  9. Marriage is a sentence alright: one interrogative after another.

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  10. I love this. Your writing is always hilarious without effort, love the dialogue! I always get a laugh and enjoy reading your material. Keep us posted if that unhealthy relationship with the teapot requires any therapy -why couldn’t I have thought of that!

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  11. Kathy

    After nearly 30 years, conversations between my husband and and me are minimal. However, the cats have elaborate, intense conversations on everything from which one drives while the other operates the pedals, to any of many other joint projects that you don’t typically see cats doing.

    This has been going on as long as we’ve had cats. Each has it’s own personality, it’s own voice, and it’s own mannerisms.

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    • That’s fabulous! Now I’m imagining the dialogue at your house and grinning! I miss having cats, but I don’t miss the layers and layers of cat hair (not to mention the horked-up hairballs). Maybe one of these days we’ll start another feline family…

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  12. Oh yes.
    It is true here too. I think.
    Mind you, my (long-term) partner is an expert at mmm’s which may mean I hear you and I agree, but also mean ‘I am not listening but am making agreeable noises so you think that I am’.
    You wear gloves gardening? I should, but cannot. And consequently the state of my hand and nails leaves a LOT to be desired.

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    • I do wear gardening gloves, but sometimes I wonder why. Even when I buy the heavy-duty kevlar ones, I still grind through the fingertips. Then when I come indoors and take off my gloves, I discover that I’ve basically been digging in the dirt with my fingernails. Recently I’ve been putting a layer of duct tape inside the gloves in an attempt to prolong their life, so we’ll see whether that helps.

      And yes, the patented “mmm”. So many possible interpretations… 😉

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  13. Michelle

    With the enforced togetherness of late I’ve been subjected to many a woeful tale on the state of people’s marriages. So when I saw the title of this post my brain went straight to the other meaning of the word “sentence”. I’m so happy it was referring to strings of words rather than strings of time. LOL! Must try to have a more “glass half full” attitude. That being said, I’m glad to hear all is well and that sentences are still being formed even if under shared construction, hahaha! I have a sudden image of a game from when I was a kid. Ever hear of “Madlibs”? Use to LOVE those! But as a communication device for adults it would be disastrous! ~snicker
    Have a great week!!

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    • We’re lucky that the isolation protocols haven’t bothered us at all — we both work from home, so nothing has really changed for us. I can imagine how difficult it must be for people who are suddenly crammed together under stress, though. It takes a long time to get used to having somebody else in what used to be “your space”.

      I had to go and look up MadLibs. It sounds like my kind of game! Maybe next time I’m telling Hubby something, I’ll swap in a few random inappropriate words and see if he can still read my mind. (If there’s no new blog post in two weeks, you’ll know he’s had me committed.) 😉

      You have a great week, too!

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  14. You’re right – just last week my wife said, “Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.” I knew I was in trouble …

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  15. Rudy™

    I think when a couple approaches the 50 year mark, their conversational style drifts towards bickering. Our houses here are closer together, and our amusement is overhearing the older couple next door when the windows are open. They snip at each other often! Yet they both know they couldn’t do without each other. My grandparents were similar. I guess there’s comfort in knowing that they can get away with bickering and mild complaining, knowing there’s no malice or ill intention behind any of it. It’s just how they communicate.

    At Casa Rudy, though, there’s no finishing each other’s thoughts. Instead, it’s like a conversation picked up midstream, like I need to guess at what the heck she’s talking about. My ex was worse, though–changing topics mid-discussion, rarely listening to anything I said (until it suited her in a future argument, for ammunition). It’s no wonder that relationship bombed! To the point of vowing never to get married again…which I haven’t! Living (mostly) happily together, and neither of us wanting to change it. It’s lasted longer than the marriage, so I guess something is working! Although there are the ongoing challenges of living with a ginger…which go beyond the woes of (mis)communication! 😁

    I’ll leave you with this thought. When we were kids, “Roots” was a TV miniseries. For our kids today, “Roots” is something their mothers complain about during the Great Pandemic!

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    • Hmm, I dunno about your crack about living a ginger — I resemble that remark! 😉 It’s amazing how many different living combinations and communication styles there are for marriage/cohabitation. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

      Here in Canada, Roots is a clothing boutique… which is better than in Australia, where “roots” is a conjugation of a verb that means something ENTIRELY different (and not something you want to listen to your neighbours doing). 😉

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  16. Sandra Hand

    Are you listening into our conversations, Diane? After over 45 years of marriage and many years together before that, we rarely make sense when talking to each other. And yet, somehow it works out most times…but not every time, and that leads to some very odd looks for the receiver of the informati……

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    • LOL! I’m glad we’re not the only ones who exchange partial information and odd looks. (And I’m not listening in on your conversations… but then again, would I admit it if I was?) 😉

      It’s encouraging to know that the “communication system” continues to work throughout the years, despite a few hiccups. A sense of humour is a critical ingredient!

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  17. Melinda Connor

    I wanted to say a special thank you to you. When ever I read your posts to the blog my heart is uplifted and I laugh. I am doing a research study on the virus right now and it means that I am dealing with lots of folks that are seeing lots of death. So having something that up lifts my heart is especially important. And I was married for 28 years and he used to say “please use your antecedents. I do not know why you think I know what you are talking about.” Ah quality communication in a marriage.

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    • We’d probably be better off if we always asked for clarification the way your husband did! Fortunately Hubby and I seem to be on the same wavelength most of the time, so we can laugh and forgive each other the occasional ‘oops’. 🙂

      And I’m so glad my blog gives you a smile, especially during these difficult times. I can only imagine how depressing and upsetting your research must be. Thank you for doing it — it’s a relief to know that folks like you are working hard to make things better for all of us.

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  18. Tom

    Nods in agreem
    🙃😁

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  19. I had that kind of communication with my best friend during early adulthood. Mark would often go through periods of no talking as doing his part to cut down on all the unnecessary noise and B.S. in the world. I knew what he was saying even when silent.
    Unfortunately, my marriage of several decades never achieved that. Maybe that was a contributing factor to its demise. My cats seem to understand me and I them. Of course our needs are quite simple.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear that your marriage didn’t make it — even when splitting up is for the best, it’s no damn fun to go through it. I hope you’re doing okay.

      I’ve long believed that cats are telepathic. Unfortunately, they’re also smart and lazy with an evil sense of humour, so they pretend they don’t have a clue what we’re thinking (and consequently get the better of us every time).

      Mark sounds like a cool guy. The world would be a better place if more people shut up and listened. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I totally get that. After 50 years, nonverbal communication requires even less effort. Blink, and one hears, “Don’t even think about it.” Or merely breathe and, “No. And don’t ever ask again.” In the middle of a nap. “Of course! Get dressed. We’re almost late already. And why didn’t you mention it earlier if you wanted to go shopping with me?” See what you have to look forward to?🤪

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