It used to be kind of frustrating, but now we just laugh about it. I would ask a question and Brent would give me a piece of totally unrelated information. Over time, I came to understand the hidden thought process and economy of language that give rise to this phenomenon. Here is an example, with hidden thought processes in italics:
ME: “How many miles are you going to ride this afternoon?” Just wondering how far Brent is going to ride his bike. Pretty straightforward, eh?
BRENT: She’s probably wondering how long I’ll be out, and whether we’ll be able to get to the party on time. No problem; I’ll be back, showered and dressed by 5:30 PM. “The party isn’t until 7:00.”
ME: “Right. Um… how many miles are you going to ride today?”
You see, Brent tries to anticipate the “real” question I am leading up to. He would like to save time and words by answering, say, Question C directly, thus bypassing the cumbersome process of first answering Preliminary Questions A and B. However, the effort sometimes backfires and he ends up having to answer the same question twice. In these cases, he reckons without my ability to simply ask for the information I want. So it has become a bit of a family joke…
ME: “Who all was at the luncheon today?”
BRENT: I had told her that Dave was going to try to come; she wants to know whether he made it or not. “Dave went to a program at his son’s school.”
ME: (Blinks, then recovers.) “The wind is in the southwest!”
BRENT: “I did it again, didn’t I?”
ME: “Yep. We sound like a bad spy movie.”
BRENT: “The goose flies at midnight!”
ME: “The lemon pie is exceptionally good!”
I love that guy. Our minds work very differently, but that comes in so handy when I’m stuck on one detail and Brent comes along to remind me of the big picture. Or sometimes I’ll have a moment of clarity, and offer a suggestion that helps him get past some mental block or other. So we’ll continue to communicate, and when we start sounding like a bad spy movie we’ll just step back and laugh. Maybe someday I’ll even find out who all was at that luncheon.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to pick up my trench coat from the cleaners, and brush off my fedora.
Thanks for reading!
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