It began with fraudulent charges on my credit card. I say “fraudulent,” because I first approached Marti who was insulted by my accusation. She concluded our argument with “Fine,” which means she cannot be bothered with the issue any longer because she has something else to do.
She retreats to the bathroom, saying over her shoulder that she will only be “Five minutes,” which can easily be translated to a half-an-hour, minimum.
Thirty minutes later, she emerges, asking, “How do I look?” I say, “Fine.” I get the stiff and extremely cold shoulder brush. “What’s wrong?” I ask, and she says, “Nothing,” in such a tone that I know “Nothing” meant something. I brace myself for the roller coaster kind of an argument. You know, the turn inside-out, upside-down, and backwards argument. Several minutes later I apologize for getting upset over “Nothing,” that she says is, “Fine.”
Exasperated from the ‘Nothing’, the Bank is called and I am now bound for the Department of Motor Vehicles, where I will stand in a long line without an appointment because I let my vehicle registration lapse.
Disgusted by my last minute rescue-me efforts, she is prompted to say, “Go Ahead” and holds open the door. I know this “Go Ahead” statement is not ‘make way for the King,’ but “I give up.” And then comes the raised eyebrow. I hate it when she raises just one eyebrow. “What?” I ask. In just a few minutes she moves from the “Go ahead” to the “Nothing” and on to the “Fine,” telling me she will talk to me in about … “Five” minutes.
How does this happen? And why — why do I fall for it so many times, especially since I can translate the “Nothing,” the “Fine,” and the “Go Ahead” without a guide to foreign languages?
Several more minutes then ‘Five’ minutes, Marti returns from the bathroom. She is calm and collected. That is, she is serene until she loudly sighs. (A loud sigh is not a word but an attitude with that raised eyebrow.) Her nonverbal statement says, “At this point in time, you are an idiot. Why are you wasting my time standing here arguing over ‘Nothing’ when you could be well on your way to making right this infraction?”
I apologize for the false accusation and she says, “That’s okay.” “That’s okay” is not okay. While I travel to the Department of Motor Vehicles to stand in a long line without an appointment in order to register my vehicle, I am to consider what penalty I plan on paying in reputation for whatever it is that I have done. Marti’s “That’s okay” is often followed by “Fine” and used in conjunction with “Go Ahead,” which means this conversation is not over.
“Let me explain why I thought you may have used the credit card.” And she responds with, “Please do.” Marti is giving me a chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason I have for doing whatever it is that I did. I try very hard to focus on the facts.
Glory be to the heavens, Marti says “Thanks.” With my hand on the door, ready to bolt, I say, “You are welcome.”
I am almost out of the door when I recognize I have incorrectly interrupted her “Thanks.” All along she means,“Thanks a lot,” which tells me I have heartlessly hurt her in some way. “Thanks a lot” is followed by the raised eyebrow and a loud sigh, followed by me falling all over myself asking what is it that I did wrong, followed by her, “Nothing,” and moments later “Fine.”
Never did a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles to stand in a long line to register my vehicle without an appointment look so inviting.
I am not having a good day.
Dear Members of the Catch Community,
My vehicle is now registered, my relationship with my Marti is restored, and I am going to send this out tonight for fun, but look forward to picking up where we left off — tomorrow. (Please forgive this commercial break.)