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Mrs. Communication and her intentions

This started out as a response to a post in ballistik's journal but grew to something completely different. It seems everyone is complaining about miscommunication, at my work, on LJ, at home... i even hear people bitching on the street. It seems so many people are so busy talking that they aren't really listening, or they are listening to the words but not what's behind them. Some people are better with words than others and can convey what they mean, while others need interpretation. I once played a game at the Exploratorium where two people have the same shapes and one has to get the other to make the same picture with the shapes. It really did show that communication takes both people being on the same track. it was really interesting to watch two people doing it and you could see who caused and when things went wrong. With my group of friends we only had the same picture half the time. So Brian, you're not alone.

It seems miscommunication is everywhere right now. Tom's biggest complaint is that he believes nobody really listens to him including me. I have a very specific listening problem... Regarding TV... If it is on nothing else exists. Tom thinks I’m just making this up to get away with ignoring him when I would rather watch a Buffy rerun. I think he finally realized I was telling the truth the other night when he noticed I was sitting with my back to the TV and reading my book with ear plugs in. “What are you doing?”, he asked me. “Reading, I can’t read when the TV is on.” I went back to my reading. I admit I don’t really hear what tom is trying to say quite often. I don’t communicate the way he does.

This morning Tom wasn’t feeling well. We were running a bit late but I don’t worry about being late to work. I don’t have punch card, I just make up the time later, and if I’m running really late I call my boss and let him know. To Tom however being late is a major source of stress. Before we left this morning he called his father to tell him he was running late for their day at the movies (don’t’ worry their planned movie was hours away). On the way to drop me off at work Tom starts to tell me about how “we” should think about getting another car. This is not a subject I like- at all. Tom goes like a rollercoaster over getting anew car all the time. We NEED another one, no we should save for a house instead, no we should get a scooter, no, we really do need another car. I normally let him talk to himself because I just don’t care. I like driving his car, I like having the freedom of a car, but I don’t care about them. I lived for years without a car here is SF. You really don’t need one, but they are very convenient.

“You aren’t listening to me,” he said after talking about the stress his family was putting on him and how he wished he didn’t feel like he had to get me to work on time. Of course I was listening, I was just thinking that he hadn’t listened to me all those times I said I wasn’t worried about being late. He began to explain how he wished he could run away and hide from his family and boyfriend so that the only stress he had was his own. (I could go on for days about how Tom takes all the stress around himself and makes it his own but that’s not the point.) He continued getting to the point, “I feel, that I have all this stress put on me and when I find something that will lower my stress, nobody listens, nobody is there for me.” “Oh,” I dully replied. I hadn’t really heard that before, I just thought this was another excuse to buy a car, a habit he has of buying a new car once a year. (I have known anyone who has bought and sold so many cars in such a short period of time- 4 in 4 years)

“Well, I’ll think about it”, I said, “but I am not getting a car I don’t want.” I wanted to add, so don’t be pushing the new car that YOU want to buy on me. Tom and I have completely different tastes in cars, I was a piece of crap that I don’t need to worry about. Tom wants something stylish and cool... With a sunroof. I want an electric car, I have hated the oil industry since high school and hate to give them money. “You have to buy a real car”, Tom says to me, “You can’t buy an fantasy car, they don’t exist!” “Yes they do,” I return. “No they don’t,” Tom said defensively. “There are Hybrids and there Smart cars.” (A Smart car is a European car that is really small and extremely fuel efficient) “Oh”, he said clearly thinking I was still whining about not being able to have a Think car a two seater electric car which has sadly been recalled, “but they are so expensive and we just need something cheep for those days when we both need to drive.”

We continued our conversation about the cost of the cars vs. saving for a house. But what I need to get Tom to understand is that to me buying a car in my name is pandering to the oil industry and I vowed when I was in a high school history class with a teacher who tended to meander way off topic, when I was financially stable, I would not buy an oil based car. While the smart car is oil based it’s almost like a hybrid... It gets 60 miles to the gallon! I would rather put buying a house back a many months than go against what I think is the right thing to do. Tom has always wanted a cool car, ever since he was little. As a child I didn’t want to drive... I wanted to travel by tube or teleporter or even monorail. Tom doesn’t really hear what I’m saying because it all sounds like fantasy and future possibilities to him, the technology isn’t there yet. But to me, it’s my job to suffer the little discomfort and be progressive to stand for my beliefs. This is the one I have power over, it’s the one battle I have chosen to fight. So he will have to compromise with me if he wants a car to lower his stress. I feel bad that he feels he is not being heard and he feels so stressed out that buying a car seems like a solution to a good deal of his problems, but I must stand my ground.

How To Be Dead - Snow Patrol - Final Straw


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 6th, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC)
...speaking of communication...your story made even more sense to me while I could listen to that song on iTunes while I read it.

I communicate most successfully (during fights, drama, weird times, etc.) by making mix CDs for people and letting them listen to lyrics instead of trying to go on and on about what I'm trying to say.

How did you make that iTunes link? I want to do that, because I just had the coolest experience, listening to that song you linked to while I read your post.
Aug. 6th, 2004 04:18 pm (UTC)
Wow I didn't even realize that connection, how cool! Wow, that really is weird that I didn't even notice, I was just really typing away. I use xjournal to post my entries and with that program you can check a preference box that will create the link the music playing in your iTunes to the iTunes Music Store. I can't remember if you have a Mac or PC.

If you have a Mac, download Xjournal and from the Xjournal menu (next to file) select preferences and check the box that says "Show Links to Music Store."

If you are on a PC I'm sure there are other applications that will do this, but I don't know which one will... if you find out let me know because other people have asked me.

Let me know if aren't able to get it to work.
Aug. 6th, 2004 03:50 pm (UTC)
You know, why don't you look at a Prius? it gets ~60MPG, it's a PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle), it's cute, has bluetooth, navigation, and it's fun to drive. (I rented one for a week, and currently looking to purchase one by the end of the year.)
Aug. 6th, 2004 04:24 pm (UTC)
That one is definitely in the running. It's a bit pricy but seems like a good car. I would rather have a smart car since it's so small and parking in the city is really tough unless you have a super small car. There is this cool girl who works somewhere near me and drives a classic mini cooper and she never has to circle for parking she just parks it in any of the small spaces between cars. But it would probably be smarter to buy a car made by a company who has more than one dealership on the west coast.
Aug. 6th, 2004 05:54 pm (UTC)
Mini has dealerships all over northern california. (Just check any BMW dealership.) Toyota though far outweighs BMW's customer service in my book. I've owned toyota's most of my life, I like their cars, I like the customer service.

The Prius, for the price, is a good value. let's weigh the pro's: Navigation, bluetooth, ~600 miles per tank... for under $28k.

cons: it uses oil. Um.. no sunroof.

Aug. 7th, 2004 06:59 pm (UTC)
Tom Lehrer Said It Best
If two people can't communicate, the least they can do is to shut up.

Words to live by!
Aug. 13th, 2004 09:48 pm (UTC)
I am with Tom actually, as much as it pains me to say so. Used to drive Bear nuts too. :D
Aug. 13th, 2004 09:50 pm (UTC)
P.s> The Smart Car is soooo cute! OMG, it'd be so spiff to have one in SF!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )