by Sherri Kukla
We visited some friends in the desert quite a few years ago who had just bought some beautiful property. They were going to sell parcels of this land and we were interested.
We had a pleasant visit with them and they were explained to us the history of the land they owned, also telling us about the 100 acres they just added to their existing desert ranch.
After awhile the guyin-the-garage and I headed off to check out the rest of the acreage while engaging in some fascinating conversation. During most conversations one person talks and the other listens and then vice versa. But that’s not our conversations. I talk and he travels to distant lands in his mind, uttering a well-placed “hmmm” or “uh-huh” occasionally to make me believe he is hanging on every word I say.
At one point during my monologue (I admit my part of the conversation gets a tad lengthy) he said, “So after they sell this land, they’re going to buy the 100 acres next to their place?”
The first problem here is that had absolutely nothing to do with what I was talking about. And the second problem is he was wrong.
“They already bought that 100 acres,” I said barely hiding my annoyance.
“Yes, they said they already bought it.” He looked unconvinced so I launched into the complete version that we had just heard from our friends to convince him I knew what I was talking about. He pretended to listen to every word.
We found the acreage and as we walked around we were still conversing, or so I thought, until the guy-in-the-garage stared off in the distance and said “So after they sell all of this, they’re going to buy the 100 acres next to their ranch?”
After regaining my ability to speak, I said, “No, they already bought the 100 acres!”
“They did?” he said. I didn’t even answer that. In fact, I came close to taking a vow never to talk to him again because I was realizing it was a futile task. The words that leave my mouth never even make contact with his brain
Now, you’ll think I’m making this up, and the guy-in-the-garage doesn’t believe it at all, but about 30 minutes later, he asked, “So they’re going to buy the 100 acres near their land in addition to all this land?”
“No,” I said so patiently and kindly, even I was in awe. “They already own the 100 acres.”
But when he said,
“They do?” I just couldn’t take it anymore. I got more than a little upset. “I don’t know why I bother talking to you! You only listen to 25% of what I say, so when you discover you’re really interested in what I’m saying I have to tell you the story four more times just so you’ll hear the whole thing.”
You’d think about this time he’d be apologizing and promising to be a better listener, but with a smile on his face he admitted I was right which shocked me. But then he said, “And that’s 15% more than I want to hear!”
There was no point in giving him the silent treatment for the rest of the day as much as I wanted to because truthfully he would have enjoyed it way too much.
Sherri Kukla is the editor and co-publisher of S&S Off Road Magazine. She along with her husband, the guy-inthe-garage, are also the founders and directors of Thundering Trails off road camp for inner city kids in Southern California. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ssorm.com .contact with his brain.