When Cathy and I were dating, I could read her mind. How connected! To know one another’s thoughts without speaking a word is bliss.
All married couples are familiar with this non-verbal communication. It changes a little after tying the knot. Ok, it changes a lot. For instance, when dating, I knew what Cathy needed. Now married, I simply know how angry she is with me.
The kids have a game called Punch Buggy. We archaic folk know it as Slug Bug and shun the unnecessary "no punch backs" childishness. Our most open communication comes through this game.
- When things are hunky-dory
- Cathy will call Slug Bug and the color and choose a child. No hit thrown of course. Occasionally, for balance, I receive a no hitter. And we all laugh.
- I may have irritated Cathy or she has had a frustrating day
- I get a light punch to the arm.
- I said something stupid
- I will feel a sting, still to the arm.
- I directly confront her, maybe without substance
- She stares into the parking lots like a hawk searching for a mouse and wallops me a good one possibly leaving a bruise. Any body part is fair game.
- My very presence annoys her for no rationale reason
- She will make up seeing a slug bug and magically find one of those Jedi nerve places bringing subtle tears to the corners of my eyes
- I yell at a child, scare her, or momentarily forget where I am
- She waits until we move to the back of the car, then she takes the tailgate and repeatedly slams it on my head. As I falter toward the ground she takes the baby from my hands and storms into Target with the other children leaving me bloody, dizzy, and barely standing in the parking lot. She never tells me the color of the Volkswagen.
Ah! Now that’s efficient communication.