Dear Future Husband,
I have this little saying, and I can pretty much GUARANTEE that you will hear it at least once. Or twice. Or as many times as it takes to, well, take. You see, I was raised by an English teacher. And, in addition to inheriting a cringe reaction to the use of incorrect grammar, I also inherited a love for words AND a love for using words within their correct connotations and denotations (YES, there is a difference). Therefore, Future Husband, I TRULY believe that…
“WORDS HAVE MEANING.”
If my opening wasn’t clear, I wholeheartedly believe in saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Consider this your fair warning…I will TRY MY BEST to “just go with it” (Current Boyfriend uses this line a lot…), but I will likely interpret what you say based on my perception of your words. For instance, if the dictionary meaning of your word choice does not accurately convey your sentiment, a lost-in-translation situation may occur.
Unfortunately, Current Boyfriend did not receive a fair warning…
Very early in our relationship, Current Boyfriend and I went on a triple date with two of my girlfriends and their husbands. My girlfriends were beyond eager to politely interrogate him as I had not introduced them to one of my dates in YEARS. Clearly, this was a big deal.
Towards the end of the night, one of my friends asked, “So, Current Boyfriend, what is your favorite characteristic of Ima?”
Of, course, I eagerly awaited his answer…I mean, who DOESN’T want to hear all the wonderful reasons why one is admired by one’s significant other?!
WITHOUT HESITATION, he uttered following words, and my face simultaneously dropped.
“She’s not lazy. I can’t stand lazy people.”
OH man, Ima. Hold back the ambush. Think your thoughts, don’t say them out loud…
Thought 1: I’m sorry, your FAVORITE thing about me is that I’m not something negative?!
Thought 2: If you can’t stand lazy people, shouldn’t “not lazy” be the VERY MINIMUM that you accept? And, if so, that’s REALLY your FAVORITE thing about me?!
Thought 3: We’re going to have to talk about this later…
So, we talked about it later.
He explained that he didn’t understand why I was upset. He didn’t mean anything negative by his comments. He truly thought he was saying something positive about me. So, I proceeded to say that his word choice could have been better. Like, for example, he COULD have said that he loved how driven I was or how involved I was in the community. OR that I was passionate and went after what I wanted. ANYTHING but “she’s not lazy.”
After all my explaining, he admitted that he STILL didn’t see the difference.
“Ok, babe. My friend asked me if I thought you were handsome. I said, ‘Well, he’s not UNattractive.’”
“Ok. I get it now.”
PS. Current Boyfriend has struck “not lazy” from his vocabulary (at least as it pertains to me).
PSS. I’d like for the record to reflect that Current Boyfriend is VERY attractive, if I do say so myself.