Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On Signaling and Subtext in Married-People Texting

"En route to get Sean. The expensive pistol class is full, but I'm first in line if someone cancels. We got this Cub Scout thing. Hope you're resting!" 
"Don't forget to take food coloring to the meeting with you." 
"Thanks! :D"

Now let's look at that in detail, shall we?

"En route to get Sean." 
Translation:   Don't worry, I remembered that I'm supposed to pick up our son. (This time.) As long as I continue to remember it all the way home, I will probably get him before the babysitter closes, as far as you know.
"The expensive pistol class is full, but I'm first in line if someone cancels.
Translation:   Remember yesterday, when I brought up an Ernest Langdon pistol class in October, and I really wanted to go, and I suggested that maybe I'd take your van and sleep in the back, and you asked why not just get a motel? And I allowed as how the class is a little expensive, and you got me to admit how expensive, and then you sort of grudgingly accepted it, but you were fully on board with the van-camping concept, even though I'd started to think maybe a motel was more reasonable?
Well, by the time I contacted the class host, they were waiting on someone to confirm the last spot, and he did. So now there's no slot for me, which means you don't have to worry about how expensive it is! It's a clear win. However, I'm the first one on the alternate list and it would be unusual if no one canceled in the next two months, so . . . it's probably still going to happen. I'm considering stopping by the plasma donation place on the way home to see what the fund-raising potential really is.
"We got this Cub Scout thing.
Translation:   I'm on such a roll, I also remembered to cancel gym night and will take the little Wolf to his cub scout meeting. Have you ever wanted me more feverishly than you do right now?
"Hope you're resting!
Translation:  I'm also sensitive and caring, so I remember that you didn't feel good this morning. I just hope you feel better and you're getting some rest before your work obligation tonight. Seriously, I am maxing this husband thing out today.
"Don't forget to take food coloring to the meeting with you."
Translation:  That's all very impressive and all, honey, but we both know you completely forgot about this. You should probably thank whatever is out there that you have me to remind you.
"Thanks! :D"
Translation:  Shit. I did completely forget about that. It's not a great feeling, but I'm buoyed by the certain knowledge that in five minutes I won't remember feeling bad about not remembering food coloring. I'll just wonder why I have "SEAN FOOD COLORING" written on my hand.

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