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Failure to Communicate

A few weeks ago, we had houseguests Arnie and Jane stay with us. Arnie is my mom’s first cousin and a current resident of Northern California; Matt and I got to know him and his wife Jane during our time in San Francisco.

A typical Arnie and Jane visit revolves around Matt, Simon, and I lazing from the sidelines as they pack in 4 days of activity into a weekend. It’s exhausting just watching, but works out well for us because they inevitably bring us a variety of food goodies from their various adventures that Matt and I pounce on like vultures. A typical visit also includes some opportunistic catching up over breakfast or late-night tea. They always thank us profusely, but we really look forward to their visits and need little thanks.

This last trip coincided with my bringing Cambria home. They arrived on the fourth day of his tenure, and “cat” was very much on the brain. This information is relevant within the context of my last chat with Jane, minutes before she left for the airport. I’m paraphrasing a bit, but the general tone is exactly as follows. Our conversation began with a discussion of my not-terribly-inspiring efforts towards career reinvention.

“Well thank you again so much for your hospitality. And keep me posted on everything that is going on, will you?”

“I will, but so far I’ve mostly been busy with KIP, Agotich, and other volunteering. I’ll get there eventually, I suppose.”

“Oh, I know. And you know what? The most important thing right now is upstairs.”

“I do know that, trust me. I think he’s going to work out just fine.”

“I do, too.”

“It could change, but he seems like a real sweetie.”

“Oh, very sweet. I have no doubt about that.”

“I think we’ll keep him!”

“He’s definitely a keeper.”

“But you know, we have to knock two pounds off of him.”

“What?! Who said that.”

“The doctor. He’s overweight.”

Simon has to lose two pounds!?”

And that is when the verbal wheels screeched to a halt.

“No, no. Not Simon, Cambria.”

Jane looked a bit confused. Then she smiled and continued walking to her car. And then it occurred to me. It’s not just that we had been talking about different “him”s at the very end. We had been talking about different “him”s the entire time! So what’s worse? The self absorbed mother who thinks everything is about her child? Or the distracted mother who doesn’t realize when someone is talking about her child?

3 Responses to “Failure to Communicate”

  1. Amanda says:

    Neither is worse. I have dog on the brain right now–she’s the one who needs attention and planning for. Everyone else is fine. Simon was cruising, Cambria needed attention at that particular time. No worries.

  2. goldsteinrita says:

    Knowing you and knowing Jane, I do believe that is one of the funniest blogs you have done. I literally had tears running down my face.

  3. blg says:


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