Marriage has shown me something very hilarious: Chris and I, both self-proclaimed English nerds, define the same words very, very differently!
Take this scene, for instance (and forgive the tense changes...or else):
I walk out of the living room in tears, feeling overwrought by loads of homework, circumstances with my family, and the idea that I'm doing an awful job of taking care of my poor, mono-struck husband.
Two minutes earlier, I had given a stirring speech about the unsearchable depths of my stress. Obviously, since Chris must be able to read my mind, I was sure he knew I wanted only to be heard, and perhaps hugged.
Being the helpful man he is, Chris had offered some perspective: the homework was not nearly as bad as I was making it out to be, and if I just started on it, I would be finished more quickly than I ever expected.
Which brought me to a sudden flare of anger and frustration, which brings me to the tears.
Plopping down on our pale blue comforter, I huff loudly while spreading out books from various classes in a semicircle around me. My poor, mono-struck husband comes in to try to comfort me, but by this time, I won't have any of it. I bury my nose in my books and act pouty and stubborn until a good hour later, when I decide that needless conflict with my husband really kinda sucks.
I peek my head out the door, walk to the maroon armchair where Chris sits, and settle myself onto the floor beside him. After I offer a sincere apology, we begin to inspect the string of misunderstandings that caused our whole conversation to unravel.
I had said that I was "stressed." By that, I also meant "overwhelmed." Chris informed me that he can be "stressed" without being "overwhelmed," and he had been trying to keep me from spiraling from one to the other. When I told him that I was stressed about homework, he figured that it was low-level disconcertment he could quickly talk me out of, rather than a deluge of despair I merely wanted to be rescued from, if only for a moment.
Hyperbolic? Me? Whatevs. In any case, this situation has come up before with the words "disagreement" and "fight," as well as "upset" and "mad." The miscommunications are funny in retrospect, but certainly not at the moment they arise.
This will probably happen to you at some point, dear reader. The end.
P.S. Agh! I keep batting a dumb little gnat away from my head. They are living in our houseplant. Isn't that fascinating?