Sunday, August 30, 2009
It's my husband's favorite new word, I think.
You know, the politically correct word you use when you need to say something but have nothing nice to say...
"What an interesting sweater you have on! Where did you get it?"
Translation: You're dressed hideously and apparently have no fashion sense. Your hair is atrocious, your makeup leaves something to be desired, and even your pet looks a little mangy. Since I have nothing nice to say, I'll tell you that the shocking sweater you are offending us all with is interesting and then I'll ask where it is from as if I cared, and it might actually allow me to have some compassion and understanding if you say something quasi-reasonable like your 6-year-old knitted it for you and you'll be heading straight from here to the hospital to see him.
It gives nothing away about how you really feel but allows you to offer something as if you were. Interesting...
My husband's verbosity has dwindled away as I suspected it would, but this word has taken its place. Interestingly, a work friend just told him that he's become more verbose, and unfortunately more cynical, there. Maybe he's using all his verbosity up on them.
I'd sometimes rather the 21 questions game of not talking over this new 1-answer phenomenon. I go around in circles deciding how to respond. Do I become happy that he's talking and try to engage more? That's not worked well. Do I go back to the same method of 21 questions as if he hadn't said anything? Would that discourage him from talking if it got him the same response as not talking? At least then I'll have some idea where he stands. Do I tell him how frustrating that answer is? That I don't think that word means to me what he thinks it means? Of the social connotations it conveys? None of it has really reached a solution we're both comfortable with. Whatever I say, he just says it is interesting. What that means to him is that he's relying on me to inform him and is emotionally detached. What that means to me is that he's intellectually engaged and therefore to some level emotionally attached (excited, interested, invested, etc). Imagine the frustration we both have when the expectations are so disparate.
I think we're going to have to define the word interesting or ban it from our vocabulary completely. Maybe then I'll get some of that wit he's wasting on the co-workers. Even my husband will tell you that they're about the most uninteresting bunch around. And from him, that's saying something.