It helps if you speak the language.
When you go to a foreign country, you should learn the basics: hello, please, thank you, where is the bathroom, and may I have another beer please.
When we’re in these here United States, we often think we understand the natives (what with being natives ourselves). This is, unfortunately, often a mistake.
I’m not talking about regionalisms (that’s a topic for another day). I’m talking about something much more subtle: husband-speak.
For example, yesterday Dad and I got into car and Dad said, “I’m pretty sure I know where we’re going.” This did not in fact mean he knew where we were going. It didn’t even mean he could get us reasonably close. It actually meant, “I don’t really have a clue where this place is, but I’m going to guess and when we’ve driven for 20 minutes I’m going to fuss at you to instantly pull up directions.”
Here’s another example. “This weekend, I’m going to clean up the clutter on the porch.” “This weekend, I am definitely going to clean up the clutter on the porch.” “You know what I’m going to do this weekend? Clean up the clutter on the porch.” “Are you done with this cup? You finished your coffee 12 seconds ago! We need to clean up the clutter on this porch!”
To be fair, I am quite the Clutter Queen myself, so I really can’t complain (much) about Dad’s clutter. The difference is I don’t even pretend that I’m going to clean up.