At work last night I saw something new – a rare occurrence when you’ve been a server for 35+ years. A couple, an Asian woman and white man who were dining, had a novel way of communicating with one another – an electronic universal translator. It really seemed to come in handy as they made modifications to dishes and ordered their meals, but I didn’t notice that they used it very much for actually speaking to one another. It made me wonder about how men and women might be able to utilize such a device when they speak the same “official” language, yet lack a common emotional language.
One of the biggest challenges in a romantic relationship is communication. Even though we live in a world with a dizzying array of means to communicate, it still seems as if males and females approach this exercise in very different ways. It might be unfair to generalize and assign characteristics by gender, but, in my 51 years on earth, I’ve learned a couple of things.
In my experience, men don’t often initiate conversations about topics which might be difficult to discuss. It’s kind of the way I am about household repairs – I try to ignore suspected problems (the dishwasher not cleaning thoroughly, for example) until they became too big of an issue to avoid any longer. It’s almost as if those fellas (and I) are hoping that the problem will somehow resolve itself without any attention. Of course, it doesn’t really work that way and instead of the glitch rectifying itself, the malfunction generally grows larger and results in an even greater problem. Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it nonexistent, it just allows it to morph into something even more expensive to repair. My machine will help to prevent these kind of situations from occurring or , at the least, escalating..
If I were able to invent a male-female translator I would be sure to include a feature that measured levels of honesty. A relationship that lacks such a fundamental function will never provide a truly satisfying and healthy coupling. We all are guilty of lies of omission, I suppose, but a romantic connection between two should always include a sense of security when it comes to talking about tough subjects. More honesty eventually means more opportunities for creating a relationship that can provide a couple with the strength to stand up to the everyday challenges of life as a unit. Honesty can be scary, but lack of direct honesty if far more scary.
My prototype for a male-female translator would also come loaded with a function that demands that communication comes at regular intervals, i.e. there should be mandatory limits on allowing texts/emails/vms to go unanswered. Lines of communication corrode when they go unused and a lack of time devoted to one another will kill relationships faster than an iPhone battery dies. It isn’t realistic to expect a complete accord when it comes to communication styles, but leaving your loved one hanging for too long will create an unnecessarily adverse situation. My translator will be equipped with an electrical shock function that grows progressively more painful when one party fails to respond after a particular length of time or in the case of an accumulation of unanswered messages.
What have I failed to include? Additional features you’d like to add to my prototype?
When you consider that I didn’t really own a car* until I was close to 30 years-old, the fact that I now own two cars seems kind of funny. While my initial plan had been to trade my Volvo in, I’m really glad that I was able to keep it. I’ve achieved a balance between the two vehicles, in terms of purpose, with the Mini being my commuter and road trip car and the Volvo being my errands, parking downtown and dog vehicle. It’s kind of cool – especially when owning two cars earns one the title of “baller”in the DelSo!
Switching between two vehicles, though, doesn’t come without challenges. For instance, the steering wheel controls for cruise control and the radio functions are on opposite sides of the steering wheel in my cars. This means I really need to check in mentally (probably not a bad idea when I’m driving, right?) when I’m looking to adjust volume or my speed. There’s also the perennial issue of my left foot looking for the clutch when I’m driving, which, I suppose, is better than not looking for the clutch. It’s all good.
It occurred to me last night that having two cars must be similar to dating more than one person. You have to stay on your toes to remember which companion likes Asian food and which prefers Italian. Who went to state school and who attended private university. Which one vacations at the beach and which one heads to the mountains to get away or any of the other infinite characteristics that define one person as being different from another.
To me, that’s way harder than becoming familiar with two cars. Which is why, I suppose, I’ve never been a good dater. How do folks casually date numerous people? I’m seriously not criticizing the practice at all, just curious. If you’re a serial dater, how do you do it? What are the positives? Do different companions serve different purposes? Help me out, friends. Maybe share your experiences about being in the driver’s seat when it comes to dating more than one person?
*I did purchase a used Volkswagen wagon in the late 80s for $200. It might have taken me 200 miles before dying on the side of Route 17. I don’t think that really counts.
Americans are always the loudest. They want everyone to hear them but they don’t know how to listen. I want to softly tell the table of 6-Got-SUNY-semester-abroad written all over them, (unfortunately not in invisible ink), that I adore their enthusiasm and excitement but couldn’t they enjoy themselves just as much if they spoke in more quiet voices?
Waiting for a seat in a restaurant that I saved my cacio e pepe cherry for. Sorry if that sounds vulgar. It wasn’t my intent.
The crew here is outstanding. The door guy, smoothly and with a discreet disdain that even Paul McCullough could learn from, was impressive. The servers all served smiles.
This restaurant is at the end of a street named Salumi… Come on.
If I knew how to say it I’d say “I’m so sorry I don’t speak Italian because it is such a beautiful language.,” to every Italian I was lucky enough to encounter.
I just said “no bread.” I had the bread last night and it was delicious. I didn’t need it again, though.
It’s ok cool to be recognized with smiles when you frequent the same trattoria two nights in a row.
There’s a man wearing a lavender, I assume cashmere, turtleneck seated directly in front of me. He isn’t even trying to be ironic.
Holy shit. This cacio e pepe is the best pasta I’ve ever had. Ever. Period. The sautéed chicory on the side is a spicy green vegetable nirvana. Contrasted, yet companionable, to the pasta it all creates something which can only be described as sublime.
This meal is one of those that can be described as “final meal request” material.
I ate my full leaving enough on my plate(s) to prompt a couple of queries to confirm that I had found everything molto bene. Si! I just wanted to save room for dolce.
The tiramisu was worthy of service in this very, very fine trattoria. Bene. Molte bene!
Filed under Dinner, drinking, Eating, Europe, favorites, Food, Italy, Observations, Random, Recommendations, Restaurants, travel, vacation
After my shower the other night I faced my shelf of moisturizers considering which one (or 2) to use. Did my face feel tight from the water which I can’t help but set to a temperature which I know is too hot? Should I use the intensive night time mask or the nitamins? Must I avoid that area on my chin where I recently had a spot or should I treat that area with a lighter formula? How about my T-zone that tends to be borderline oily? Would toner help?
As I pondered the embarrassing array of lotions and creams and the condition of my skin I was struck by a thought – what if none of it really makes a difference?
Do you ever consider the ingredients contained in your beauty products? I don’t have a chemistry degree so much of it is a foreign language to me, but I know I’d be more comfortable if I actually could read the label with some degree of comprehension. Is slathering my face with chemicals really going to improve my chances of aging gracefully or would I have been better off not introducing my one and only face to a plethora of foreign substances?
I started moisturizing, probably with Avon products, when I was in middle school. I was seriously into fashion and subscribed to Mademoiselle and Glamour and completely bought in to the beauty culture. As I look back with 35 years of skincare experience, I’m left to wonder how my skin would appear had I not ever used commercial moisturizers. Would the lines on my face be the same? More pronounced or less?
I guess I’ll never know the answers to those questions, but undoubtedly I would have minimized my exposure to chemical substances, my expenses and the amount of time I spend pondering which formula to use.
Consistency is not my forte, but there are a couple of little customs that center around my going to sleep and waking up that I find myself doing regularly. For as long as I can remember, I’ve read myself to sleep and my nightstand always has a stack of books lying in wait. When I pick up where I’ve left off in whatever I’m reading, it feels like I’m punctuating the day and I like drifting off to sleep with someone else’s tale in my head. Sometimes it just feels good to escape my own story.
Morning brings a different ritual. I generally wake before my alarm and reach for my iPad to ease into my day with a few rounds of solitaire. I’m probably deluding myself, but I feel like it helps wake my brain up and ease into a new day.
I usually play the 3-card version because it reminds me of a family I babysat for a long time ago. The dad had taught me the game explaining that in Las Vegas a player would pay $52 for the deck of cards and then win $5 for each card removed from the board and placed in Ace through King order. Yep, I’m a real hardcore gambler!
There’s a feature to the app I use called “Daily Challenge.” Sometimes I think this particular hand is easier than a typical random deal, but I won’t complain about that – an easy daily challenge is welcome in a world where there is so much difficulty present every day. Recently, I’ve gotten a little obsessed with the daily challenge. It’s almost as if I need to win the hand to ensure that I have a good day. Not rational at all, I know, but it seems a fairly harmless way to increase the odds mentally of my having a positive day.
There are days, though, like today when I could not get the cards to cooperate no matter how many times I re-dealt that hand. I kept trying other things – moving this 9 instead of that one, choosing another way to shift a pile of cards…all to no avail. I couldn’t win.
So, I’ll make my day a good one in a different way. I’ll consider all the alternative paths I can take to feel that my day was a success, even if it means just letting go of conquering a challenge. Maybe surrendering is just another way of winning.