Everybody’s Talking …

English is a wonderful language.  It can be as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel or as broad as a two-handed claymore.  It can describe anything or leave everything to your imagination.  In fact, English is so kickass we can say things without ever actually even saying them!  For example, when your wife/girlfriend says, “Are you going to wear that?” you know she’s really saying, “There is no way in Hell you’re leaving this house dressed like that.”  It’s a beautiful bit of linguistic gymnastics that people use all the time.  Here are a few more examples.  (With translations.)

“Sorry I’m late.”
Translation — I hate these morning meeting, I hate this job and I hate you.  The only reason I even dragged my sorry ass out of bed is I’ve got a car payment and a massive student loan hanging over my head.

“I know I’m only going to be gone for a couple of days, but I’m really going to miss you.”
Translation — Any chance of having sex before I leave?

“No offence …”
Translation — I’m going to offend you.

“… no offence.”
Translation — I’m covering my ass just in case I’ve already offended you.

“I’m vegan.”
Translation — I want to talk about me.

“I don’t judge.”
Translation — What you just told me is totally weird, and it caught me completely off guard.  So, rather than saying something unfortunate and sounding like an insensitive jerk, I’m going to shut up now and hope you change the subject.

“Do you need any help?”
Translation — Please, please, please, please, for the love of God, please– say no.

“Do these jeans make me look fat?”
Translation — I’ve spent all day dealing with perky salesgirls, women’s sizes are works of fiction, nobody has any decent colours and my bra is cutting me in half.  The least you could do is take 5 seconds and tell me I’m sexy.

“It’s really not that bad.”
Translation – Wow!  Are you ever screwed!

“That’s okay: I’m a good listener.”
Translation — This is the longest sob story in history.  Now I know how Mandela felt.

“My children are my whole life.”
Translation — Five minutes!  All I want is five minutes.  I haven’t even gone to the toilet in peace in 2 years.  Five minutes!  Is that too much to ask?

“I’ll remember that.”
Translation — I’m too busy/lazy to write this down, and I’m going to kick myself in a couple of days.

“We’ve put together a pretty solid financial plan that will get us out of debt in a couple of years.”
Translation — The grandparents haven’t died yet.

“Have you lost weight?”
Translation — Call me scum, but I’m so glad you’re fatter than I am.

“I’m a people person.”
Translation — I don’t have any marketable skills.

And finally one of the most common ones:

“We need to get together/do lunch/go for drinks, soon/more often/sometime in the vague future.”
Translation — We’re connected by circumstances and you seem like a nice person, so let’s play pretend for a few minutes — until we can go back to our real lives.

The Sounds Of Silence

uniformDespite the many hours we spend thumb pumping our phones like half-starved Rhesus monkeys, most human communication is nonverbal.  It runs from the universally recognized one and two fingered gestures that signal the end of an argument to the more subtle, eye roll that indicate open-ended ennui in teenagers.  But the way we walk, or stand or move our hands all say something about us, something that reaches into our primeval need to communicate. Here in the oh-so-sophisticated 21st century, we even use clothing, behaviour and appearance to “speak” to each other.  For example:

Driving a noisy black motor vehicle — means — I’m worried about my penis.

Driving a minivan with a stick figure family in the back window — means — I haven’t had sex since last March.

Driving anything with a bumper sticker — You need to know I think about things.

Dreadlocks on a white guy — Ha, ha, ha!  My grandparents left me a trust fund.

At least 3 tattoos (female) — I watch the Discovery Channel, so I’m spiritual.

At least 3 tattoos (male) — I have lots of disposable middle class income.

More than 3 tattoos (any gender) — Look at me!  Look at me!  LOOK AT ME!

Socks and sandals — I am a tourist.  Steal my stuff.

A low cut neckline and/or a push-up bra — These are my breasts … I will scold you if you notice them.

Bow tie — I’m actually cool … on the inside.

Hoodies — I might live in the suburbs and work at Home Depot, but I’m really a badass.

Hoodies (after age 30) — Uh … That’s just sad.

Shaved head — I’ll bet they’ll never guess I’m going bald.

Long, wiry grey hair (ponytail) — I have 283 Friends on Facebook.

Tight denim short shorts — Would you care to look at my bum today?

Cargo pants (shorts) — I wish I could carry a purse.

Full (Old Testament) beard — You might not know it, but I’m tons smarter than you are.

Short, trimmed beard — You might not know it, but I’m tons smarter than you are.

3 piece suit — I wish I were British.

Knitted cowl — I wish I were French.

Bulky black sweater — I wish someone would take me seriously.

Mom jeans — I’ve have two kids.  I’d like to see you under similar circumstances, bitch!

Torn jeans — I spend a lot of money on clothes … a lot of money!

Sunglasses — When you’re totally cool, it’s always a sunny day.

Yoga pants — For the love of God, we need to do something about those things!