It was an innocent mistake. Really. And I swear I’m a good listener. Except when I’m not.
At lunch the other day, my son was trying to explain the latest video game that has captured his attention. He mumbled something about Zombie Apocalypse, only I heard sun eclipse, which prompted me to correct him with “solar eclipse” and a lengthy explanation about planetary movement and how the sky goes dark when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth.
My son patiently waited for me, wannabe astronomist that I am, to finish my in-depth scientific explanation before he said: “Talking to women is like doing a Google search. You put in one word and bam! 1,000,000 search hits come up immediately.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. He’s right. We hear one word, then we go off on a million different explanations as to the why and where to. Our minds work like that. In my experience, women tend not to be so linear in their thinking. We analyze, synthesize and sympathize, all while cooking a great meal for, well, everyone.
And all he wanted was to tell me about some video game to which I had absolutely no reference.
Therein lies the problem, perhaps, in the communication between Mars and Venus. I don’t know about you, but I’m helpless in a conversation if I don’t have a point of reference. My eyes glaze over and I’m completely lost. Sometimes I make up my own reference just to keep up in the conversation. But I know it’s a reality of my own making.
It’s Google Head at its best. As a wordsmith, I get a million hits a second in my mind, all begging for attention whenever I hear a snippet of conversation, experience something extraordinary, or talk with my eleven-year-old son whose patience with me is remarkable.
Taking time to truly listen is an art form I am doing my best to perfect. I have a ways to go. Thank God for Google. Now that’s a place to find reference when all else fails.