May 26th, 2003


Intra-relationship communications at meal time

Having lived together a long time (and being a bit perverse) I tend to talk to rsc in code.

"Does anyone want more toast?" means I want more toast and if in Cambridge has the added meaning of should I make some more for you or if in Gloucester please make some for me (the difference is caused by difference in seating positions and the nearness of the toaster oven. Since this is a regular communication it frequently is abbreviated to something like "mmmpf" but is always well understood (well, almost always).

When Robert asks "Do you want some more coffee?" I occasionally surprise him with "yes, please" or "no, thank you" but usually I say something like " I guess so......mmmm" which means just a bit. I try to not drink much coffee so this must be one of my defense mechanisms.

Then another situation is that it is claimed that I often get in the way by standing in the path of travel from the stove to the table or some other similar situation. We have a small eat-in kitchen. Yesterday I placed my foot on my chair to tie a shoelace after breakfast while he was doing dishes. He said something like "why are you standing in the middle of the kitchen now instead of going someplace else?" I replied "I am not in the middle". Then I marked my position, went out to get a tape measure and demonstrated that if I measured the space from one counter to the other I was much closer to one; even if measuring wall-to-wall, I was at about a foot off-center. I did concede that if measuring in the other long direction I was in the middle but of course that was completely irrelevant to the geometry of this situation.