The Central Virginian

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I wasn’t listening, but I wanted to be

Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

Guest column by Chuck Moss

I actually said that to Sarah one day not too long ago.  There was this pause in her soliloquy, and that was an indication, one that all men know, a pause that suggests a question has been asked and an answer is expected.  See, that’s the thing, we guys tend to turn dialogues into soliloquies.  We kind of drop out of conversations, but that’s because we simply can not multi-task when it comes to live interaction with someone.  I can text, email, watch TV, and have thirteen games of Words with Friends going at once; but I can’t seem to keep up my end of a conversation while there’s a commercial for Justified on TV.

So, back to the issue at hand, I could have given Sarah some sort of canned answer.  I could have said, “yes…” (this, in response to a question that wasn’t a yes or no question is disastrous, incidentally, like Titanic-hitting-the-iceberg disastrous) ; or I could have just blurted out, “eleven!” when it wasn’t a math question, or I wasn’t asked to find the value of X.

So, after carefully considering my options (if I’d been listening as carefully to the conversation, none of this would even be necessary), looked deep into Sarah’s (amazing) eyes, and finally said…”I wasn’t listening, but I wanted to be.”

She looked quizzically at me for a moment, then smiled and burst out laughing at me.  It was then that I realized I’d been holding my breath; I mean, really you know, this could have gone either way for me, but I was far more interested in being honest than in trying to guess what might have been said.

And, of course, she’s amazing and can laugh at the things that make me so…unusual, I guess is the word.

But while I’m here, let me say something universally…sometimes, women stare deeply at the fella there with and ask wistfully, “what are you thinking?”  Sometimes the question is exploratory in nature, sometimes it’s a carefully-laid trap.

To read the entire story, see the Aug. 29 edition of The Central Virginian.