Family / Life / Rant

Serious talks.

He said I’ll never understand him. And he’s right. I just don’t get him. Ever, at all. I know how he likes his things laid out, and what he likes and doesn’t like to eat. I remember ow to put the toilet paper on so he doesn’t have to flip it. But I can’t, try as I might, ever seem to understand a damn thing he says or means. I ask questions and he doesn’t understand what I want to know. He explains and it annoys me. I feel like he is shallow. He think I’m obscure, and we work so hard to make it better and we get nowhere. We’ve cried about it together. Because we feel so helpless. We desperately want to know each other, to get each other, to be magic; but we can’t. How do you just get someone? You just do.

My friend from college, whom I lived with for a while, was up last week. We started to talk about commuting. She mentioned rhythm and I then took it to spirituality. And we each just got it. He laughed. Spiritual? Doesn’t make any sense unless you get it, I know. I don’t know if we could explain it to someone who just doesn’t get it. And every time that happens. Every time someone gets me, I feel a little empty because he doesn’t. I think it opens us up to weakness. I never saw us as weak before. I never doubted us, until I found people who get me again. When I was hanging out with a bunch of shallow friends, it wasn’t a problem. When nobody gets you, you forget what it’s like and just deal with it. But when I started getting in touch with some people who innately get me, it got harder and harder to communicate with him. And the other day when we were having another serious talk and he ended with: “Just give up. You’ll never understand me;” I realized that I probably never will. Now can I deal with it. And what about him. I know what it’s like to have someone get me; but he never has. I want that for him. I really want him to have magic.

9 thoughts on “Serious talks.

  1. I had spent many weekends with my Grandfather before his Alzheimers progressed. We spent a lot of time doing nothing and not really talking. We went out to dinner, sometimes driving over an hour to a seafood place – I couldn’t even tell you how to get there, only show you. I would ask him questions about his childhood, his interests – all he would say was: “I worked.” Yeah, he worked. He worked on a farm during the depression, invented airplane radar during WWII, and eventually his radar was incorporated into the space shuttles. He was, as your son is, a very dynamic person – but someone who spoke a different language. It was only until I sat down to write his eulogy that I realized I had “gotten him.” In his own, quiet ways, he showed me who he was. Telling me about all the things he did wasn’t the way to understand him. I understood him in those times that we shared.


  2. I think there is more than one kind of magic. I know from experience that two very different people living together can have many misunderstandings. But on the positive side, the two have very different gifts and perspectives, and so one is strong when the other is weak, and vice versa. So it isn’t so easy for them each to totally “get” the other, but it is possible to appreciate the other as very different, their own person, but still committed to each other. And that is another kind of magic.

    I don’t if any of that applies to your situation, but it is how my life has been this past 46 years.


  3. I don’t think people just “get” or “don’t get” each other. I think it’s easier for some, but if you put your mind to it, you can understand anybody. It takes time (forever) and effort (lifting a school bus), but I think it’s possible to get inside anybody’s head and see how they work. I think that’s one of the dark blessings of marriage: uncomfortable closeness that you can shy away from and live in unity alone, or submit to and learn more than you ever wanted to know.


    • Have you never been gotten by someone? Especially someone very very different from yourself. I can think of two people who I have gotten and they have gotten me and let me tell you. It’s one of God’s greatest miracles. I hope you have that someday in a friend.


      • I have been “gotten.” And I’ve gotten people. Some of us clicked immediately. Some of us clicked over time. That was my point: being gotten exists, but not only in the immediate. Sometimes it takes work to get people. And when you have a commitment to them, you do the work to get them.


        • No yeah. I understand. It’s funny you say that because a lot of the stuff that isn’t directly about this, is about this. My relationships are always hand to hand with my faith. Always. So bent knee about faith is always about relationships as well. And we do try. We try so hard. And that’s good. Honestly, I think the reason that trying is getting so hard and complex is because his Mom has come out about being bitter with his Dad and that’s making him insecure. He doesn’t want me to be her. What worries me is rather than trying, we’re dropping it and/or saying it’s okay you’ll never get it. But anyways, I always appreciate your comments.


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