This reading between the lines of conversations is a terrible thing don't you think?
It's really quite a waste of time.
You know what I'm talking about don't you?
Or do you?
Maybe right at this minute you are thinking 'I know what he is saying, but I wonder what he really means'.
The truth is that I'm a plain speaking sort of guy so when I say something it's out there just as it is.
There's no unspoken hidden clues as to what I really mean.
No one should treat a conversation with me as if they are approaching a Dan Brown novel.
There is nothing to be divined from a plain and simple comment.
No mystery to solve and very little is said with a nod and a wink.
I'll give you an example of what I mean.
Say for instance you asked me if I wanted a sausage roll from Greggs and I declined with the response that I wasn't hungry.
From that you can take that I am not hungry. Nothing more.
I don't have an upset stomach.
I don't have an allergy to sausage rolls.
I'm not boycotting Greggs.
I'm not a vegetarian.
I'm not playing the 'opposite day' game and really mean I want a sausage roll.
I haven't shagged the lady serving and now looking to avoid her.
I haven't been banned from Greggs and just don't want to mention the incident with the doughnut to you.
None of these, or any more that you can think of, are applicable to my refusal of the offer of a sausage roll.
It honestly will be because I wasn't hungry. Nothing more than that.
You can work that out from me saying so. It really is that simple.
Just out of curiosity how many times in a week do you make a statement and someone responds with 'what you mean is....'?
How many minutes are taken up with having to explain that the first thing you said was all that you meant?
How many misunderstandings are rooted in someone walking away from a conversation with the impression that what you said was a hint at something else entirely.
Women appear to indulge in this more often then men.
While making a cup of tea say to your wife, partner or female friend 'You want sugar in this?' and they will reply 'are you saying I need to go on a diet', and probably follow that with a comment about the pot and the kettle.
Nothing was mentioned about weight, diets or their appearance at all, but in a weeks time if you ask them what was said they will emphatically tell you that you said 'I'll leave the sugar out as it's goes straight to your hips' and when you deny that they will say 'but that's what you meant'.
There's no going back from it either because how can you disprove something that another person claims you thought.
All you can do is deny it and the more you do the more they think they were right.
Men aren't immune to communicating like this either though.
Ask a man if he wants a soft drink when you are going to the bar and he will hear you loudly proclaim in front of anyone in earshot that you consider him to be a lightweight drinker and therefore are challenging his sexuality in the public arena.
He may even want to fight you for not saying something.
It's all bollocks isn't it.
Maybe I'm the only one who notices this though, but I do yearn for a simpler way of communicating.
Similarly I've noticed that people often don't even respond to the question at hand.
Ask someone if they want to go out on Monday night and they might say that they are going out on Friday in reply.
Personally I'm not that interested in their plans for any other night other than the Monday so why are they telling me this, and in doing so they haven't really answered my initially question.
Unless of course they want me to read between the lines and what they mean is.
I can only afford to go out one night a week.
My wife says I've not to associate with you any more.
I don't socialize on any day with the letter M in it.
I get a pedicure on a Monday and I don't want to share that as you may feel that it's a bit strange but I love the felling of it and I'm not giving that night up for anyone.
Or maybe Mondays are pre-booked and he spends them plotting my downfall with all the other people who said they can't go out on a Monday night with me.
...and now I'm back to where I started.
Do you see how confusing all of this is.