Marital Deafness

Scott Adams in his blog:

Being married is a lot like being deaf. If you hear the same person talking day-after-day, you literally lose the ability to hear what that person is saying. I will give you two examples from my own life. Both are true. This one happened last week:

Shelly: Do you want some carrot cake?

Me: Hurricane? What hurricane?

In that particular case, we eventually got to the bottom of it, but only because Shelly needed an answer. I estimate that half of the time she says lamp, I hear doorknob, and it doesn't really matter so we go on with our lives. I might spend a few seconds confused about the larger point, but I shake it off.

Within a day of the carrot cake incident, I made an offhand comment to Shelly to the effect that she might enjoy a certain sport. That conversation went like this:

Me: That's your new game, honey.

Shelly: What did you call me?

Me: (slower and louder) I SAID, “THAT'S YOUR NEW GAME, HONEY.”

Shelly: Oh. I thought you called me Jimmy Bean

Me: Why would I call you Jimmy Dean

Shelly: Not Dean, Bean. Jimmy Bean.

Me: Why would I call you Jimmy Bean?

Shelly: That's what I wondered too.

Me: No, I said, “That's your new game, honey.”

Shelly: What's my new game?

Me: I forget.

As I'm sure you've learned, it's impossible to speak to a spouse if he or she is near running water, or using power equipment, or concentrating on something else, or eating something crunchy, or wondering if the squeak in the distance is the cat dying, or there is a child within a hundred yards. Amazingly, that covers 90% of every conversation you might attempt at home.

Recently I discovered that spouses, like computers, must be booted up before they can hear what you say.

More here.