Spousal amnesia, selective hearing, mind reading: marital communication

Brown RV being replaced by Blue RV

Brown RV being replaced by Blue RV

Back-story: We upgraded our 30-year old RV to a 20-year old RV. Mechanic-minded husband wants to go through new/old RV to make sure it is mechanically sound (even though we have ALREADY bought it) as I’m the one that will drive the RV out to Pyramid Lake each weekend this summer.

(And all I care about is that I’m going from an early 80s’ brown theme to an early 90’s light blue theme. While he talks to me of tie rods and carburetors, I’m not listening. I’m thinking about sewing custom shams and a duvet cover I bought a long time ago that will be absolutely perfect.)

Transmission shop goes through it and says, “this transmission should be in the history books because it hasn’t been rebuilt yet and still works perfect. But I can tell there is a something wrong with the drive shaft.”

Jim translates this to me as, “Blah, blah, blah more money, blah, blah before you can drive it I HAVE TO PULL OUT THE DRIVE SHAFT.”

Drive shaft. Sounds important. Sounds big. Sounds expensive.

Got it.

Can’t drive.

About a week or so later at home …

Me: “Hey, can I move the RV? It’s too close to the fence for me to put stuff in the storage bin.”

Husband: “I’ll move it later.” (This is where Jim is telepathically saying, “remember, I need to put the drive shaft back in.”)

Later that day, Jim, is taking a well deserved lazy break and is inside watching a Formula One Race. Me, I’m done waiting for him, so I jump in the RV, start the engine and put it into “D” for DRIVE.

It won’t move.

I gas it. It still won’t move.


I put it back into “P” for PARK and it makes this horrible screeching noise, like I have killed something the size of a dragon. The entire neighborhood must be crouched on the ground with their hands covering their ears. Armageddon.

Uh oh.


Check out those ugly valances!

I walk inside.

Jim has the F-1 race on so loud (he is hard of hearing from years of construction work) I realize in a moment before I beg for mercy, that he hasn’t heard the sound of the dying dragon.

I could walk back outside and act dumb when the RV won’t start when he tries to move it later.

Me: “Jim, I think I killed the RV.”

Husband: “What did you do?”

Me: “Well, remember I asked you earlier about moving the RV? Uh, I didn’t want to bother you and when I tried to move it, it made this horrible screeching noise.”

Husband: “Yeah when you put it back into park did it do a gurr gurr noise.”

Me: “No, it was more like a horrible screaming noise, but how did you know?”

Husband: “Chris, did you forget that I took the drive shaft out?”

Me: “Well, shouldn’t you have told me when I asked about moving it earlier that the drive shaft was still out?”

All I can think of is that perfectly old transmission that still worked and how much this is going to cut into my summer fun budget.  And how Jim might commit suicide facing another project.

The after photo: this is what I was thinking about when Jim was telling me about the drive shaft.

Two hours later: Jim puts the drive shaft back in and tests to see if I have done permanent damage. It looks like I’m spared.

He looks at me and said, “How could you have forgotten that I took out the drive shaft?”

I say, “Why didn’t you remind me?”

Sometimes I seriously worry that Jim has early onset of Alzheimer’s (I don’t worry about myself as I’m sure I’m a great communicator).  And I wonder if I’lll have more patience with him than I do now because it will be a medical excuse.

Is he in his own thought bubble when I talk about, say the fabric I chose for the valances – does he hear “blah, blah, blah, she’s going to ask me to hang those damn valances, blah, blah.”

And we’re both so sure of the conversation that did or didn’t happen, it’s a bit scary.

Spousal amnesia. Selective hearing. Mind reading. You’d think after all these years we would master the art of communication.

This entry was posted in Family, Feel Good, General BS and Musings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Spousal amnesia, selective hearing, mind reading: marital communication


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *