Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tête-à-Tête, where art thee?

These days, I have been telling smartheart, “We need to have a conversation.” No, I don’t mean there is an issue between us. I mean that we really need to talk. Literally. About something, about anything.

At present, our conversations range from me asking customarily at dinner how his day at work was (which is so uninteresting to me that I think what I'd talk next while he's answering) to him asking how my day was (answer to which lasts a few seconds because of dearth of content). And not to forget smartheart saying his LOVE YOUs in the bedroom before falling asleep (if that even counts as conversation). Next morning, he’s perfectly ok spooning with me without saying a word other than the three words he ended the previous day with. During this, I am looking at the ceiling thinking of all the things I need to tell/ask him before he flees to work and becomes inaccessible for half a day. This includes what I need his help with to survive the day at the end of which he'll come back to ask me "So what did you do today?" Knowing me as well as he does, he catches my long quietudes characteristic of wandering mind and unknowingly makes me feel guilty of being incapable of feeling the moment. In weekends when we don't have the crutch of "How was your day?" we camouflage the silence by engaging in back-to-back activities like playing chess and frisbee, going for movie, etc.

Often, I tell smartheart that we should be able to talk without using props like games or people. We should be able to talk about us for hours together. But smartheart thinks that there’s no problem with having no topics to talk about us: It means we know so much about each other on an everyday, detailed basis that we don’t have anything left to talk, which is normal to him but scary to me.

I was thinking about the time when we exhausted our repertoire of conversations. Digging the annals of our four-year long history, I realized we didn't do much talking during our courtship also. But that was courtship. Apparently, I was shy as a girl should be in our social code of ethics and smartheart was feeling the moment. Actually, it was too unromantic to ask then, "How was your day?"

If language was invented to communicate and communication was meant to "make known" as merriam-webster suggests, how have smartheart and I made ourselves known to each other? And there is no doubt we have made ourselves known to each other way beyond we would have wanted in hindsight. I guess we have made ourselves known through the living together experience: I know by experience that smartheart gets cranky when hungry, that smartheart doesn't like to wait or keep anybody waiting, that smartheart does what he has to do irrespective of what anybody including me thinks. And smartheart knows by experience that his sweetheart is super-sensitive, that his sweetheart is difficult to impress, that his sweetheart hates exercising and loves butter.

May be the language of love is silent. 

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