Yesterday, I observed the basis of a lot of spousal fights among the ELDERLY. Now being a trained salesman (and semi interested student of psychology), I try to be observant to the interaction of people to thus understand better "how they tick". And I sure got a chuckle and a lesson yesterday.
My father-in-law (Walter) and I were coming in the back door for a break about mid afternoon. Walter mumbles, "Wow! I need a break, it is hot!" To which my mother-in-law (Viola) responded rather sternly, "Well, you don't have to announce it to the whole world, just go do your job and get it over with." Well this remark perplexed me and sure didn't settle well with Walter naturally, so he of course came back with his own remark. Something along the likes of "doing what we want to do."
The exact words for the rest of the 10 minute exchange are not important, but were rather heated to say the least. Each trying reinforce their positions. I am simply an observer here but in my mind agreeing with Walter how hot it is outside. I am sure not understanding, even in the least, Viola's slave driving point of "getting the job done".
Well, to save a lot of typing, (because trying to explain the full exchange is impossible), let me cut to the chase. When Walter came in and announced "Wow, I need a break, it is HOT", Viola had heard "Wow, I need the POT". A rearrangement of the original statement and a complete misunderstanding of one word had caused the 10 minute fight.
Now, with full understanding, I am rolling with laughter, thinking how funny this heated argument was. I am shaking my head as I turn, still laughing and grinning as Shirley walks into the room. I say, "Now THAT was funny!" Shirley stops, grabs the cap off her head, looks at it and asks rather sternly, "What's so funny about my HAT."
Folks, the rest is history!