Ever notice that two compatible people can be in the exact same environment and observe two completely different pictures of what is happening?
Does that mean one person is wrong? Well, perhaps. Or maybe it is one of the principle differences between men and women? Let's explore shall we?
When I drive, I tend to notice things. Lots of things. Like bumper stickers, expired inspection tags, people and anomalies on the side of the road, the other motorist's under inflated tire, and the mis-addressed letter in the closed mailbox we just passed at 25 miles an hour.
My bride, my life partner, my sweetie, my honey, my soul mate, my love of my life? Not so much. She notices some things I'm sure (I hope) like red lights, emergency vehicle lights in the rear view mirror and I have on good authority the 'Sale' banners at Dillards Department Store. But, if a naked man covered in $100 dollar bills and neon lights was running along side our vehicle yelling in Farsi, he would surely get run over before he ever got noticed.
So during our routine marital banter the other day following a 'how could you not see that?' moment, I happen to mention that "I would love to see the world through her eyes". But not knowing when to stop, I had to add the disclaimer: "but only for an hour, because I don't think I could tolerate more than that because of my need to be aware of my surroundings." Oopsy.
If you can imagine, my seemingly well intended remark did not go over too well. Open mouth. Insert foot. I tried to cover it up by suggesting that the downside of me looking through her eyes was really being burdened with having to look at me. No dice. And I spent the next 4 hours being quizzed about every inane thing in our environment with "did you see THAT? Huh? Huh? Did you, Mr. Smart Aleck?
We all have those sentences we would take back if we could right?
I had a dreadful example (among many) that happened years ago at a party. I ended up in a conversation with a woman who was the date of a good friend of mine. As is party protocol it seems, I asked her where she worked in which she replied with the name of a major airline. Well, I knew enough to keep the attention focused on the other person and not ourselves, but I definitely did not remember to not judge a book by its cover. So I asked: "how do you like being a flight attendant"? And the moment those words left my mouth I knew I was in for it. Too bad my male intuition was running a sentence late that night. It turned out that she was the principle economist/load master/fuel buyer type for the airline that determined how much fuel to buy company wide, how much went into each plane so they had enough to get to their destination, but not so much that it needlessly weighed the plane down. You get the idea.
She apparently did not like flight attendants very much anyway and my chauvinistic comment sure didn't help. My, if looks could kill. My friend and her broke up. And that airline filed bankruptcy. And thousands of hard working people lost their jobs. See? We should be more careful what we say.
And why we are at it, we should be careful to not run over the naked man covered in money and neon.