Thursday, December 18, 2008

How NOT to Communicate in Marriage

Allow me to present to you a muddled mess of communication that would make the most seasoned gossip blush.

Here is the diagram:
And here are the steps.

Step 1. Prior to their engagement and before Thanksgiving, Fiance and Emily have a bit of an argument, during which Fiance blurts out, "I'm asking your parents for you this weekend!" Emily screams, "I'm not supposed to know this!" They pretend nothing has happened and part ways whistling nondescript tunes.

Step 2. Pretending doesn't really help Emily because she's going to see her sister that same weekend, and how can she possibly keep this from her sister when they so rarely get to see each other? Emily tells her sister about it, but she doesn't tell her parents because she doesn't.

Step 3. Fiance talks to parents after church, complete with standard compliments and threats from the father. During their conversation they discuss the ring specifically. The ring was Emily's grandmother's engagement ring, and Emily and Fiance have talked about it at length by this time. When Emily and Fiance talked about it at length, Emily thought she was saying, "I would like to have my grandmother's engagement ring, but feel free to take it to a jeweler and redesign it using the original parts but making it look different." Fiance thought she was saying, "I would like you to use the original setting from my grandmother's ring, but please use new diamonds."

Neither Fiance nor Emily know how this happened.

When Fiance talks to Emily's parents about the ring, he mentions his plans to get new diamonds.

Step 4. Emily's mom protests with something like, "I don't think she wants new diamonds at all! Please please please check with one of Emily's friends about this before you spend so much money. Why don't you call Elizabeth? She might know something."

He agrees to call Elizabeth before making major purchases.

Step 5. Emily's parents call Emily's sister to tell her that they had the talk. They mention the diamonds.

Step 6. Emily's sister says, "No, I'm sure that's not what she wants. We just talked about it this week, and Emily knew that Fiance would be talking to you."

Step 7. Learning that Emily already knows about the Ask, Emily's mom calls Emily and says, "Look, we had this major communication problem. What is it that you want for your ring?" Emily tells her. Emily's mom says, "Would you please call Elizabeth to tell her exactly what you want so that when Fiance calls her she'll know what to tell him?" Emily grumbles but agrees and says, "I don't want to know anything else from now on."

Step 8. Sister calls Fiance to tell him not to get new diamonds.

Step 9. Emily calls Elizabeth with specifics.

Steps 10 and 11. Elizabeth calls Fiance or Fiance calls Elizabeth, Emily isn't sure which. They discuss the ring, and he makes a plan.

Step 12. Fiance, at some point or another along this timeline, tells his dad he has talked with Emily's parents.

Steps 13 and 14 Emily is still a bit unclear on. She think this happened, but we'll have to ask Elizabeth and Dr. Ffil (Future Father-in-Law now) for a confirmation or denial.

Step 13. Fiance's dad talks to Elizabeth about the events. He tells her that Emily knows nothing of this. Elizabeth knows better because she has already talked to Emily.

Step 14. Elizabeth tells Fiance's dad that Emily knows about it. He is disappointed, because he wonders how she could have learned.

Step 15. Fiance and Emily go to their small groups on the same night. Emily tells the other two girls there about all the events up until this point. They laugh about it and ask her about the ring. Emily says, "I hope he understands now that I want the ring redesigned but using the existing parts." Fiance tells his small group about it at the same time. Both small groups are not to discuss events further.

Step 16. Both spouses of a married couple attend Emily and Fiance's small groups. When the couple returns to their home, they hint to each other that they both know something about Emily and Fiance. They then throw caution to the wind and discuss everything openly because married couples share vaults (Seinfeld reference).

Step 17. In the open sharing time, they discuss the ring. The wife says, "Oh dear me, your description of his plans for the ring don't match up with what Emily said. Hmm." She makes up her mind.

Step 17 cont. The wife calls Emily (who is on her way to Fiance's house) and says, "Look, I think you need to talk to somebody about this because it looks like he's going to keep the ring exactly the way it is. Also, my husband told me that Fiance said that you didn't know that he already asked your parents. Do you think that he thinks you don't know?" Emily is confused and doesn't know what to do, so she decides to scream because, "Heavens to Betsy, I'm not supposed to know anything and I don't want to talk to anyone about it and how could he not know that I know when he was the one who told me? AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH."

Step 18. Emily calls Elizabeth and says, "Did you talk, and, if so, what did you say because it's possible that he doesn't understand that he can change the design if he wants." Elizabeth tells Emily because Elizabeth is a good friend. She thinks that Fiance understands about the ring, but she doesn't know if he knows that Emily knows about it because Dr. Ffil told her that Fiance thought Emily didn't know anything. Emily screams into the phone, "THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY. How could he not know that I know when he told me to my face? Whenever I have something to say to him, I always say it to him. Why can't I do that now?" Emily decides not to say anything to Fiance tonight, if at all.

Step 19. An hour later, Emily says something to Fiance. The conversation begins, "Can we talk about how I know that you know that I know?"
He responds, "No."

But then they talk guardedly for about one minute, and they both decide that the other one knows just enough to get by and there's no need to discuss anything further. They laugh.

Now, Emily loves her ring.

And she's happy to tell Fiance that to his face.


Mary Brooks said...

i am step 16, step 17, & step 17 continued!

Dar said...

you are hilarious! love you! (and the ring!!!!)

love, dar

Elizabeth Glass-Turner said...

WHAT a comedy of errors.

Anonymous said...

I just cannot wait for the story when/if you two ever discuss buying a house, a new car, or heaven only knows, having children!!!

Anonymous said...

what an amazing ring!!!! i'm so excited for you both:))) many happy days and nights and years and years! hehehe - i'm so thrilled for both of you and i can't wait to hear more stories and see more pictures:)))

- hugs- melissa

Anonymous said...

New post already, so bored.