The Shapiro Files

Monday, March 06, 2006

Classic Marcie Quote

I speak fast. Very fast. Or at least that's how it seems to everyone but me. I like to equate my speed of speech to Einstein's theory of relativity in which time is relative to the speed at which we move. The faster you move, the more time slows down. So if you travel away from Earth then back again at the speed of light for an hour, what will take only an hour to you will actually be something like 60 years to everyone else. I think my speech patterns are like this--albeit in reverse. When I speak, my personal time slows down; whereas, time speeds up for everyone else. Or to put it another way: When I'm speaking, I'm never aware of just how fast I'm going--thus proving that my personal time is going at a different pace than the rest of the world. This is always made painfully clear to me when I see myself on video or listen to an answering machine message I've left for Marcie. Only when I hear myself speaking outside of the actual act of speaking do I realize just how fast I go.

But it gets worse. I also mumble. I think this comes from a childhood-long fear of being made to feel embarrassed for saying something inane. Try as I might, when I'm not acting, singing, or giving a speech, I simply don't enunciate enough. So this combined with my fast speech makes understanding me quite challenging.

But it still gets worse. I also have this odd family-wide affectation of constantly thinking one word and saying an entirely different word. Thus, even if the words I'm speaking are understood by others, those spoken words may not necessarily be the words I'm hearing in my head. Most of the time, I don't even realize I'm doing this. Just a few examples of this include saying one day of the week when I mean to say another day, constantly saying "blanket" when I mean "towel" (and vise versa), and saying one person's name when I mean another.

All of this makes Marcie's life with me pretty challenging. Remarkably, after knowing me for over 10 years now (including over five years of marriage), she had gotten pretty good at understanding what I mean to say, rather than simply taking in what I'm literally saying. Still, that doesn't mean that miscommunication isn't a regular occurrence at our house. After one typically frustrating exchange for Marcie, she said the following:

"Speaking to you is like playing the lottery. You never know."

This cracked me up. I immediately wrote it down so I could share it here. My wife is a genius. And if I weren't lucky enough, she also has one of the clearest speaking voices you'll every hear.


  • LOL... Well, the *good* thing is, you only have ONE voice inside your head, and one on the outside! Imagine if you had a few of them to contend with! : D

    By Blogger Irina Tsukerman, at 3/06/2006 11:47 AM  

  • That is very cute...

    Steve...I think all men share your afflictions...and all of us are lucky to have good women to "understand" our inherent flaws :)

    The Egel Nest

    By Blogger Bradley Egel, at 3/06/2006 8:33 PM  

  • Irina, actually I do have multiple voices in my head! In fact, I have this strange habit of constantly having conversations in my mind. Marcie will occasionally catch me in the act of gesturing toward no one while I'm in the midst of carrying on one of these "conversations." Lucky for me, she finds it very funny.

    Brad, yep, I most certainly count my blessings every day to be permanently aligned with a member of the superior gender who not only puts up with my mishigas, but who is actually able to "interpret" me! :)

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 3/07/2006 8:58 AM  

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