It’s fair to say that when it comes to communication by text (or any other form of written conversation, or like, conversation in general), my spouse, the Carpenter, is monosyllabic.
If a response to a text message requires more than a one character response, forget it. For example, if I ask my husband if he would like me to bring home takeout for dinner, and his answer is yes, I will receive the letter K. Not OK. Just K.
Anyone else will get the appropriate “OK” text response from him though. That’s as formal as he gets. Two letters. It’s a polite, succinct indication that his answer to whatever you’re asking is yes. That’s final. Go away now. Cease communication. And don’t even think of expecting an emoji. That’s entirely too much work. And lame.
If the Carpenter is exhausted by the amount of communication I’m requiring for a specific topic, say choosing our takeout dinner menu, and I’ve offered too many choices instead of simply making the decision myself, his tone of passive aggressive apathy is a non-committal response: “sure.” That gem of communication is reserved just for me though, K?
Brief in chatter though he may be, there are times when the Carpenter texts in a full structured sentence. Just one. He can pack a lot of bluntness into one sentence. On these rare occasions, I know it’s usually because he has either beat me in the football pool and needs to brag, or completed something I said he would never finish and he would like to prove me wrong, or when he needs to be right about something minor we discussed earlier that day where I was confident he was incorrect about the subject, and again, he needs to prove me wrong, or finally, when there is a joke at my expense.
Case in point: Thursday, 8am.
The text read: “You ran over your tiara.”
The next text was a photo of said tiara, mangled and busted in glittering pieces of metallic-coloured plastic, shining in the morning sun on the gravel driveway. The head band was snapped into sharp shards, with the large blue fake sapphires crushed into the dirt.
Go ahead. Ask the obvious question. I know you want to.
Yes, I have a tiara – or rather, I had one. Well, technically it’s not mine. This bedazzled child-sized tiara from the Dollar Store was to be a joke birthday gift for a friend. It never got delivered. The toy tiara has been in the backseat of my car for a few weeks. Hey, you never know when you’ll need a crown, am I right?
At some point, likely when removing groceries, I’d knocked the tiara out of the car, onto the ground. When I left for work early Thursday morning, I didn’t see the tiara. I didn’t hear it crunch under the tires of my Toyota, either.
But I assure you, I knew better than to act like a princess about the situation. No way could I reveal any disappointment in my response to the Carpenter. But a simple K would be too dismissive.
Truth is, this is my favourite Carpenter text ever, because I knew he was at home laughing too. I responded simply: “I love this so much.”It’s true. Thirty years in and the Carpenter and I still laugh about stupid things every day. The point is, we laugh. And communicate.
That’s a crowning achievement.
OK by me.