Monday, October 3, 2011

Lost In Translation

We live in the Information Age, anything we want to know on any topic can be had with the click of a mouse or by opening our mouth and asking, with Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Food Network, and the Internet someone has heard something about almost everything. And while much of this information is remarkably accurate it never hurts to check your sources and verify your data.

Sometimes though, what means one thing to one and something entirely different to another rears its connotative head and even between speakers of the same language something gets lost in translation. A little clarification just to be sure the information giver really meant what the information receiver got is always a good plan. And, If you don't clarify you may find yourself wishing you had insisted on a better translation before acting on the information you thought you heard.

For instance:

If your kids tell you just as you're drifting off to sleep for the 3rd day of a seven day work rotation, "Mom, the dryer won't dry our clothes!" And you, knowing the dryer is old and has to be propped shut and is missing one of the tumblers, metaphorically jump for joy because you'll take any excuse to put off doing laundry for a week or two, think a sad goodbye to an old friend as you drift to sleep wondering how the budget can stretch to cover the repair bill or a new dryer and how you'll survive not doing any laundry until you're off graveyard shift and can take care of it all.

May learn, a week later when you make it down to check out the situation, that what your kids meant to say was, "Mom, we packed a huge batch of jeans, a batch of towels and a batch of blankets into the dryer so tightly that the barrel can't tumble and even if it could no air would circulate through the soggy mass. Now, strangely enough, our clothes aren't drying."

Then you would avoid sending kids to school in clothes that make your eyes water if the breeze hits them and having 3 days to do two weeks worth of laundry.

Or if you invited three families over for Sunday dinner and your boys told you, "Mom the backyard is looking marvelous, toys, socks and shoes, garbage, rock and stick collections and doggy droppings all cleaned up and put away, chairs placed in comfortable chatting circles and birds chirping happily". You might think you can squeeze in vacuuming behind the couches, washing down the cupboards and showering in the 15 minutes before guests arrive put the finishing touches on a lovely salad and never think to check the backyard just to be sure.

To late you'd translate what your boys said to, "Duh, we're boys, we think piles of dirt make great center pieces that will delight and entertain our dinner guests".

Then as you walked out to join your guests with a plate full of spaghetti goodness you wouldn't find a huge pile of potting soil in the middle of the patio with chairs carefully arranged around it.

And perhaps, if you get an email from a football coach, who you think has a little too much time on his hands because he's sending stats on 9 and 10 year old boys after each game, saying, "Here are directions to the football game in a town 40 minutes away tonight." You might hit delete thinking, "Buddy, you put the O in OCD, I've been attending games in that town for many years and directions are for sissies" assume you know the way, plan your evening down to the second, only to have a husband and son gone with both sets of car keys, end up leaving 30 minuets late, fly up the canyon at 20 miles over the speed limit where you discover that the old field has been converted to a soccer complex and then have to get directions that start with, "Ya know where McDonalds is?" from a teenager in a golf cart full of grass clippings, spend 25 more minutes searching frantically for the McDonald's while your 10 year old says things like, "Even if I miss the WHOLE GAME it was nice to drive up the canyon and see the waterfalls and autumn leaves with you, Mom."

You may learn that what the coach meant to say was, "I realize that many coaches don't keep stats on 9 and 10 year old players and that you probably won't care about stats when they're playing college ball at 19 and 20; but, the location of tonight's game is new, useful and handy information for a sleep deprived Mom with 4 football players and a busy schedule."

Then you would avoid wondering if your Doctor could prescribe a pharmaceutical cocktail of caffeine, anxiety meds and Valium in an easy to swallow tablet.

And, if a busy Mom tells you, "I love blogging and I'll be getting posts out a bit slower than usual but I won't miss all the fun and exciting things in my life and the lives of my Bloggy Buddies." You might roll your eyes and say ha, like we'd even miss you say, we know you'll be back soon, take a few more days between posts. Just keep up with reading our blogs so you aren't overwhelmed when you come back in a week or so.

Sadly you'd learn that what the busy Mom meant to say was, "I'm going to run around like a crazy woman and take on more projects then ten woman could handle and then in the few minutes of computer time I do get I'll become addicted to Angry Birds, and suddenly it will be 2 months since I've posted any thing and I'll be overwhelmed with where to start on mine or yours."

Then you could avoid endlessly clicking on her blog in the hopes that Blogger was wrong about it being two months and that she is once again lifting spirits and changing live with her witty and insightful posts...long awkward pause.

Hmmm, I guess this means I'm back.


LeShel said...

when you get the doc to prescribe you that cocktail i think i'll fly out and have me a couple.

Adams Family said...

Ah, it is nice to have you back...I'm a little curious as to how long you will stay after hearing your schedule, but we'll take you as long as you're here.

Techno Grandma said...

Glad you're baack. I missed pictures but The computer doesn't hold enough pictures to make it reasonable to post some after this long---right? By the time you chose a few you'd have lost all thoughts of what you were going to say. So we will all forgive you this time and be exceptionally happy for the writing.

Sara said...


Anonymous said...

I'm trying to get back slowly but surely as well. :) Just catching up!!! :)

annie valentine said...

This post solidifies the fact that I have no place to whine. Loved every misadventure, you are such a superhero. Glad to see you found your keyboard.

Heffalump said...

Lucky for me I have your blog in my feeds, so I just wait for it to be highlighted to click over. I was wondering what happened to you though!

Anonymous said...

... I am at a loss for words. Oh, wait I always am.

I love your writing, thoughts, and your love for "crazy mothering," You are amazing!


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