Today's blog post has also published on my church's young professional blog: http://ocstir.wordpress.com/.
So this intern walked in to work last week with giant ear muffs on. I greeted him at the door and said “Hey! Sweet muffs!”. He mumbled something like, “Oh. Um… okay.” and walked upstairs. About three hours later a coworker came down and said, “I hear you have a new name for our intern. He’s been telling everyone that you’ve been calling him ‘Sweet Muffs’.” So apparently when I said “Hey! Sweet muffs!” He heard, “Hey, sweet muffs.”
This isn’t my first communication failure. It happens to me. A. Lot.
Another notorious blunder: When I was 14, I got really embarrassed in Spanish class – probably for something one of my classmates said to intentionally embarrass me. We were all laughing and I was having an “Oh My Gosh” moment when my Spanish teacher asked me what was going on. I wanted to tell him that I was embarrassed. I knew how to say "I am", but I didn't know the exact translation for "embarrassed". Doing what any 14 year old language learner would do, I took the English word and added some flare. I ended up exclaiming, “Estoy embarazada!” He was shocked. I said it again, but louder and more emphatically. “Estoy embarazada!!!”. To which he replied, “You’re pregnant????!!!?!?!?”.
Apparently, assuming that ‘embarrassed’ in Spanish is ‘embarazada’ would be an incorrect assumption. Also, the term ‘embarrassed’ could no longer cover what I was feeling at that point. Double whammy.
I say things I don’t mean. I mean things I don’t say. I misunderstand emails because I can’t understand the tone. Siri makes hilariously annoying mistakes when I try to text. You know what I’m talking about because the same things happen to you.
But here’s something that I never want to happen.
I never want my friends to forget that they are beautiful and treasured. I never want my sisters to question if I am thinking about them. I never want my parents to wonder when the last time was that I said that I loved them. I never want the 8th grade girls in my covenant group to forget that they are holy and dearly loved. I never want the people who have changed my life and my heart forever to not know how much I adore them. I never want a chance to go by where I don’t tell the lady in front of me at the grocery store that she is having an awesome hair day or the guy on the phone that I truly appreciate his customer service or – more importantly – the people who are in my heart every moment of every day that they are so loved and so treasured and so adored. I’m so grateful to know from experience how great it is to get a text or a call or an email from someone in my life just to tell me that I am loved. We all crave that. We all need that.
So speak up! And yeah, sometimes Siri might say “I loathe you” instead of “I love you”, but those are rare. Most of the time, it’s worth it.