Language Barrier

My partner and I have been together 18 years and she ‘gets’ me better than anyone in the entire world – most of the time; every now and then there’s a bit of a translation problem, usually in situations like texting, where additional contextual information is not available. I greatly prefer emails and texts to phone calls, but my need to have thing spelled out in explicit specific detail doesn’t always mesh with mediums where others tend to be very concise and brief. Hence we have episodes like the following:

Our dogs and cats eat raw food that has to be defrosted. The dogs would eat it if I forgot and left it on the counter for three days (that would probably increase the appeal) but the cats are very picky about freshness so the containers of food have to be thawed just enough to split up, then we can re-freeze part of it, because if we thaw the whole container it will be too ‘old’ (according to the cats) before it’s all used up. My partner usually deals with that, and I know she has a system, but she left for work this morning before I was up so I found a container on the counter with a note instructing me to “put away” once the sides felt a little squishy. I was able to decide what ‘a little squishy’ meant but was hazy on the rest of the instructions so I texted her.

Me: By ‘put away’ do you mean put in the fridge or cut in half?

Her: Put away

Uh. That did not help.

Me: Is this a test?

Her: I mean put the whole thing away.

I was mystified and felt stupid. Clearly this was not working. I tried again.

Me: Put container in fridge? Or divide and put part in freezer? I need the Asperger’s translation.

Her: Put the whole container from the counter into the refrigerator as is. Do not divide.

Me: Done. I honestly wasn’t being a smart ass.

Her: Thanks

So now I am thinking, “what did she mean by ‘Thanks’?” Did she mean ‘thanks but I still think you were being a smart ass’ or ‘thanks but are you really that dense?’ or ‘stop annoying me while I am at work’. Or did she just simply mean ‘thanks’ and as usual I am way overthinking this?


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