Subtext is the Same in Every Language:

Communication is truly a wondrous thing.  The ability–through words, looks, eye contact, body language, casual groping, and (while not as often) heavy petting–to convey one’s thoughts and feelings to another human being is pretty amazing.  Lauren, as we all fondly remember from the chapter, Brian ll, in Broken Hallelujah:  notes from a marriage, is a communication aficionado of sorts, using the subtleties of subtext to, well…you be the judge:

Brian (to assembled clinic participants):  “Doubles is like a dance between partners.  Imagine there is a belt connecting you to your partner; you should never be more than ten feet apart.  If you find yourself drifting from your partner, tighten the belt!  Any questions?” 

Lauren (innocently, after raised hand is acknowledged):  “Why does so much of your tennis instruction language have such a decidedly sadomasochistic subtext?”  

When this ability, this thing that connects us to others, allows us, enables us really, to live where others live, so to speak, so that we are able to share a conversation, to make nothing short of a true connection with someone we hardly know and whose native tongue, in many cases, may be different from our own, then communication truly becomes a thing of beauty (and a joy forever)!

Just the other day, while enjoying my weekly $120 spa pedicure with extra massage (add $40) and essential oil of lavender (add $15) and callus remover (add $5), I was able to observe this beautiful and joyous reality with my very own eyes and my very own ears:

(For those of you who do not speak subtext, I have provided–to the best of my abilities– the translation)

Non-Native-English-Speaker Pedicure Professional (NNESPP) (after selling $150 worth of add-ons to hapless customer):  “You married.  Yes?  How long?”

Non-Native-English-Speaker (though different native language than pedicure professional) Hapless Customer: “Ten years”

NNESPP:  “Ah, ten years, yes…ten years…”

SUBTEXT TRANSLATION:  Is your husband a sloppy lazy bastard like mine…?

NNESPP:  “Children?  How many…?”

Non-Native-English-Speaker Hapless Customer: (closing her eyes as the massage portion of the pedicure begins):  “ girl and one boy…’

SUBTEXT TRANSLATION: Yes, sloppy AND lazy…I rip my vagina with his babies…and still he is no help, no help at all…

NNESPP (smiling serenely with the thought of family): “That’s good…that’s good…family most important….”

SUBTEXT TRANSLATION:  I poison my husband’s food…a little each day…so he suffer…oh, how he suffer

Non-Native-English-Speaker Hapless Customer (a bit sleepy now, as deep relaxation begins to take hold of her body):  “Yes…most important thing…”

SUBTEXT TRANSLATION:  I poison my husband’s food too…

I challenge you, dear reader, to get off of your computer and go out there, face to face, and find someone with whom to connect.  And, if that’s not working, there is always casual (and consensual) groping…

2 thoughts on “Subtext is the Same in Every Language:

    • Thanks so much for reading…and ENJOYING! I am a bit behind on posting, as I just returned from vacation. I should have a new post on this blog in the next couple of days; please keep on reading!!! Also, I love getting comments, so THANK YOU:)

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