Girls Write Out
Monday, November 07, 2005

Subtext. It's such an elusive concept it's not even in my dictionary. (Ok, so it's a 1995 edition, but still.) Like sugary sweets, this covert form of conversation was absent from my life in my early years. In my family, we said what we meant--unless it was mean, and then we just didn't say it at all.

But now that I am well into my thirties, I'm learning what is said isn't necessarily what is meant.

Subtext. Even worse, I'm learning that my husband is gifted at this elusive don't-say-what-you-mean speakese. I discovered it last night.

"I'm finally buying a lap-top, Honey," I say.

He nods slowly. "Hmm. I didn't know you had that much money in your writing account."

"Oh, yeah, I do." I proudly tell him the account balance.

It takes about ten seconds. I'm a little slow.

I clear my throat. "Um, was that way your way of making sure I was going to use my book money?"

He chuckles. Caught. And I wonder. Has he been doing this our whole 16 1/2 years of marriage? How many other subversive messages have I missed? In this case, it was harmless enough, but have I missed important hints? I point this out to him and explain my mind just doesn't work this way. I only hear what's said, and maybe that makes me a little dense, but I like to think of it is as, well, honest. I'm suddenly sure I've missed hundreds of subtle "suggestions" from friends and aquaintances, but maybe that's not a bad thing.

Call me crazy, but I'm thinking this is not a good way of communicating. Half of us are completely oblivious and never get the Real Message. And the other half knows exactly what was meant, so why bother hiding it?

Me? I think I'll stick with hearing exactly what was said. I have a feeling this is definitely a case of ignorance is bliss.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:06 AM  
  Comments (2)
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At 10:23 AM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

LOL, Denise....coming from someone who's considered blunt to the point of losing tact, I can so relate. I always want people just to blurt out what they think/feel about something rather than me trying to pick up on subtle clues and such. Just takes too much brain power for me, and I need all the brain power I can muster!

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

AMEN, sister!! I HATE subtexting with a passion. Even in my writing, I prefer my characters to just out with it! Say what you mean, for heaven's sake! : )

Oh, and have fun with that laptop! My laptop is now my ONLY computer and I haven't had a day of regret!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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