Chapter 9

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I was sharing one of these kinds of observations with a friend once, and he replied,
"Well what I hate is when..."

Hate? You mean people interpret observations as expressions of hatred?

When I tell you that your shoe is untied, it means that your shoe is untied.
It doesn't mean that I hate you, or your shoe, or your shoelace.
It means that your shoe is untied.


This same guy once asked me what I meant when I headed a posting with "Huh...".
I meant, of course, "That's fascinating", but he wasn't even aware of that as an option. He wanted to know whether I was being sarcastic ("Huh?") or confused ("Huhhh...").

Come to think of it, situations like this come up a lot. There have been many times I've said something like "Gee, that's interesting", and whoever was present at the moment interpreted it as some kind of condemnation.

They don't understand my world and I don't understand theirs.