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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 6:32 pm | Fair 58º


She Said, Z Said: I Hear What You’re Saying ... Look, a Bunny!

Knowing the most effective way to end a conversation is the secret to family relationships

She: Have you read the latest research on how ADHD can be hard on a marriage?

Z: Seriously? This is where you’re going? You’re going to diagnose the fact that I don’t always pay attention to you as a case of ADHD? Whatever happened to ADD? I liked that abbreviation much better. It rolled off the tongue very nicely. ADD. Like AT&T. Can you hear me now?

She: That’s Verizon Wireless. The symptoms of ADHD, like distraction, for example, can easily be misinterpreted as laziness, selfishness, and a lack of love and concern. This can cause some problems in marriage.

Z: Gee, you think?

She: I’m just saying. There’s a lot of new research on marriage and ADHD. Sadly, these people are twice as likely to be divorced.

Z: Seriously? Somebody got paid to do a study on this?

She: It’s important research.

Z: Did they also do a study on how having no brakes can be bad for your car? Or how forgetting to feed your rabbit can be a bummer for the bunny?

She: I thought you’d like this research. It would mean that you’re not insensitive or uncaring, but rather there’s a legitimate reason that you don’t always hear what I say.

Z: Look, a bunny!

She: Nice try.

Z: Besides, I think there’s a much simpler diagnosis for my not always seeming to hear the brilliant things you’re constantly saying.

She: Sarcastic try.

Z: It’s called 15-plus years of marriage. I’m publishing a study on it next month. Apparently, they’ll publish studies on anything now.

She: I don’t think that’s the problem.

Z: I’m going to call it the “Honey, Take Out the Trash.” “Huh?” “We’re Going to See Beaches.” “Wha?” study.

She: I don’t think that’s the problem because I’m not the only one who you don’t pay attention to.

Z: Please. I don’t think the rest of your family counts. I think ignoring people is the whole point of having in-laws. It’s like I’ve been married to them for 15-plus years as well.

She: It goes beyond that. You have a weird way of ending conversations that you’re not that interested in by just sort of trailing off.

Z: I didn’t know there was an official way to end conversations. Is it something like a high school essay? “In conclusion, I’d like to wrap up this conversation.”

She: No, that’s not ...

Z: “We covered the weather and politics, but carefully avoided religion. Thank you for conversing with me.”

She: Are you pretending to not know what I mean? Has your disorder distracted you from the actual point I was making? Or do you just not care what I mean?

Z: You’re confusing my conversational style with my degree of caring. Sometimes I might end a conversation abruptly if the conversation isn’t all that engaging. I wouldn’t say that not being interested in the gossip of whose mother slighted whose child counts as ADHD.

She: You’d be interested if you thought the mother in question was hot.

Z: See? I can focus.

She: You mean like how you focus when I’m trying to talk to you while you’re driving?

Z: And now you’re confusing my inability to multitask. In fact, I think this proves just how clearly I can focus, because when you’re talking to me while I’m driving, I’m so intent on the conversation that I’m likely to miss exits.

She: So if I have something really important to talk to you about, I should tell you in the car when we don’t have to remember what freeway exit to get off?

Z: Exactly.

She: And if you don’t pay attention to me then, what will your excuse be? That you need a hearing aid?

Z: You say that as though selective hearing was a bad thing.

She: It’s not?

Z: Selective hearing can be a very good thing. Do you really want me to hear and remember everything you say to me when you’re angry with me?

She: You little ...

Z: Besides, I read an article about living with a spouse who has ADHD — you should read it sometime — that said, “it’s essential to keep a sense of humor about the situation and focus on the positive aspects of ADHD, such as your partner’s high levels of spontaneity, creativity and flexibility.” You win!

She: The booby prize. I can’t believe ...

Z: Look, a bunny!

She: Yes, dear.

— Share your thoughts about bunnies with She and Z by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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