As it is my wont to try to distill all human interaction into its most efficient essence, I shall call this phenomenon 'D.U.H.' - Don't Understand Him/Her.
And I'm compiling entries for a pocket reference:
Case #1: "Let’s meet for lunch"
Recently, Ittybit and I were in town (where the man in our life was working for a half-day) not getting lunch because when we met the man he'd already eaten someplace else – D.U.H. Clearly the fault was my own:
I should have made it perfectly clear that “Hey, I'll meet you for lunch” is virtually the same as “Let's meet at the same restaurant somewhere round about noon and eat a mid-day meal together.”
Case #2: Entertain the child
Lunch aside, however, all is not lost. I had another purpose for going to town. There was shopping to do. There were gifts to gather for weddings and birthdays and special occasions. Things I usually don’t do with a toddler in tow, because, let’s face it, shopping with a toddler is in the same ballpark as bringing a pet billy goat to a China shop, smearing it with epoxy glue and setting it loose in the glassware aisle.
I had hoped the man could entertain her at the ice cream shop while I spent massive amounts of money on stuff my friends would stuff in a drawer. I did not intend for him to let her down in the same store I was perusing, where all she wanted to do is hang from my shirt and cry or stack Le Creuset crockery in reverse order, smallest to largest. D.U.H. Again, I am forced to see the error of my wording.
I should have made it perfectly clear that "Entertain her while I go shopping" actually means "Take her someplace else and don't bring her back. I will find you when I'm finished. If you see me by accident cross the street and pretend I’m someone else."
Case #3: Alone time
No matter how well you plan, of course, there will be some surprises. Unbeknownst to us, turns out it was fire department day in town, which means a long parade of trucks and marching bands meander down Main Street toward the fairgrounds.
We discuss whether we should move our cars, which will surely get blocked in and erase our option to leave midway through should a meltdown arise. We finally arrived at a conclusion: I would stay for the parade and he would go home to nap. D.U.H.
Perhaps you might have explained that a 'Family Day,' is technically the same as sitting on the couch watching a "Sopranos" re-run marathon. Double D.U.H. I will need to remember that the next time I volunteer to melt in the heat with a toddler who covers my eyes, pulls my hair and won't hold my hand.
I suppose it makes sense, though. After all, he did mention that we needed more “alone time.” Unfortunately I interpreted that to mean sans baby, avec each other.
I also forgot that date-night is a term that means the mommy must arrange babysitting and come up with a plan for stepping out on the town, otherwise the word means the husband is going to poker night.
And for the strangers in the parade:
D.U.H.!?! After waving our fool heads off, clapping and cheering for you folks in the hot summer sun, I've come to the conclusion that it might have ACTUALLY killed you to smile or wave back.
I had no idea a PARADE in your language meant Perturbed And Rancorous Autocade Dourly Exercising.
Live and learn. Live and learn.