Saturday, February 21, 2009

Laughing at Our House

Yellow tulip. Taken May 2005, Cambridge MA USA...Image via Wikipedia

Because my distinguished dean so deftly employs the phrase "Well, there you go" to punctuate our conversations (because it means .... Who the hell knows what it means?) I now employ it frequently in conversations with my wife.

I have explained my own understanding of its meaning. When I employ it, she knows I mean, "You have just said something. I heard what you said. Whether or not I agree is a topic for further discussion. Indeed, it's beyond agreeing or not agreeing. All I am committing to is an acknowledgement that words have been said -- that is, sounds have been uttered -- not that I have a notion of the denotative or connotative meaning inherent in those sounds."

I believe some men say this to their wives with even greater efficiency by wordlessly rustling the newspaper behind which they hide. And, of course, wives do the same.

But as far as the using the phrase currently before the dock, I have explained to my wife how evasive it is, which gives her the option, the opening, to say, "What do you *think* of what I have just said? I would prefer something more than what is equivalent to a multi-syllabic grunt."

Most of the time she does not ask for that elaboration, though she is grateful that I have acknowledged the evasion. I have opened the petals of my soul to her. Well, you don't go crushing somebody's petals, right?

Anyway this morning she is reading from the Financial Times, describing the obit that described the career of the splendid Dutchman Willem "Pim" Kolff, who invented the dialysis machine and about every other damn thing, at the end of which account she said, "and he was dyslexic."

And I said, "Well, go you there."

Which showed I was listening. And we rustled our newspapers and lived happily ever after.
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6 comments:

david silver said...

nice.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Well,there you go.

Paula Dollar said...

I'm going to adopt the phrase as a way to better communicate with my hubby of three plus decades when he starts babbling about his latest golf game!

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Well, there we *all* go.

Peter Moore said...

or "Whatever" which is really more dismissive that "Well, there you go." and thus better

....J.Michael Robertson said...

"Whatever" is contemptuous and dismissive. "Well, there you go" is sympathetic and philosophical. No, I'll go with WTYG.