03 September 2019

Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children: Miscommunication

Miscommunication is a fact of life.  While it may cause embarrassment, stress or anger at the time, it’s usually pretty funny in retrospect.  Thought I’d share a few as my mind wanders down memory lane, in no particular chronological order.  

When my boys were little we had a pet snake.  A ball python, named Chester (I can write his name because neither he nor his family could read, and he’s long deceased).  One evening Thing 4 had him out playing with him while I was in the loft doing homework.  Everyone was happy until I heard “Mama!  Mama!  Chester got in the couch under the cushions!  Can I cut it to get him out?”  Of course, I said yes.  Chester was a favorite of mine, too.  I thought Thing 4 was pulling the cushions off and cutting a hole out under them to get the snake.  Nope!  He cut the whole back of the couch open, which was visible to the kitchen.  He got the snake, I got in trouble.

Since I’m on Thing 4.. there was one time he needed a plug for some reason or another.  I really can’t remember what he was working on, but I do remember him calling (I was at school in the loft again) and asking me if he could cut the plug off the cord of the old sewing machine.  I had two in the living room, one old and broken, one new and working.  I told him “Yes,” and of course he cut the cord off the new one.  

A college classmate came to visit years ago, and because I had to work, he just tagged along with me.  It wasn’t a big thing.  Most of the time I spent the days in the office alone until the boys came in from school.  On this particular day the boss radioed me to bring a well pump to a job site.  Please note, I can get lost in a wet paper bag.  He, the boss, gave me directions close to the site but told me to radio him when I reached a certain traffic light.  I found myself, along with my classmate, in a hot pickup truck at a busy traffic light in Conyers.  When I radioed whether I should turn left or right the boss answered “South.”  My classmate fell out laughing.

My husband and I decided to Honeymoon in Ohio.  Yes, I said Ohio.  It wasn’t the first marriage for either of us, but it was his chance to see where I grew up when I was little and meet some more of the family.  We stayed with my grandmother, “Ma,” and had a wonderful visit, but the first night we were there they had a bit of a shock.  My husband and I both enjoy our beer, which was not a big thing (Ohio has a bar on every corner like Covington has a bank, church, or convenience store) but he called out to me “Honey!  Where’s my coozie?”  Complete silence from my Aunt and Ma.  Just the look on Ma’s face…  While we in the South refer to a “coozie” as something to keep our beer cold, it’s completely different up North – it’s a reference to female genitalia.  Once explained, we all laughed, but that was a –long- moment of uncomfortable silence for me.

I’d end this one writing about miscommunications between my mother and I, but guess I’m gonna have to skip that one.  She just started speaking to me again.

Until next time, Friends!

- Bess Tuggle