Monday, April 27, 2015

Words and meanings

My husband and I had a misunderstanding on the iphone on Saturday.
I drove Katie up to a friend's house and on the way home I wanted to stop at Chick fil a for dinner.
We had earlier in the afternoon decided not to go out for dinner.   But I thought a drive thru was fine...and I was right there...So I texted him to ask if he changed his mind.

I texted;

Are you sure you don't want Chick fil a?

He wrote back;



Immediately I understood that he did not want Chick fil a.

In my mind, he was sure he did not want Chick fil a.

When I got home Patrick paused the tv and followed me in to the kitchen.

"Is this mine?" he said about the bag on the table.

Oh my gosh!  He wanted some.

His "sure" was a 'sure...get me chick fil a'.

I felt terrible as you can imagine.

I had him look at the text again and he could see what went wrong....
He understood and his stomach growled....

The next day when we went to get Katie I told her the story and asked her if dad's 'sure' meant...

no thanks or yes.

She thought his 'sure' meant yes.

oh man.

So....what would you have thought?

Get him some...
or don't get him some?

btw...Patrick is not a big Chick fil A fan like I am.  He can usually take or leave it.
but then...we didn't have much in the house to eat....

I'm looking forward to hearing how you would have responded.

Encourage one another,


  1. Poor guy. Poor you! An "I'm sure" would have meant no to me. But "sure" seems like a yes. That's what I thought when I read it. I don't want to add to your angst. I can totally see how you mistook that reply. Oh, those men of few words...

  2. Easy to have misunderstood ~
    and I leave you with one of my favorite sayings :-)

    “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
    Robert McCloskey

  3. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Oh man !! Sometimes my questions are not clear either ! Drives my husband nuts ! He always tells me to ask it like a yes or no ! Come on hubby you are suppose to read my mind! I took Patrick's answer as a , sure I'll take one ��. Beckie from Kansas

  4. I would have thought like you - that he was sure he didn't want Chick Fil A.

    1. Yep.

      You said "are you sure you don't?" His "sure" sounds like he's sure he does not.

      Poor fella.

  5. "I'm sure" would have meant no, but "sure" sounds like a "yes, please get some" to me. Sorry. Dan!

  6. He doesn't like Chick Fil A? What?? Gary isn't a huge fan either. Kaish isn't either, now that I think about it. I think I would have thought his yes meant yes, get me some. What did he end up finding to eat for supper? I have to figure out what to make when I get home from work tonight and I am already dreading it. Kaish has a writing group at the library at 4:00 so I will think about it while I wait for him.

  7. Anonymous1:31 PM

    "sure" would definitely have meant yes to me.

  8. At this point, what happened happened. This type of answer drives me nuts because both my daughter and husband tend to respond the way Patrick does. I make it a habit to specifically re-word their answer and say it back to them and ask them if I heard them correctly. It clears things up very quickly!

  9. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Answering a question in that way drives me crazy-- so easy to misinterpret. Agree with Wendy.

  10. Yeah. He hates to use words.
    It seems I am outnumbered. Isn't it weird how you can be so sure about something?
    Sure. ha.

    Funny thing is....I didn't even think I needed to make him clarify...I was so sure he meant no.

  11. I took it to mean, IM sure I don't want a chik fi la...:)

  12. I would have texted him back and had him tell me -- sure you do or sure you don't!! Husbands, ambiguity has no place on modern communication!! HAHA!! :)

  13. Anonymous2:29 PM

    I would have just bought him something - better safe than sorry I always say.

  14. "Sure" would seem to reiterate your 'are you sure?' and he just left off the 'I'm' because it's such a pain to type in apostrophes. So I am with you. On the other hand, since I only know what my husband is talking about a fraction of the time I would have texted back to reiterate. Or called. Since he doesn't text. Hope your Patrick is full and happy today.

  15. I have mastered interpreting short answer texts from my husband and that "sure
    " means, " fine, just bring me some Chick-fil-A since there's nothing else hot and ready to eat here."

    But in your defense, a specific food order should have followed

  16. The funniest is all these answers! "sure you do, or sure you don't?" I would have texted him back to be SURE I had it right because his "sure" would have confused me. (-: But then I was a communications major in college...

  17. Anonymous5:04 PM

    This communication situation is one my husband and I often have. I remind him Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus....never read the book, but I take it to mean "we don't think or speak alike very much." ;-) I would have interpreted what Patrick said as "I am sure that I don't want any Chick fil A and when I read this to my hubby he said he understood that Patrick wanted some, but thought his answer was not as clear as it needed to be. At our house we have come to understand that no matter how much we love one another, we are just not always good at understanding what the other one means. We do a lot of extra talking and texting to avoid misunderstandings. ;-)
    love and prayers, jep

  18. Anonymous6:04 PM

    You will have to apply the "George Costanza" rule: Whatever Patrick says, just think the exact opposite and you'll both be on the same page.............Jerry and Elaine did it all the time with George! :) Karen F.

  19. I would have interpreted his "sure" as Yes, I'm sure I do not want Chick-Fil-A.

  20. My sweetie does exactly that. I'll get a "sure" when I ask a question that would best be answered with a "yes" or "no" ... but I get a "sure". Yes, I would have gotten him something ... but then if I'd gotten home and he didn't want it, it would have been fridge food until the next day when one of us would have reheated it. Guess that's just the way it runs in our house .....

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