The Tone in Our Heads When Reading Emails

Posted: November 16, 2018 in Fiction, Musing, Musings, opinion, philosophy, relationships

Wise Friend,

I know, I’m a real bore!

Sensitive Friend,

Don’t worry about becoming a “bore or impertinent”. Most of the times, when I receive your emails, I laugh, and that is good for me.

Wise Friend,

I believe I don’t have to convince you that you are quite a political person though sometimes you tend to be manipulative. I tell you this as a friend. Be more careful as you could hurt sensibilities.

Use your innate qualities. You have plenty of those, thank God.

Sensitive Friend,

Now I’ve stepped a boundary with you. What are you talking about?

Politics? Manipulative? Excuse me!

Wise Friend,

These are the words I labelled as “politics”: “Most of the time, when I receive something from you, I laugh, and this is good for me.”

In such situations, using this “method”, you go straight to the target. Let’s assume we are clear after adequate explanations, though I don’t believe you didn’t notice the context. However, I know you wrote this way not because of bad intentions but because for self-preservation.

Immediately, I thought this is how Miss Manners would have advised you (unless I’m screwed up). This is the reason for the bitter taste I mentioned.

With this, Basta!

Please don’t confuse “politics” with “tact” and “common sense”.

When you feel like, you might be chattier. When I respond, you might laugh, as you usually do.

Sensitive Friend,

By “target”, I assume you meant those “painful buttons” unique to each one of us, didn’t you?

You were wrong, wrong, wrong!!!! Both of us will be forever ‘wrong’.

As I told you before, you think I know exactly what is going inside your head and read between the lines.

The only thing I do out of self-preservation is to not read between the lines but to ask for explanations when double entendre is used. Yes, some charm gets lost.

When I start feeling comfortable with people I often meet (“locals”), the closeness allows us to share intimate stories. I see their facial expressions, hear the nuances in their voices, and read between the lines.

Even then, sooner or later I ‘validate’ my assumptions.  I proceed this way, because, sometimes, one friend would bring up an old conversation, reveal how she understood it, and I am gobsmacked. By then, I expected the friend to know me well enough, and suddenly, I’m the position to see she saw me as a different person, I don’t recognise. Recently, a decades-old friend made a comment about me that amazed me, unpleasantly. She placed some of my feelings on a road I never ever travelled. I wanted to correct her. However, for that, I needed to see her privately, and I had no time. I would not even try via email.

You read my words mot-à-mot. I’ve read our written conversation again, and my comment meant: “I enjoy receiving your messages or commentaries. I laugh because of the pleasure I feel at your sense of humour.” It was the answer to writing you were a bore.” Arrrgh! Our buttons!

Admittedly, it intrigues me you felt hurt and felt a bitter taste. I didn’t understand you well as I refused to read between the lines.

Maybe it is the nature or the result of our banality.


Wise Friend,

I have nothing constructive to add now though you might expect that. I received your specific explanations. I thank you with warmth, especially as you had no obligation to do so.

I think that I understand what you tried to say. I’m also for clarifications. I went overboard, I admit.

I learnt something good for anybody: to not imagine one understands everything. This is not the first time I’m the victim of my own scenarios, and it’s not the first time I interpret words this way–“à côté”.

However, I deserve a good mark, as many times, I wrote about my doubts–real ones–about the way you assimilate what I tell, in jest, or not (mainly seriously). You didn’t respond to my doubts, and I took them as it was convenient for me.

It’s good to ask for clarification when you don’t understand something (will I admit that?).

Regarding this specific situation, it would be stupid and offensive not to believe you. Especially, as all is now in order.

Therefore, I ended with “Basta!” Why did you answer with “Basta?!!??”.

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