When you’ve known someone for a while you get used to their idiosyncratic ways. You learn to interpret what they mean as distinguished from what they say. Thus in ending a chat with my Brother or Dad on the phone, I’ll say, “I love you”, because I’m a girl and can say these kind of things. They’ll usually reply, “Yes”. What they really mean by that “yes”, is, “I love you too but am a little too embarrassed to say it to your face but really I do love you and have enjoyed talking to you as well”. (well that’s my hope). My favorite chats are those I have with my Mum when I’m upset. For example, today I was pouring my heart out to her, crying snot down the telephone, bewailing many things. Her response was to make the usual sympathetic noises which are required at such times, after a while though she declared in the most random way ever. “I bought a new swimming hat today”.
By which she actually meant: “Katherine (she can get away with using my full name), I love you and care deeply about you, but I can’t do anything about your problem, I’ve made the right noises and don’t really know what else I can do or say, so I’ll tell you about something that happened to me today in the hope you’ll be distracted and smile.” (at least I hope that is the case…) Her other favorite random changes of subject are to tell me about a bird in the garden. A conversation might go like this: Kath: Mum, I’m going to die alone and sad. Mum: Oh, there’s a starling playing in the pond. She’ll probably kill me for saying this, but it might make her leave a comment 🙂
You should all know that she is the best Mum ever and still gives me cuddles and lets me cry all over her nice jumpers.