Posted by Neal on September 25, 2008
“Are you getting something to drink?” my wife asked me.
OK, that’s it. I need a pseudonym for my wife, like Better Half or Mrs. Semantic Compositions or something. I’d ask … my wife for a suggestion, but I don’t think she’d be too enthusiastic about helping, since she’s still waiting for me to come up with a pet name for her. In all the time we dated, all the time we were engaged, and all the time we’ve been married, I’ve never had a pet name for my wife. Not as a matter of policy; I just never happened to start calling her by a pet name. Maybe it’s part of my language acquisition that never fully took. (Yes, I admit it: Part of the last line in this story is a lie, a lie! )
Anyway, so where was I? We were getting ready to watch the third episode of the show my brother’s writing for, and my wife asked if I was getting something to drink. I said yes.
“If you decide to open a bottle of wine and wanted to pour me a glass, I wouldn’t say no,” she told me.
“Okay,” I said, and headed off to the kitchen.
I don’t think I want a glass of wine, I thought. I’m going to get me a tall glass of iced tea. Woohoo! I was off the hook for getting my wife a glass of wine!
On the other hand, I thought, as I cut the lemon … my wife didn’t say not to bring her a glass of wine if I was getting something else for myself. She probably wouldn’t mind if I brought her a glass of wine regardless of what I was having.
In fact, I reasoned further, she probably wants me to bring her a glass of wine. She was probably just trying to frame the request in a playful, not quite so demanding way. Maybe I ought to bring her a glass of wine.
So I did, and she called me honey and thanked me. Actually, she said, “You’re so sweet,” but since I’m pretty savvy with these indirect speech acts, I could tell it was an expression of thanks.