Thursday, March 21, 2013

When the Synapses Don't Fire

My husband tells the story of when the girl he had been in love with during high school announced to him and his friend that she was engaged to be married.  In his mind, the conversation went something like this:

M:  Hey!  Guess what!  I'm getting married!
K (S's friend):  Wow.  Congratulations.  That's terrific.
S:  Yes, congratulations.  I'm very happy for you.

His friend, however, says it went more like this:

M: Hey! Guess what! I'm getting married!
K (S's friend): Wow. Congratulations. That's terrific.
S: Yes, congratulations. I'm very happy for you.

Apparently, his brain went into slow motion or something. 

I've laughed about that story for years, because sometimes we'll be having a conversation and I'll ask a question, but the answer doesn't come for several minutes.  I tell him, "Your synapses are misfiring again."

Today my boss was looking for a specific document about a property in France.  If he had shown me the words, I would have been able to tell you that it was pronounced "San (nasal) Clu," which is exactly what he was saying.  However, the French do not have a very phonetically-friendly language, and in my word-based mind, all I could picture was "St. Clu."  So--hoping to help by looking for the document in a database--I said, "How is that spelled?"  He looked at me but did not answer.  A few minutes later I said, "Spell that for me."  We made eye contact, but there was no answer.  About 10 minutes later I'm on the phone with someone else, still looking for the information.  I asked him again for the spelling and he didn't answer.  Finally I said, "My friend, do you not know how to spell this or are you just ignoring me?"  He got a totally surprised look on his face--as if he'd already answered three times--and said, "It's Saint Cloud."

TOTAL synapse misfire!