‘Noooooooooo” I screeched at him when he told me what he had done. ‘Taking advantage of the hot oven’ he explained, knowing that this reasoning would normally placate me. Today, however, it didn’t.
’No, no, no!’ How could he not have known NOT to cook the second cottage pie that he had made. How could he NOT have known that I had intended to just freeze the uncooked pie so it could be pulled out one damp, dark day in the future when cottage pie — the one with beef, not the lamb — soothes the soul like nothing else can. ’No, no, no, no, no, no, no!’ That was not I had intended at all.
Now, dear reader, you have to understand that I am precious about my cottage pies. Friends and family would say that this seemingly mundane pie is my signature dish. Perfected over the years, this now takes me all day to complete. But this day, I had to go out. Mr. Calmly Confident, who has been an eager sous chef happily mashing the cooked potatoes (once they had cooled to the point where steam was no longer visible) for a couple of years, was tasked with taking the pre-cooked meat sauce and transforming into a full-blown pie.
There was plenty of meat sauce so I suggested he make 2 pies: make 2 pies — cook one and freeze the other. Except I failed to mention the part about only cooking one. Not because I am slack or selfish, but because like so many others — and I’m talking about 50%of the population, I am an introvert. This doesn’t mean I’m a wallflower, not by any stretch of the imagination. But I live in a vibrant world in my head, where life is vibrant, engaging and noisy, and I am queen.
The problem of course is that my world is so loud to me, that I forget that you cannot hear it. Somehow, I just expect you to know what I mean because it’s obvious, right? Wrong! And that is why we now have a very cooked pie in the freezer. Which is fine, I guess. Except it won’t be the same as cooking it from scratch because it’s going be dry.
This is clearly a first world problem. But how often do we leave our unspoken intentions and aspirations to the communication gods, expecting them to bless others with our wisdom? As a form of communication, telepathy is unreliable yet we continue to use it. Here, nothing serious occurred but there are times when its use may prove more problematic, when miscommunication may lead to someone making an error.
And then there are the times people make an error of judgement. Not because of a mistake on their part, but because we forget that people decide who we are based on their first impressions of what they see and hear. We expect people know that we are sad, stressed or confused but they only see us as being aloof. We hope that people recognize that we are anxious or nervous when we don’t socialise so readily but people see us introverts instead as being arrogant.
People will see what they see. They cannot see inside our heads so if we are to avoid misunderstandings about who we are, we need to help people understand what’s going on inside by being more explicit every now and again. Yes, it takes more time. Yes, it takes more energy. But at least you’ll get the cottage pie that you want!