Listening and Not Hearing

This is always problematic… difficult. I stand beside her recliner, awkward, scared. “Can I talk to you?” Here it comes: The casual glance; re-focus on the television.
“Um, sure. What?” I can’t answer. It’s not that simple. Need a minute. Need your undivided attention.
“Could you maybe mute the T.V., …or turn it off?” God forbid. With a sigh of exasperation, the volume on the television is lowered to number five. Don’t give in. Can’t back down. Can’t let her win.
How to be tactful? “I was… I was just noticing…” Tell her how you feel. Do it. Take a risk. Detail your objection. Remind her what she did. Try to be respectful. “I hoped that…” Give an alternative. Let her “choose,” but lead the way. Tiptoe on eggshells.
“No… I never did that.” Don’t deny it. Please. Don’t make this harder.
Argument begins… heats up… shouting match.“I’m just saying!” Her favorite line.
“Well, don’t! You don’t understand… you’re not listening to me!”
“I am listening!”
Soft sob. Turn away. “…You’re not hearing.”

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