SOLC 2019, Day 7: Interpretation

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hMarch 2019 SOLC–Day 7
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

My husband, Kurt, and I walked into the small theater, looking forward to the upcoming comedy show. Threading our way down the aisle, we finally found some seats and got settled. Kurt and I chatted, waiting for the show to start, and during our comfortable long-married silences, we casually eavesdropped. The people behind us were chatting in a stilted overly jocular way, seeming a bit self-conscious. Maybe a first date? 

Not long after we sat down, the man behind us made a pronouncement. Kurt muttered, “Now there’s a story!” and I simultaneously dove into my bag to retrieve my mini writing notebook. Quickly, and surreptitiously, I jotted down the man’s words.

Later, on the way home from the show, we talked about the couple. We agreed that they sounded like they were on a first date, and that the man sounded a bit pompous.

“But, did you hear what he said about changing his life?” I asked

“Yeah! I wonder how he hit bottom three times,” Kurt replied.

“What?!” I said. “I thought he said he’d tried to change and improve his life three times!”

We debated for a while, each of us convinced our interpretation was the right one.

The next morning I found the exact words written in my notebook. I still think they support my version, but I suppose you could make a case for either interpretation. It was just chance that I wrote down the words and that we even talked about it. It made me think about how the lens of our experience impacts how we see the world. Kurt is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who works with inmates in the county jails. I work with 10 year olds. Hmmm…The experience also made me wonder how often we interpret things in totally different ways and never even know it! And how that might unconsciously affect us and the people around us. 

This is what the man actually said:

“I’ve recreated my life three times in the past three decades…and each time for the better.”

So, what do you think?