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i’m on repeat

October 17, 2012

So this latest installment of “Only Ameena Would Be Irritated By This” features my husband making me repeat everything I say. Everything. I. Say.

We could be sitting at a table for two and he’ll ask me to repeat myself. We could be on a walk with no other noise than the chirping of crickets and he’ll ask me to repeat myself.

Or – more realistically – we could be sitting in our living room with no noise but the staccato of our respective laptop keys and he’ll ask me to repeat myself.

Random weekend pictures: I bought roses. For no real reason. My dad is both shocked and disappointed in me for wasting $6.99.

Some days I get a “What?” Other days I get a“Pardon me?” And sometimes I just get a glance. No words, just a glance. With raised eyebrows.

There are obviously (and unsurprisingly) many things that annoy me about this situation, including the fact that the words, “Pardon me?” rub me the wrong way. (Am I the only one who finds them passive-aggressively rude?)

A downpour in Los Angeles AND a rainbow? For a fantastic minute I felt like I was on the East Coast.

But here’s the most frustrating thing: I know that my husband hears me. He hears every single word.

I have my theories on why he makes me repeat myself anyway:

  1. He thinks it’s funny.
  2. What?” is a reflex for him, in the same way that throwing up is a reflex for Maya.
  3. He has a processing problem and it’s time to upgrade to Ali 2.0.

The best salmon at True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica. I just eat around the (macademia?) nuts.

You are likely thinking okay Ameena, what’s the big deal? People get older / develop a hearing problem / are lazy, and why-must-you-fight-everything? Why not just repeat yourself?

Well I wish I could. As a matter of fact, I tried. I swear I did. But here’s the thing: I find it physically impossible.

Not sure how to remedy this latest situation but I do know this: I’m suddenly seeing the benefits of texting.

96 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2012 12:26 am

    Hmm, next time he asks you what you said perhaps you could tell him to ask Siri…or say completely the opposite if what you said and if he notices the difference you can call him on claiming he didn’t hear the first time:)

    • October 17, 2012 8:34 pm

      So Siri might actually have a purpose? Is that what you’re telling me??

      • October 17, 2012 10:12 pm

        Haha, if she could repeat what you said, perhaps! Even better if she could do it and add the tagline “and listen closer next time, numbskull”, or something to that effect. Nothing like being shamed by Siri(or any technology really) to make a man sit up and pay attention.

  2. squigglefloey permalink
    October 17, 2012 2:01 am

    Omg my Dad and his family do the SAME thing! They always says, “What?” and sometimes I’m not even BEGINNING to re-ask my question when they start answering it in a way in which it’s obvious that they know what I said initially…haha

    • October 17, 2012 8:34 pm

      Ali does that! Exactly! So that’s why I know he hears me.

  3. October 17, 2012 2:53 am

    Hahahaah Ali reminds me of my brother! Half of the time while I’m speaking, it’s in one ear and right out the other…to say it’s frustrating would be an understatement! I’ll speak, silence, and then 5 minutes later: “What did you say?”

    On the subject of flowers- I used to think they were such a waste of money too but they really do make a world of difference to a room!

    • October 17, 2012 8:35 pm

      They really do make a world of difference. That fact doesn’t make it any easier to throw them away in a few days though…

  4. October 17, 2012 3:56 am

    I have the same experience with my dad, so now when I talk, I stop after every few words and say “are you listening to me?” This actually changes the situation, he gets annoyed that I keep asking that and pays more attention hahah! “are you listening? are you listening? are you listening?” just put it on repeat for a few days, and soon listening will become a habit for him 🙂 Good luck!

    • October 17, 2012 8:35 pm

      Brilliant! I am going to try this and report back. If nothing else, it’ll at least drive him crazy which is a nice little bonus.

  5. October 17, 2012 3:58 am

    Could it be ‘selective hearing’? I must admit, at time when I am busy, have to much to do, I tend to only hear the bits of the conversation which I think I need to hear. For example: If I’m listening to these words “Would you like a cup of tea with a chocolate biscuit” the words I’d actually process and identify is ‘tea’ and ‘chocolate biscuit’ and then my immediate response would be ‘sorry – say again’ just to then capture the full sentence again to which my response would be ‘yes please’.

    If I someone uttered the words “could you kindly close the door or shut the window” in all fairness I’d hear nothing – because I’m busy and don’t want to get up, until I hear the words “did you hear me” – I’d look up and say “what – I’m busy”.

    As you go older, the point of people not being able to hear properly is a myth I think, its down to selective hearing.

    • October 17, 2012 8:36 pm

      Selective hearing is right. I think that husbands and kids have this disease. Moms/wives appear to be immune to it. Although, I will admit that the words chocolate and tea sort of stand out to me as well…

  6. October 17, 2012 4:37 am

    I must sympathize with Ali on this one. I’m a “what?” by reflexive nature kind of person. Shame!

  7. j3nn permalink
    October 17, 2012 4:56 am

    My husband has ADD. But when I need to repeat what I say (often!) it’s almost always because he is hyper-focused on something else. A label, The Simpsons, the floor. I don’t think he has any problems concentrating, I think he has problems concentrating on things that aren’t his first choice of interest!

    • October 17, 2012 8:38 pm

      The Simpsons! I love it.

      Ali has no problem concentrating on his work/laptop/iPhone/iPad. So maybe I just need a screen on my face and he’ll hear me?

  8. October 17, 2012 5:17 am

    I feel you on the “pardon me.” My sister says “sorry?” when she doesn’t hear/understand and it drives me NUTS! I find it condescending for some reason even though she totally doesn’t mean it that way.

    • October 17, 2012 8:38 pm

      Sorry doesn’t annoy me as much as Pardon but I hear you Parita! Inadvertently condescending…

  9. October 17, 2012 5:54 am

    It’s not that he doesn’t HEAR you. He’s just not listening. Or not paying attention. Or both. You could play a trick on him and just adjust the volume of your voice so it keeps getting quieter all the time. Convince him he has a hearing problem maybe?

    • October 17, 2012 8:39 pm

      He insists he HAS a hearing problem. Which I know is ludicrous because he can hear the TV at a super low volume. Yet another thing that annoys me…

  10. October 17, 2012 6:45 am

    That’s like my six-year old son. Seriously. Wait – maybe their species doesn’t actually grow up.

  11. October 17, 2012 6:49 am

    I stop talking to my husband when he’s watching sports/news on TV, it’s useless. I will only get blank stares back. Very annoying, so I feel your pain.
    On another note, we had double rainbows last week in here, twice! You should move here 🙂

    • October 17, 2012 8:40 pm

      I want to move there! You have no idea how much. 🙂

  12. October 17, 2012 7:01 am

    Maybe you should try the whole repeating bit to him? I wonder how long he’ll keep repeating himself to you…

    • October 17, 2012 8:40 pm

      Ali has a lot of patience…which means he’ll just keep repeating things to me with no problem. Oddly enough, I could learn a few things from him…

  13. October 17, 2012 8:08 am

    pretty flowers! haha does it really rain that little in socal?! those look like marcona almonds! delicious esp soaked in evoo, rosemary & sea salt. thanks trader joes!

    • October 17, 2012 8:41 pm

      So those are almonds? Really? I’ve never seen an almond so round before?

  14. October 17, 2012 8:42 am

    OMG! My husband does the same thing. I called him on it just two days ago because he literally answered my question and then said huh. I was like, how you gonna answer my question and then still say “what?” He says I don’t know it’s just a reaction. It annoys me too. I’ve started to just ignore him when I know he heard me. I just don’t respond when he says “what” and half the time he heard me and will reply anyways. If he doesn’t then oh well. I’m not saying it again!!!!

    • October 17, 2012 8:41 pm

      I guess it is just a reaction…which doesn’t make it any less annoying I’m sure!

  15. October 17, 2012 9:58 am

    Macadamia nuts in a salmon dish? Ugh, annoying. Why mess up a perfectly good dish with nuts of all things. Way more annoying than the “What?” problem (in my foodcentric world anyway) 🙂

  16. The Mom Chef permalink
    October 17, 2012 10:30 am

    My husband does the same thing, but in his case I know it’s a hearing problem. He went to many hard rock concerts and listened to his radio very, very loudly in his youth. We’ve actually talked about how irritating it is for me to have to repeat myself every time I talk to him. So, we’ve agreed that I’ll try to talk louder and that if it’s just an offhand comment, he’ll pretend to have heard me and just nod in the affirmative.

    Maybe that’s a thing you can try. If he’s acting like an old man that can’t hear, treat him like one. Start talking loudly, especially in public. 🙂

    • October 17, 2012 8:43 pm

      I laughed out loud at this one. I love the “understanding” that you have. Pretenses are sometimes the best way to make a marriage last, right? LOL

  17. October 17, 2012 11:46 am

    Nope, you’re not the only one who gets irritated by that. My ex-boyfriend used to do that to me (and I could always tell it’s because he was distracted and not actually listening to me), so I just stopped repeating myself. Like, if he did it, I would act like I hadn’t even spoken at all. Drove. him. insane.

    Also, do you not eat nuts? How did I not know this?

    • October 17, 2012 8:44 pm

      I’m not a huge nut fan…I like peanut butter but it makes my skin look terrible. Then again, what doesn’t?

      With regards to your ex…it sounds like it’s a good thing he’s an ex!

  18. October 17, 2012 12:28 pm

    You had me laughing when you talked about the east coast, only YOU love rain. 🙂 I love sunny weather, keeps me happy. The salmon dish does look fantastic… never seen academia nuts in it, interesting. Men just don’t hear, I think they can’t multitask the way women do, so it’s second nature for them to “what” everything we say.
    Hope you’re doing well. 🙂

    • October 17, 2012 8:45 pm

      I don’t love the rain actually…especially when I’m walking in it. But I do love fall and for half a second it felt like that. But today it was 89 degrees. I hate it. We should trade!

  19. Jenn permalink
    October 17, 2012 12:32 pm

    Right there with you. And it irritates the crap out of me. He gets the Look of Annoyance until he finally provides me with an appropriate response. The problem, of course, is when he legit didn’t hear what I said. I was beginning to wonder if I was a horrible, horrible person for having the patience of a 2 year old on this issue (and in general), but I now feel much better knowing I’m not alone.

    • October 17, 2012 8:46 pm

      The Look of Annoyance…I think I’ve mastered that. I’ve had lots of practice with both Ali and Maya.

      Jenn…I feel better that I’m not alone too.

  20. glamorous glutton permalink
    October 17, 2012 12:39 pm

    I know just what you mean, it annoys me because it’s as though what you’re saying isn’t important. Love the rainbow picture. GG

    • October 17, 2012 8:47 pm

      Yes…that’s sometimes how I feel when I speak to Ali. Very frustrating.

  21. October 17, 2012 12:40 pm

    Haha! I’d definitely be eating those nuts! I think they’re blanched almonds. At least you had some good food!

    • October 17, 2012 8:47 pm

      So you think they are almonds too? Not sure why I thought they were macademia nuts. I guess I have no idea when it comes to food. At all!

  22. October 17, 2012 12:45 pm

    I repeat myself alllll the time to my husband! He says over and over, “I heard you” but then when I ask him what I said he doesn’t know! Can’t believe you got those flowers for $6.99, they’re gorgeous!

    • October 17, 2012 8:48 pm

      Imagine this scenario after 12 years…luckily you still have patience as you just got married. 🙂

  23. Med permalink
    October 17, 2012 1:32 pm

    Lol! Anthony started doing that randomly, instead of “Pardon me” though he would say “Sorry?” so I started just saying “sorry?” back to him but with a strong, bad, British accent. 😉 It got him to stop because we would just start cracking up. Some people really do it as a reflex, students do it a lot to buy themselves some “think-time.”

    • October 17, 2012 8:48 pm

      I used to do this when I worked for my dad to buy myself time to think of an appropriate answer to his question. So maybe your brother is doing the same thing?? 🙂

  24. Jessie E. permalink
    October 17, 2012 1:35 pm

    I definitely think the answer’s #2 (because I’ve met many people where “What?” and “Huh?” are said as often as breathing. Although, #3 would be pretty funny 😛 I also really, REALLY don’t like the phrase “pardon me?”, even though it’s technically correct and seems classy.

    Also, I think in the last picture, those are Spanish almonds, not macadamia nuts 🙂

    • October 17, 2012 8:49 pm

      There is such a thing as Spanish almonds? I really don’t know anything about food…I feel like a moron.

      Glad that I’m not the only one who finds offense in “pardon me.” 🙂

  25. October 17, 2012 1:53 pm

    Glenn does this too, I think some people just get in the habit of saying what even though of course they’ve heard you. Usually I just look at him and don’t say anything. I let what I’ve said sink in and wait for a response. Do not repeat yourself, just give him the silent stare like I do, hopefully it works for you too.

    • October 17, 2012 8:50 pm

      I’ve tried the silent stare. It’s met with silence. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing now that I think about it…

  26. October 17, 2012 2:06 pm

    Uuuum, when Mr. Liverpool says “what??,” it’s usually because he is NOT listening to me! Xx

  27. October 17, 2012 5:46 pm

    I have a patient who does that (he says, “Huh?” and I know he hears me because he always starts answering my question when I’m halfway through repeating it. So now when he says “Huh” I just sit there until he answers the question. Maybe if you had a policy of only saying things once, he’d listen and/or admit that he actually heard you the first time.

    And great deal on the roses!

    • October 17, 2012 8:51 pm

      I tell Maya, “Mama says things once.” Somehow I don’t think I can get away with that with Ali. At 36 he might not fall for that rule. 🙂

      • October 26, 2012 5:07 pm

        Maybe not. But my strategy works with the 50-something patient!

        BTW, worse than pardon for me is when people here say, “Say what?” Or. even worse, “Do what now?” Seems so hickish.

  28. libyan_coolchick permalink
    October 17, 2012 6:24 pm

    I don’t find pardon me too annoying, though it is rather formal. At least Ali does not say, “What???!!!, Say again” all the time. My husband had a phone interview (which I happened to over hear) and he kept asking the interviewer to “say again.” Obviously, he did not get the job. Also, my husband’s “what” is pronounced more like “vhat.” The “what?? say again” is very annoying, especially when we are in public.

    • October 17, 2012 8:52 pm

      My dad cannot say the letter “w” either! So instead of shopping at Vons we go to Wons. Although I will say that through the years the vhat went away and is now correctly pronounced.

      The fact is that I have 100 X more patience for my dad that my husband. Not sure why that is. I feel your pain LC!

  29. October 17, 2012 8:22 pm

    What did you say?

  30. October 18, 2012 2:45 am

    OMG send me the husband 2.0 when you find it. At least Ali admits to not hearing, asks for repeat. Marc pulls “you never told me that.” Only he’s married to someone who can recall when she said it and where we were, the time of day etc. So then I’m left not only annoyed her forgot but that he’s also sort of lying. So, no it’s not “only Ameena would get annoyed at that” it’s that all husbands seem hard of hearing or should we say hard of listening?

    • October 20, 2012 7:22 am

      Are you kidding? Ali always pulls the “You never told me that.” But I have a memory like an elephant (when things matter) and of course I’ll remind him of the exact time and date I said something.

  31. October 18, 2012 3:46 am

    Yes! Maybe texting would help!! The photo of the rainbow is beautiful and the one of the roses in front of the photo of you and Ali is beautiful. The photo in the frame is great!

    • October 20, 2012 7:22 am

      Thanks Fran… it is one of our wedding pictures!

  32. October 18, 2012 5:41 am

    My nephew does it as well and it’s reflex and drives me bonkers! And he’s only 6…ugggh.

    You always make me laugh 🙂


    • October 20, 2012 7:23 am

      Your nephew has an excuse…he’s only 6! My husband is 30 years old. He has no excuse. 🙂

  33. October 18, 2012 9:17 am

    I don’t like “pardon me” either, and find it to be rude sounding.

  34. October 18, 2012 9:20 am

    I am also against the use of “Pardon me” in conversation. I catch myself doing it every so often and make a disgusted face almost immediately after. I have terrible hearing, and people oftentimes need to repeat themselves around me, but at least I TRY to pay attention.
    Also, I love the roses, and the framed photo. Just look at that happy photo whenever Ali says “What?” or Maya randomly throws up, and remind yourself to take a breath and remember how awesome your family really is.

    • October 20, 2012 7:24 am

      Since you have a legitimate reason for not being able to hear, I’d have no problem repeating myself! (I have terrible eyesight but my hearing is excellent. I bet you have the opposite?)

      And yes, you are right. My family is awesome. But I can’t help complaining about them anyway, just for fun. 🙂

      • October 20, 2012 8:33 am

        I don’t blame you. I complain about my family all the time for fun.
        And I actually have pretty bad eyesight as well. The sensory odds are not in my favor. 😛

  35. October 18, 2012 10:55 am

    This is a good thing to know. That way, if you do start repeating yourself it will be high time for a dementia evaluation (or I-am-raising-a-teenager-disorder)

    • October 20, 2012 7:24 am

      Dementia evaluation? I think our entire household might need one of those!!

  36. October 18, 2012 11:09 am

    Start doing it to him. INCESSANTLY. When he says “what?” say it in different languages – “Que?” or “Kya?” or just the ever annoying, “Huh?” And I hate when people say “Pardon me.” I don’t know why, but I am glad I am not alone.

    • October 20, 2012 7:25 am

      Do it in different languages? I love it. Talk about a creative solution!!

  37. roshni permalink
    October 19, 2012 10:01 am

    You look so pretty in that picture 🙂

    • October 20, 2012 7:25 am

      How nice of you Roshni! Thank you for saying so. 🙂

  38. October 19, 2012 1:02 pm

    My husband does this as well, and it sends me through the roof. He particularly does it when he is in a bad mood or cross with me. I just want to slap him. There should a finishing school for men that they are required to attend every year or so (kind of like continuing education for lawyers and doctors) that teaches them how incredibly lame this is!

    • October 20, 2012 7:26 am

      Continuing Husband Credits… I think your idea is brilliant. I bet I could teach this class…I’d even volunteer to do it for free! I think all wives out there would love me for doing so.

  39. October 20, 2012 12:07 am

    I’m on repeat too, because I’m repeating Andrea as well, my husband also does this but I think he is actually having some hearing loss. I’ve noticed it in the last couple of years.

    I tried to comment on last post but got interrupted again, as usual. That could have been my post and you and I are the same in this regard. I too throw their stuff away while they aren’t looking. My husband has to try to make me feel guilty and I have to explain to him that I’m doing all of us a favor. Besides I take pictures of most their stuff. 🙂

    Ameena-that picture of you is beyond lovely, it’s straight out of a magazine. I love it! Such a cute captured moment of you both. Have a great weekend-

    Shauna xoxo

    • October 20, 2012 7:28 am

      I’m so sorry your hubby has hearing loss! I feel for him (and you!).

      I’m also amazed that with so much going on you find time to comment at all. You are really just super impressive Shauna. And thank you for the compliment…it is a picture from our wedding!

      I hope you have a great weekend as well!

  40. October 20, 2012 9:13 am

    I know what you mean about people asking you to repeat yourself. It’s annoying and frustrating. Though for me, I know I speak fast and am soft spoken…. so I understand why others ask, “Can you repeat what you just said?” However, it still annoys me when I am trying to have a productive conversation.

    As for your beautiful roses. I used to chastise myself if I spent money on such a frivolous purchase…. but you know what? Who’s gonna honor me if I don’t do it. To me, it is a necessity, even if it’s one single flower by my bed. It brightens my world, reminds me I’m beautiful and most importantly that I’m worth it. So, good for you.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great weekend.

    • October 28, 2012 2:36 pm

      Flowers really do make everything look better, even my drab living room! It’s such a luxury and one that I am finally beginning to appreciate. Glad that you are able to as well!

  41. October 21, 2012 4:12 am

    I have two ideas…1) definitely upgrade to Ali 2.0, and if that doesn’t work…2) schedule him for a hearing test and let him know you think it’s time he gets some hearing aids! That may just do the trick LOL!

    • October 28, 2012 2:36 pm

      I think he really does need a hearing test, once and for all!!

      Ali, are you reading this??

  42. October 21, 2012 7:14 am

    Hahaha…I think this is actually how Ryan feels about me. 😉

    • October 28, 2012 2:37 pm

      Lucky you to be the one who “can’t hear.” So much less frustrating being on the other side!

  43. October 21, 2012 11:56 pm

    Mine does too and I KNOW why. Coz while I repeat, he’s busy working out his response to what I asked. Is making sure it qualifies all criteria of my ‘unsaid rules’ book 🙂 Free upgrades would be a boon -sigh!

    BTW, Pardon me, and What don’t bother me as much as “Hmm?” Grrrrr……..
    Lovely pics – Roses, Rainbows……….Romance in the air indeed !!
    On the nuts, Macademia I’d say.

    • October 28, 2012 2:38 pm

      “Unsaid rules book?” I love it. I think I have a ridiculous amount of those as well.

      And finally, someone who thinks they are macademias too! Glad I’m not the only one!

  44. October 22, 2012 12:54 pm

    I hate having to repeat myself, mostly because I’m just too lazy to say things twice. But also because I lose my train of thought so easily that by the time they’ve said “what?” I already forget what I’m talking about.

    • October 28, 2012 2:38 pm

      I’m extremely lazy about saying things twice. Somehow it just seems physically impossible?

  45. Gayatri permalink
    October 31, 2012 3:55 pm

    OMG this EXACTLY THIS used to happen to me on a daily basis until each time he said, “What?” I said “You heard me the first time!” As soon as I stopped repeating myself, the whats and the pardon mes stopped.

    • October 31, 2012 8:49 pm

      Funny enough, I stopped repeating myself lately and instead I just shake my head. I think it’s helping a bit? Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part?

  46. December 12, 2012 2:04 am

    Upgrade to Ali 2.0…hilarious!!!

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