Meaningful Dialogue


What the hell?

He sees she’s crying, and has no idea what’s wrong.  Geez. Women.  Must be that time of the month.

“OK, what’s wrong?”


She can tell by his tone that he has no clue.  No big surprise there. He never gets it.  She’s pretty sure he doesn’t mean to be uncaring, and sometimes, he even surprises her with a comment or question that shows surprising empathy. But for the most part?  Clueless.

She suspects it’s a guy thing.  What is it about testosterone that makes them so “it’s all about me” and so “what now?” when it comes to women?


She doesn’t answer. She just sits there, the tears rolling down her cheeks as she gazes vacantly out the window.  Oh, for Pete’s sake.  He knows what she expects him to do, but, honest to God…

He walks over to her, and squats down, sitting on his haunches in front of her.  He twists his face into what he hopes is an expression of sympathy, then reaches out and takes her hands from where they lay limply in her lap.

“Honey, what is it?”


At his touch, the tears flow harder.  She knows he’s trying, but it just breaks her heart that he doesn’t really mean it.  If only he really cared as much as he seemed to.  If only… Those have to be the saddest words in the English language.  And let’s face it, they are also the most useless.

She sniffs and tries to get herself under control.  She knows this isn’t helping any.


Things have been going along pretty well, he thinks.  She’s smart and pretty quick-witted.  She makes him laugh.   He really likes her, especially how she sometimes gets him.

He looks at her and wonders why she always has to spoil things with these unpredictable bursts of emotion.  He’s pretty sure he hasn’t done anything wrong.  He’s just living his life, after all.

He watches her eyes come back into focus, and she turns to him, sniffing a bit.

Ah, good sign.  It looks like she may be over it.  He reaches up and gently wipes a tear from her check, catching it just as it is about to jump.


When he touches her cheek, she loses it, and the tears spill from her eyes with a vengeance.  She verges on that ugly, hiccupping thing she does when she really cries.  She knows her nose is brilliantly red and her face all scrunched.  Great. Why can’t she cry prettily like those women in the movies?

This really makes her mad.  She’s crying as much from that as she is from the longing. They are friends.  He’s never lied to her. He doesn’t pretend to love her.  They just have fun.  But in her mind, she keeps going there.  She makes herself so angry!


Oh, God.  She’s really crying now.  And he has no clue what to do.  Sighing, he gets up and walks to the table.  He grabs the box of tissues and takes them back to her.

He’s tried. He really has.  But he’s not sure he can go on with this.  It really drains him.  Why can’t she just be happy?  It’s all so exhausting.


She knows he’s getting fed up.  If she doesn’t stop being so fucking needy, she’s going to drive him away.  Then she’d really have something to cry about.

She really likes him.  He’s smart, and it is so much fun just talking to him.  Most of the men she seems to meet are shallow, and offer little but comments about yesterday’s game punctuated by the occasional body noise. She doesn’t want to lose him.

She takes a couple of the tissues from the box he holds out to her, and gives her nose a good blow.  Another wipes the tears away, and she gives him the best smile she can muster at the moment.


Thank heavens.  The storm seems to be over.  He smiles back.

“So, do you want to go get a pizza?”




  1. Oh Patti, Patti dear,
    why is this so very familiar to me?
    Yes, I am in that time of the month, that's maybe why I understand it better. How patient they (poor) have to be with us... How much we (poor) want to be loved and given...
    I love your descriptions of the tears and his trying...
    and oh-I love the movie part (lol)

    great post
    you really have put a scene here

  2. Oh my goodness this is so right on. You captured it perfectly, Patti. Well done.

  3. This one frustrated me. If she wants closeness/ intimacy then she needs to tell him how she's feeling rather than wait for him to figure it out. He won't, but why should he have to? That's her responsibility.

  4. When are you going to write books or short stories?? This was great! You truly have a gift.

  5. men and women speak different languages and you have captured the imperfect dance here sadly well.

  6. Right on! Mars and Venus at it again...

  7. He said, She unsaid.

    I've found that the best cure for the impasse is a couple of hours at the firing range, climbing wall, singletrack or squat rack in the gym. Together. Nothing like cleaning the ole spark plugs with exercise to get everybody on the same page.

    Even if you never actually do discuss the emotions that led to the teary-eyes, you walk away with mutual respect. That's worth a whole lotta Kleenex boxes.

  8. I never had a relationship work out of this scene played more than once.

  9. Fwooooooooar!


    I like this. It feels like a dialog-heavy piece without actually being dialog-heavy. Suits your your style, I think.

    And don't think I didn't notice you sneaking a "!" into the description.


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.