|The bar graphs and pie charts I provided were of no use|
Before reading Representative Ellmers' insightful comments, I could not understand the frequent communication breakdowns between me and Nancy. For example, Nancy would pose a query, somewhat along these lines: she is supportive of regular tooth-brushing; moreover, she is sympathetic that after brushing, one has a mouthful of foamy saliva that must be spit out - but given these two circumstances, why is it necessary to spray not only the sink but the marble counter top and even the knob and spigot?
My explanation, I will not say fell on deaf ears, for this implies an unwillingness to listen. Nancy listens with all the attention you'd give an extraterrestrial visitor, not that you expect to understand a word he says, but you don't want to miss the chance of hearing him say it. Thus Nancy listened to me, raptly, but with utter incomprehension. Nor were the bar graphs and pie charts I provided of any use. Clearly I had not brought it down to her level.
Another example will illustrate my thesis. Nancy is frequently perplexed at my failure to towel myself off before leaving the shower, or sometimes, before leaving the bathroom. "Why don't you get a towel?" she will ask. "It's right there." She will point at a towel hanging within easy reaching distance of the shower door, then she will point out the archipelago of puddles leading from the bathroom to the bedroom, or the refrigerator, or wherever my post-shower travels took me. Such is the simplistic conceptual model she is reduced to, what with all the things she must balance in her life.
I carefully explained how if one is traveling in a train at a constant rate of speed - say 100 miles per hour - and drops a ball, the ball will appear to fall straight down, from inside the train compartment, but to a stationary observer on the embankment, assuming the train is made of glass, the ball will seem to fall in a hyperbola. And yet she doesn't see how any of this pertains to my failure to use a towel.
I used to be frustrated, but now I understand. I blame myself, truly I do. I have to bring it down to her level.