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Talking to a brick wall

Talking to a brick wall
By Karen Wang

TP 201905 SLANG 01瀵圭墰寮圭惔

 

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Jane had been in a relationship with Ben for about four years. For the most part, their relationship had been smooth sailing. Recently, however, Jane has been getting increasingly annoyed with Ben鈥檚 messiness and inability to clean up after himself. Jane has had to do all the chores, such as cleaning Ben鈥檚 dishes, making the bed, and putting away the laundry.

 

While she was fine with helping out in the beginning, this behaviour has been going on for about five months, and Jane has reached her limit. That night, Jane decides to confront Ben on his behaviour.

 

鈥淏en, we need to talk.鈥 Jane confronts Ben the moment he walks through the door.

 

鈥淥h no, that doesn鈥檛 sound good. What do we need to talk about?鈥 Ben responds.

 

鈥淲ell, I鈥檝e been doing all the chores, and cleaning up after you for the past few months, and I feel that it鈥檚 time for you to make an effort in doing these things on your own鈥, Jane calmly replies.

 

鈥淭his is about me having dinner with Mary the other night, isn鈥檛 it?鈥 Ben defensively retorts.

 

鈥淣o, it isn鈥檛! I鈥檓 talking about chores, and this has nothing to do with you having dinner with Mary鈥, Jane exclaims.

 

鈥淚 can tell that you鈥檙e frustrated about me having dinner with Mary, I鈥檒l have dinner with you next time then鈥, Ben declares.

 

鈥淭his isn鈥檛 about Mary at all, and you鈥檙e not listening to anything I鈥檓 saying, I鈥檓 practically talking to a brick wall!鈥 Jane frustratingly declares.

 

While Jane isn鈥檛 talking to an actual brick wall, Ben could be considered one, since he isn鈥檛 listening to the point that she鈥檚 trying to make. While Jane wants Ben to clean up after himself, Ben thinks that Jane鈥檚 upset that he went to dinner with Mary. Jane isn鈥檛 getting her point across to Ben, and it鈥檚 pretty much like talking to a brick wall.

 

There is a similar Chinese phrase that goes like this: 瀵圭墰寮圭惔 du矛ni煤t谩nq铆n. The phrase translates to 鈥榩laying the piano to a cow鈥. While the pianist is trying to play a beautiful piece of music on the piano for the cow, it is unable to appreciate or understand the music that鈥檚 being played, and both parties are essentially on entirely different wavelengths.

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