What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
by Raymond Carver
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)
Terri looked at us and then back at Mel. She seemed anxious, or maybe that's too strong a word. (68)
Here's the scoop: just before Nick delivers this line, Mel tells Terri to shut up because she said he's talking like a drunk man. We'll pause so you can recover from the awkwardness. We don't know about you, but if our spouse told us to shut up, anxious would be a week word—not a strong one. Livid sounds about right. Maybe irate. The fact that Terri seems anxious might suggest something deeper going on, as if she's worried about upsetting her husband. Worried he might do something drastic.
"Honey, I love you," Mel said.
He leaned across the table. Terri met him halfway. They kissed. (72-73)
The fact that they meet halfway for the kiss might suggest that they meet halfway in their relationship, trying to keep things balanced and fair, right? In any case, it's clear here that their affection is mutual, and their love is no joke. In this moment, they seem to be communicating quite well. For now.
"Bzzzzzz," Mel said, turning them into bees and buzzing them at Terri's throat. Then he let his hands drop all the way to his sides. (132)
Um, Mel? Your ex is the one who's allergic to bees—not Terri. But Marjorie is nowhere near this scene, so maybe he's actually communicating something to his current wife here. But what? Why threaten his ex by pretending to threaten his current squeeze?