For the most part, it isn't a problem. In fact, there've been times when mishearing the mundane has made my conversations entertaining. Funny even. A whole other world can unfold in my head unbeknownst to the person speaking. I only wish it was more coherent.
Actually, right now I wish I could come up with examples just to give an idea of what I'm talking about. The best I can offer is rather mild. Last Wednesday, while driving through Leominster on a fool's errand, I thought aloud that the best house in town was probably a funeral home.* jawalter responded, "It's a recession-proof industry."
I heard, "Time to weather-proof that tree." A noble goal, to be sure, but one having very little to do with the subject at hand. At least I thought so.
Most of the time, I have no idea what to do with this 'talent'. I know that there are theories that we hear very little of what's said, and that communication happens because our shared language provides enough common symbols that we can reconstruct meaning across the gap. Somehow, my mom and I seem to have more trouble with this than your average bear.
Hey, here's a question – how often do you find yourself thinking in metaphor?
*Truly not uncommon in New England, but I've also inherited my mom's knack for restating the obvious.