peridot has a surprisingly emotional reaction to garnet teasingly calling her a clod, and at first i didn’t get why. i brushed it aside as a funny moment.
however, when i thought about it… of course peridot is emotional. garnet just showed her, in terms peridot can understand, how much she likes her.
peridot obviously has trouble with reading other people’s emotions, knowing how they feel about her, and how to make her own feelings known.
she has a lot of strategies to cope with this, some of which are obvious, like the tape recorder, some of which are not. one of the little things that i don’t think all the crystal gems have picked up on - she mimics their speech.
the most obvious example is steven - where she has this now-infamous expression of gratitude from:
she also picked up “cool” from him, and the tongue-out gesture all the way back in friend ship. steven was the first person she trusted among the crystal gems, and for a while, her only ally.
and he’s not the only example! remember how in barn mates, peridot said stuff like “holy smokes”, “i got yo numbah”, ect? i think we can be pretty sure that was amethyst’s influence. they’ve been hanging out more, and it’s pretty clear peridot considers her the “best” of the crystal gems.
again, this tells us that peridot parrots the people she likes! this is a very subtle, maybe not entirely conscious decision. again, i don’t think most of the other crystal gems have picked it up.
however… i think garnet gets it. ever since log date, she’s been making a conscious decision of trying to understand peridot.
of course, this isn’t one-sided! garnet says it herself, peridot made an effort to understand her. i think garnet wants to do the same.
in log date, we also saw she’s getting pretty good at understanding peridot’s needs; putting her relationship in terms she can understand (”i’m percy and pierre”), helping her calm down, and telling steven the tape recorder is important to peridot, so he should return it.
so when garnet uses peridot’s word, “clod”, she’s giving her what she needs - reassurance that garnet really does care about her, and has been paying attention to her. she’s doing exactly what peridot does to the people she likes - mimicking her words.
because peridot was worried, peridot was scared, and garnet wants her to know she cares. peridot might struggle to understand others, but she gets it when they make the effort to understand her, and express love like she would.