Women are wonderful. Without a daily dose of their feminine charms men’s lives would be impoverished. But the mind of the female is a labyrinth of baffling complexity that is beyond the comprehension of the average fellow.
Mrs Jones has been my other half for over 33 years, so our compatibility is beyond doubt. Nevertheless, there are a number of her day-to-day utterances that continue to disturb me, crashing into my emotions like a brakeless juggernaut careering down a one-in-three incline and evoking some combination of fear, hopelessness and despondency. Here are the six comments I most dread to hear from my wife; I suspect the bulk of the heterosexual male population will concur.
1. “I need to get myself a new top”
Usually stated in the prelude to a night out, this innocuous-sounding phrase triggers expectations of imminent bankruptcy along with the immediate urge to convey all our furniture to the pawnbroker’s shop. Of course she can’t wear the expensive top languishing in the wardrobe as she’s worn it before and there’s a chance that one of our friends might remember it from an earlier social get-together. And we both know that the clothing bill will inevitably stretch to more than the cost of a blouse; matching skirt, shoes and handbag are absolute necessities. As I fumble on my laptop in search of our current bank balance, I seriously consider the various income-generation initiatives needed to fund the looming clothes-fest, including selling my body for sexual favors on the street corner (which might raise the cost of her pantyhose if the sailors are in town, the liquor is strong and the light is poor).
2. “What time did you get home last night?”
You’ve been out for a couple of beers with the lads, time flew and you arrived home a tad later than anticipated – OK, three hours later – crept into the bedroom and slithered into bed, unnoticed, next to the beautiful, snoring wife. Or so you thought. Her question belies the idea that she is ignorant of the previous night’s arrival time. She knows what time you got home and disapproves. Her question is a test to determine whether you will tell the truth. There’s no option but to come clean: plead guilty and hope for a less severe sentence – perhaps a disapproving glare rather than hours of the silent treatment and a suspension of sexual cooperation.
3. “Are these trousers a bit too tight?”
Oh God, please don’t ask me! This puts men in a classic catch-22 situation. Any affirmative response ignites the fireworks of indignation: “Are you saying I’m fat?” While any attempts at reassurance, that the trousers don’t look tight at all, is instantly dismissed: “You know nothing; I don’t know why I bother asking you.” The optimal strategy is to pretend that you haven’t heard the question, and remain silent behind the newspaper.
4. “The bedrooms are looking a bit drab now; they need brightening up”
This is female code to inform you to cancel all further engagements for the next six months as throughout this period, with the exception of toilet breaks and an occasional micro sleep, you will labor with paint brush in hand splashing matt emulsion on an expanse of walls and ceilings. Once the upstairs rooms have been decorated they will, by comparison, starkly indicate that the downstairs rooms also require some attention. To add to the pain, the bank balance will probably take a further hit when she decides that new furniture is a must in order to complement the new color scheme. And as the fireplace is “so old fashioned”, brace yourself for major house surgery.
5. “Can we have a quick look around the outdoor market?”
Outdoor markets are how I imagine Satan’s garden to be: grubby, noisy and inhabited by a raft of ex-convicts trying to sell you crap. But my lady loves “pottering” around them. And her utterance is not a question; it is a statement of intent. My expectation had been to nip to the book shop in town and then find a cosy restaurant for a slurp of wine and a chicken fajita. Instead, she spends the next 2 hours rooting through the junk on each stall while I walk three yards behind her, cursing under my breath, as I bob and weave to avoid being shunted by the multitude of prams and motorized wheelchairs.
6. “First, I need to wash my hair”
|Courtesy of Vlado|
The idea had been for us both to pop out, on impulse, to enjoy a couple of drinks at the local tavern. Of course, washing hair in this context does not solely mean washing hair, but includes: achieving the correct arrangement of towels; applying shampoo and rubbing to achieve a lather; rinsing with clean water; applying shampoo again; lathering again; rinsing again; applying conditioner; rinsing again; drying off with towel; blow-drying hair (layer by bloody layer); application of curling tongs; and faffing about in the mirror until it “looks right”. By the time we step through the front door I’ve grown a beard and seem to have aged ten years.
There you have it; six things no man (or at least no grumpy, middle-aged man) ever wants to hear from his lady. So come on girls, give your guy a break. Pledge to not use any of these statements (or derivatives thereof) for the next 12 months. You know you can do it.
Your first comment really struck home. I can pack for a three week vacation quicker than Mrs. C. can go to the corner store to buy a top. And why do women call them "tops" anyway?" Men don't call shirts tops. And belts aren't called "middles." Who made up this stuff?ReplyDelete
My theory is that the word "top" was chosen as it sounds - misleadingly - inexpensive!Delete
Most importantly, without women, we'd be gay.ReplyDelete
Not that there's anything wrong with that, but at least from my perspective.....ewwwww.
Incidentally, if I was a woman (besides being one ugly broad), I'd be a lesbian.
No way would I want to canoodle with someone with a five o'clock shadow.
Actually Al, I think you too have a mind like a labyrinth, with ideas firing off in all directions in a multitude of random associations!Delete
How are you supposed to know whether her trousers are too tight? She's the one who's wearing them. It sounds like a sneaky way of asking whether her bum is too big. The correct answer is always "Not big enough for my liking".ReplyDelete
Yes, GB, another example of coded communication. I'll try out the "not big enough for my liking" and let you know how I get on!!Delete
#1 - she has her own money so let her spend it on a top, not mineReplyDelete
#2 - she has seen me come home at all hours drunk and laughs at me
#3 - Ignore and never answer that question
#4 - I have been ignoring this for years
#5 - I go only if beer and bacon is available
#6 - give notice well in advance as impulse does not work with women
As you can tell we are not married!
I'll try and take on board your worldly advice. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.ReplyDelete
I'll have you know I can wash my hair, put on make-up, get dressed and nip down the cashpoint quicker than my hubby can wash and shave ... and I have a lot of hair.ReplyDelete
I think you're the exception that proves the rule, Patsy!Delete
Ahhhhhh….you know women well. #3 and #6 are especially true for me! Great post!ReplyDelete
I suspected at least a couple would resonate with you. Thanks for your generous comment and ongoing interest.Delete
3. “Are these trousers a bit too tight?”ReplyDelete
Haaaa. When I ask Mr. L. he says, "I will not answer that question." Then I get pissed anyhow. You can't win! xx
That's a cruel question to ask a man. I've decided that, the next time I'm asked, I will respond "Yes, but I enjoy at a big arse!"Delete
There's also the "We probably need to do [HOUSEHOLD CHORE] soon," which happens right after all previous chores and plans have been accomplished and you're just about to take a well-deserved break.ReplyDelete
Although I can't complain about my wife's shopping, since she makes more than I do. In fact, I'm kind of waiting until she earns enough for me to retire at the tender age of 33.
I wish you well in your aspiration to retire early! After all, we men work so hard that we deserve a life of leisure beginning in middle age.Delete
Looks like something went wrong and I'm not sure whether my last comment went through. Thanks, "Blogger"! In any case, it was definitely a comment that greatly contributed to the discussion and enhanced everyone's understanding of the world around us. Definitely.ReplyDelete
No, I got your original comment Daniel and I feel privileged (nay inspired) to have read it!Delete
You nailed it! Spot on! Which reminds me...I need to go shopping for a new top.ReplyDelete
I should introduce you to my wife - I'm sure you'd get along just fine!Delete
My hubs won't even dream of shopping with me and every thing I go to is a an excuse for a new wardrobe, but I shop solo.ReplyDelete
Yes, I rarely go shopping with my wife - unless it's for books, music CDs or toys!Delete
My husband won't shop with me! I never ask if my pants are too tight but I have a suspicion that if I did ask, my husband would suddenly become mute!ReplyDelete
Maybe you should test it out and ask him; I'd be curious to hear his response.Delete