Ladies, I’m really doing you a favor today. I’ve got some hints that will make the lives of you and your man much easier. My credentials: 35 years of marriage. The topics in Part I of the Male Operation Manual are: Worries, Multi-Tasking, The “Three Most Dangerous Words”, and Automobiles.
When I was a kid I thought I had worries, but all I had to concern myself with was getting to school and having a good time. As an adult my life is a litany of worries and problems. I’m not concerned with real worries. For example, if the wheel on the car starts to make a funny noise, I get it checked right away so that I don’t have bigger problems down the line. What concerns me are POTENTIAL worries. My wife, God bless her soul, worries about what could happen. For example, what if the air conditioner breaks when I’m out of town for a week? How high will the vet bills be if the horse gets sick? You see, I don’t like dealing with POTENTIAL worries because I have enough REAL worries to keep me busy. The roof actually leaks and the porch actually needs painting…these things I can deal with, POTENTIAL worries? Sorry!
Whenever my wife brings up potential worries, I relate the analogy of the “tire rolling down a hill.” Suppose there is someone at the top of a hill with ten tires. You are at the bottom of the hill and he is rolling the tires down the hill trying to hit you. Of course, it is his desire to hit you, but what are his chances? Tires roll in a haphazard fashion and they never roll straight, so his chances of hitting you with even one tire are remote! The things we worry about are a lot like tires. If you don’t concern yourself with them they will probably roll right past you without incident. But, if you worry excessively about things that “might happen” it will take a big toll on your time and energy. Sometimes my wife mentions a really ridiculous potential worry. Then I tell her that in this case the guy at the top of the hill is actually rolling the tires down the other side of the hill! This doesn’t amuse her.
Ladies, we need to mention Male Multi-Tasking so that we can understand that it DOESN’T EXIST! You see, we males can think of only one thing at a time. Hear that, ladies? ONE thing. Not two, not three! For example, if I am painting the porch, I am painting the porch…period! Be happy that I’m painting the porch and stay the heck away from me until I get the porch painted! Never come up to me while I’m painting the porch and say, “The washing machine is making a strange noise, and the pipe under the sink is leaking, and the garage needs painting.” Ladies, when you do this it is like putting three consecutive 50-pound anvils on a guy’s shoulders. Even the mention of these other tasks will demoralize him to the point where he doesn’t even want to continue painting the porch. Yes, ladies, jobs need to be done, but bring these items up only when he is between tasks…never while he is doing a task.
The “Dangerous Phrase”
In thirty-five years of marriage, there are three words that I’ve grown to loathe. They goe something like this: “We need to fix the garbage disposal” or “We need to rake the leaves”. The three key despicable words are…”We need to….” Of course, there isn’t any “WE” in this arrangement. What this really means is, “You need to fix the garbage disposal” or “You need to rake the leaves.” If there were any “WE” in this proposal, both of us would be working together on these tasks, wouldn’t we? Ladies, maybe the “WE” is an effort to make us feel part of the “team” or something. Forget it. We aren’t part of the “team”, we know we’re not part of the “team”, and we realize that a “team” doesn’t even exist when it comes to these dreary tasks. Just do both of us a favor and write out a prioritized wish list and leave us alone.
One of my former business partners pointed this out to me a few years ago, so I can’t take any creative points on this one. It has to do with automobiles. It seems that when it is time to buy the car or to drive the car, it is HER car. But when it comes time to change the oil, go to the car wash, change the windshield wipers, or get new tires, it is somehow HIS car.
Serious car problems are another story. Generally speaking males are more familiar with mechanical things than females. This is a cultural phenomenon, not one of gender. But ladies, when you hear strange sounds coming from the car and the engine light goes on, stop the car at once! Don’t, I repeat, don’t keep driving the car until the pistons seize up “because the gas station was only a couple of miles away.” Once the pistons seize up, the car is one hundred percent “His!”
One for the Ladies
Ladies, I know that there are times when the guys get away with murder too. For example, your husband invites a bunch of people over for grilled steaks. He is, of course, the master chef who will grill the meat. Of course, for “master chef” to do his work you have to go to the store, buy the steaks, the vegetables, the beverages, and other menu items. Then, you come home, fix the vegetables, make the dessert, chill the beverages, clean up the kitchen, and set the table. Then you put the steaks on the platter and give them to “master chef” who has forgotten to start the charcoal on time. Once the coals are ready, “master chef” puts on the steaks and starts chatting with his buddies. Then he and the other alpha-males go around the house to look at his new “multi-flex” garden hose. You look outside and see that the steaks are burning. You yell at “master chef” who comes running around the house to save his “creation”. After master chef gets done with the now partially burned steaks, he puts them on a plate and brings them into the house. You put the steaks on the guest’s plates, bring the food to the table, and refresh the beverages. Later, while you’re cleaning the kitchen, doing the dishes and putting things away, his buddies congratulate him for “cooking for them”.
Yeah, you learn a lot of things in 35 years of marriage!