Let Me Hint Louder
Because I didn’t marry until I was forty, I missed an important little fact about men.
(Of course it is possible that missing this lesson was one reason why I didn’t marry until forty.)
It’s intuition. Men have none. They have no sense of ‘sense’.
When I was a little girl, communication with my mother and my two sisters was almost telepathic. We always knew how each one of us felt. Every nuance was so easily interpreted. A wave of the hand explained a bad day at school. Sitting down to homework right after school signified a fight with a friend. Sharing a candy bar – obvious guilt.
As I got older, I found most women could accurately read all little gestures and subtexts.
Marian would say “I love this song.”
And Patty would say “When did you and Kevin break up?”
I’d say to a Barbe, “I think Jane Fonda should get an Oscar for ‘Klute’.”
And she’d say, “Yeah, your hair would look cute like that.”
I didn’t realize that men had no such ability. I figured my father was just being deliberately obtuse.
I had a little brother. But having a little brother is sort of like having a pet. You have to take care of him once in a while, and sometimes you play with him. But mostly he’s just there.
I went through high school and college wondering why boys just didn’t understand.
It took me several years of marriage to finally realize: Men really DON’T understand. They don’t get ‘subtle’. They don’t get ‘hint’.
You have to tell men stuff as CLEARLY as possible.
You don’t say, “Gee, the trash can is getting full.”
You say, “Stop what you’re doing right now please and come and take out the trash right now please.”
You don’t say, “Michelle’s earrings were pretty.”
You say, “I want pearl earrings for Christmas. I want 3.5mm studs with white gold posts, not yellow gold. They have some at Becker’s, and I’ve written down the sku number for you here, with directions to the store.”
And sometimes, even when you are being pretty clear, they think you are too subtle.
Friday, we were going out and my husband asked me if he needed a coat.
I said, “It’s in the high thirties.”
He said, “But do I need a coat?”
It seems that after twenty years of marriage I would have learned.
But I guess I just can’t give up.
This weekend, halfway through the vacuuming, I sat down to take a break.
“I’m so bored with housework,” I said to my husband. “I just don’t want to do it anymore.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “You can always finish it up tomorrow.”