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Speaking of men and women — is anybody listening?

Speaking of men and women — is anybody listening?

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 8:02 pm
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter

Men just don’t get it.
In all fairness, any man will probably tell you that women just don’t get it.
The problem is that men and women don’t speak the same language.
There should be some mandatory course in Man Speak 101 that women should be required to take before they marry. And vice-versa for men.
My husband and I have two totally different ways of communicating. Whereas I like to drop subtle hints when I want something, he would prefer I just ask without beating around the bush.
For example, in the very wee hours yesterday morning, I kept hearing a strange noise outside our house. I held out as long as I could as my husband peacefully slumbered next to me — and then I decided that if I was awake, he should be awake, too. So I gently touched his shoulder and whispered, “I hear something.”
He muttered something incoherent, rolled over and resumed snoring. It wasn’t exactly the response I was seeking.
I didn’t come right out and say it, but what I really meant was, “I hear a creepy noise. Would you please go check it out?”
I think he interpreted it like this: “She had too much caffeine and can’t sleep.”
Fine. He kept snoozing and I finally drifted off to dreamland after reasoning that since he sleeps closer to the door, an intruder would get to him before they got to me anyway.
In his defense, the fact that it was the middle of the night and he had been sleeping quite soundly placed him at a definite disadvantage. And the late-night mocha I sipped while finishing laundry might not have helped matters.
But, in my own defense, I need only mention the recent knife incident to make my point (pun intended) about our different approaches to communicating.
I was somewhat puzzled one afternoon last month when I came home to find a boxed set of shiny steel knives on the kitchen counter. They were accompanied by two paring knives and one of those hand choppers hawked in late-night television infomercials.
“What are these?” I asked.
I was given an explanation straight from the infomercial. It seems my beloved got caught up in the moment at an area store and pounced on a salesman’s “today-only, while-supplies-last” special on a set of knives so sharp they can cut through a tin can without trying and still slice a tomato without tearing.
“Knives? I thought you loved me,” I said through a whine.
Had he forgotten that one of our very first dates began with a visit to the emergency room after I sliced the end of my right thumb with a razor blade? A few stitches later and with my hand completely numb, the date resumed. But to this day, the scar serves as a reminder why all my knives are dull and I’m not allowed to play with sharp objects.
Perhaps I overreacted just a bit, though. I even had to eat my words a few days later when I carefully used one of the knives to effortlessly slice through a warm loaf of home-baked bread without ripping it to shreds.
Here’s what his simple gesture meant: “I want to make things easier for you in the kitchen.”
But here’s what I thought: “Why don’t you just toss me a machete and put 911 on speed dial?”
On the plus side, maybe the knives will come in handy the next time I hear something go bump in the night.
We had a similar discussion recently about the purchase of dark chocolate — which, I’m convinced, should be a food group all to itself.
The error of my way was in telling my beloved how much I love dark chocolate in any form. Being the sweetheart that he is, he now goes out of his way to buy it for me on a regular basis. Most women would probably be thinking, “What’s the problem, honey?”
Here’s his reasoning: “I want to give you something you enjoy.”
But here’s what I’m thinking: “Great. There’s an extra mile on the treadmill.”
So pass me the dark chocolate and let’s think this through.
My husband wants me to cut to the chase? Here’s the bottom line. All that other stuff is really just idle chit-chat that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans as long as we remember to say those three little words we both need to hear.
I love you.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be con-tacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 7.2.10

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