Thursday, August 1, 2013

What Wives Should Never Do

 (Author's note: This was my first attempt at nonfiction at the writing site where I have been playing around with flash fiction again. The gods at Helium did not like my admittedly tongue-in-cheek response to their prompt and kicked it off the next day. As you might be able to guess the prompt was to explain the things wives should never do to their husbands. For those who might cast a disparaging eye at such a topic there was another prompt asking wives to explain what husbands should never do to them.)    

Guys in general rightfully deserve the stereotype that we are tactless brutes lacking any consideration, especially for our suffering better halves. The key words here are “in general” because if you can look beyond the superficial gruffness and false bravado are not we fresh and blood human beings ourselves with feelings that can be hurt? So ladies here is a short and simple list of things you should never do to your husband.

Never force your husband to go shopping. Simply put guys usually hate going shopping for themselves and often can be found sprinting inside a store for something they desperately need like new underwear or toothpaste. Shared common interests notwithstanding the only reason husbands and boyfriends will even begin to enter some dress or candle shop is because they think such attentive behavior might get them sex later.

Along those same lines some ladies think allowing their significant other to wait outside their favorite boutique and hold their pocketbooks while they shop is enough of a reprieve. In some ways this situation is even worse, the male of the human species spent millions of years of evolution roaming the African savanna, to tie him to one spot is akin to those brutal and inhumane cages where some livestock are forced to spend their entire lives. The only possible exception to this predicament is if there are already other guys at the same location holding their girlfriend’s pocketbook.

The funny thing is there is actually an established social hierarchy for guys who sit outside some store waiting for the ladies in their lives. Seniority is based on the oldest male in the immediate area requiring the younger pups to sit and listen to whatever he was to say. Any guy who disrespects the sitting grand poobah is expelled from the group and forced into the store his wife or girlfriend is shopping to stand around and hold her items.

Does this sound like too much whining? Yes ladies, as a man I freely admit my brothers and I complain and whine far more than the cruel and very inaccurate stereotype of woman doing the same thing suggests. What in heaven’s name do you all think us guys did as we strolled the African savanna for all those countless eons?

Do not expect us to read your minds. One of the biggest obstacles I have had to overcome in my own marriage is to develop the talent for reading my lovely wife’s mood or true feelings when she says the exact opposite. How females interact with each other when men are not around is a complete and utter mystery to me. From what I have read though it has been suggested that it is often a byzantine labyrinth of intrigue and deception. Bringing that into a relationship is a dangerous affair. We guys usually, but not always, appreciate the direct approach; remember we are after all just relatively cleaner versions of unrefined cavemen.

About a month after my wife and I were married I could tell she was very upset about something but refused to tell me what was wrong. This went on for nearly a month until she exploded and began to tell me I was the crudest and poorest example of a human being this side of your average genocidal dictator. What brought on this volcanic emotional eruption was my long habit leaving my socks on the floor next my shoes. Of course, it is an immature behavior but I had just spent two years living alone in a small apartment and developed the usual set of male habits when it came to keeping a room clean. The general reason I left them next my shoes was because I often just wore the same pair for several days. Okay, maybe that was more information than you needed to know, I apologize.

On a side note, speaking strictly for myself, but I figure it goes for all guys, if I could in fact read minds rest assured I would have already used it to become filthy stinking rich.

Wives and girlfriends should never attempt to force their significant other to dress differently, unless we ask. One of the worst traumas for boys growing up is when their mothers took them shopping for new clothes. Now some guys do have a fashion sense and enjoy walking around all GQ and honestly more power to them. That being said a number of us males, very much including myself, had to deal with a mother who desperately wanted a little girl to dress up in pretty clothes. When they had a son instead this desire stayed the same with them dragging their boys around forcing them to try on suits, ties, and oddly decorated or strange feeling pants and shirts that we were told not to get dirty.

One of the worst experiences I had along those lines was during elementary school. My mother had gone out and bought a pair of off brand blue jeans decorated with the image of a shiny cowboy hat on one back pocket and a pair of cowboy boots with tiny rhinestones on the other. At the time I was nine years old and when I saw them I knew I would catch the devil from my classmates the minute they saw me walk by. As everyone knows children can be extremely cruel and after just wearing those odd pants to school once I swore I would never go through that kind of abuse again. This bring up the fact that mothers, wives, and girlfriends should never buy the men in their lives clothes that cannot get dirty, paint splattered, and then torn to the point they become un-wearable.

Only if your husband or boyfriend asks for assistance in picking out clothes should such a task ever be attempted. Of course, this all goes all out the window if said man is about to make a total fool of himself, and then it is at your discretion.

Wives and girlfriends should not freak out if their man needs some alone time. This is where things can get messy, the two sexes, forever locked in a strange dance alternating between love and hate, each have segments that are convinced that they naturally carry all the burdens associated with a relationship. Because of this the various injured parties believes that should get the majority of time to be alone to mentally and emotionally regroup. 

The simple answer to all this posturing is that there is not one. Yes, some individuals permanently carry the burden of the relationship they are involved in but most of the time responsibilities shift from one to the other. A rational couple would sit down and discuss what bothers them and when they would like a chance to slip away and enjoy a movie or a cup of coffee before they take a chainsaw to the other. While we are at it we should all come together for a group hug and to sing “We shall overcome.” Truth be told it is human nature try and exploit an advantage to greatest possible extent at the weaker party’s expense.

While ladies are universally viewed as the weaker party in the male/female relationship dance, mainly because men are often jerks prone to quick violence, women get the edge when it comes for the need for some alone time. Ladies who are financially able can spend a day at the spa without anyone thinking anything about it. Now if a guy wants to spend the day fishing or being just being lazy he is open to a world of acid comments about falling short. The truth is that we all need a little times away from the everyday grind to recalibrate no matter how wasteful our lack of purpose might seem to others.

All this boils down to something husbands and wives should do for their spouse, it is ridiculously simple to the point of being so obvious that we often fail to think of it. Just give the most important person in your life a little consideration and take care of them like you want to be treated. 



Slick said...

Shopping: it's just better for all concerned if my husband stays home.

Mind reading: if I don't know what's going on in my head there's no reason to think he does.

Clothes: I'm good as long as he ain't wearin' MINE.

Alone time: his alone time is MY alone time.

I learned all of this from 33 (total) years of marriage. It really does come down to basic respect and caring for your loved one. You have nailed it perfectly!

Good post!

Pixel Peeper said...

What wives shouldn't do: spend more money on the wedding than what the car cost.

What husbands shouldn't do: spend more money on the boat than what the car cost.

And I forgot who said this..."We go out to dinner once a week. She goes Tuesdays, I go Thursdays."

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

That quote Pixel Peeper gave came from Red Skelton.

Thanks for the laughs... and the reason I laughed is because there's so much truth in your post. Great job.

Life As I Know It Now said...

Even when he asks me for advice on what to wear I won't give it to him unless he is about to make a fool of himself.

Basically, it comes down to respect. I respect myself too much to be telling him what to do. If he isn't doing what I think he should be, most of the time but not necessarily all of the time, then I don't need to be hanging around him anymore. Far be it from me to be some grown man's mamma.

Everyone needs alone time. Otherwise, when are you gonna be able to fart or let it all hang out? :)

Akelamalu said...

Very insightful Beach. but of course us ladies know what's best for you men. ;)

Marja said...

no shockwave old news. I love going shopping without the males. They do their own shopping but sometimes when they run out of proper clothes I buy stuff for them. Mostly I am good at choosing the right things. I am fairly direct and tell em straight away so don't have the mind read problems. Love alone time and time to meet my friends etc as well so fair enough!