Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Men Language

Before I got married, I figured just as long as I married a guy that spoke English, I wouldn't have to become a bi-lingual person. Not that I don't think it would be cool to speak 2 languages, it's just that I never thought I'd have to learn another language if I married someone that spoke English.

I was wrong.

Toby happens to know a large percentage of 4 languages: English, Spanish, Creole French and Men. I'm not sure which one he majors the most in but I know for sure it's not Spanish or Creole. He can also say "shut up" in all four of the above languages as well as in 3 other foreign tongues. He's a well rounded speaker, if I do say so myself, but I'm lucky to understand English let alone an entire new language.

Except for the Men language. I've learned that one pretty well.

If you're single and reading this, you're probably puzzled by the "Men" language I listed above. If you're married, you probably already have the rest of this blog written in your head so therefore have skipped to the end of this post and are on to reading other things. In either case, the Men language is worth discussing because of the intricate details of this mysterious and delicate tongue.

One thing I'll clear up right at the start is that the Men language is not just spoken and understood by the masculine population of our society. It is a well rounded and easily adjusted to dialect that most anyone can learn to communicate in -- whether male or female.

Although, I will say that the sooner you understand this language, the better.

For instance, when a man says he is not hungry and it happens to be supper time, he isn't saying he doesn't want to eat. A woman that understands the Men language will take this cue to mean that he wants to pick out his food for supper. And a wise woman will have a detailed list of food in her cupboards, pantry, fridge and freezer and will present the choices in an organized manner.

If he still says he's not hungry, all you have to do is gently pry a bit deeper. Then, he'll say, "If we have a frozen pizza, just make that."

You've just hit the jack pot.

If you don't believe me, make the pizza, cut it up and only take one piece for yourself. You won't have to worry about left-overs because the man who said he wasn't hungry 20 minutes ago, is ravegly consuming his dinner.

When a man says he is tired, he strongly means all three of those words: he is tired. End of story. That doesn't mean he wants to go for a relaxing walk, or that he wants to take a long, hot bath, or that he wants to snuggle with the kids on the couch and it definitely doesn't mean he wants to go shopping tonight and wait in the car and nap while you quick run in. It only means that he wants to go to bed and will actually completely and fully go to bed right then. You'll be lucky to get him to take his work pants off before slipping between the white, clean sheets. So don't even mention a shower.

If you ever have limited pantry space and mention to your man that you can't even take some of the groceries out of the bag because there is no shelf space, don't expect your Mr. Fixit to plan on building you a bigger pantry next Saturday.

But, if you say that you need more shelves built in the pantry, plan on your Saturday being booked with household repairs. You won't even have to say, "Please build me some shelves" because men who actively use the Men language don't need to be begged with polite manners when you make a need known in an obvious way. ("I need shelves built.")

If you want the lawn mowed because it's been 6 weeks since your man mowed it last and you fear that you may need to rent a combine in order to harvest the foot long plants growing where your grass used to grow, never say to your man, "the grass is getting really long" and expect him to pull the mower out that evening and get the job done.

But, if you say, "You'll need to mow the grass tonight, honey," he'll get to the job before even bringing his lunch box in when he gets home from work.

If you want to skip out on making supper and you casually hint that maybe it should be "hubby cooks supper" night, don't expect to get out of making food. Men totally don't get that hint. They also don't get it when women say that they don't feel like cooking tonight. Men just assume that whether you feel like it or not, the job always gets done.

But, if you want results, you have to say, "Honey, do you think we could go out for supper tonight?" You'll be getting the kids ready to leave in short order and supper will be the last thing you'll have to worry about that night.

Men are straight-forward-don't-beat-around-the-bush kind of people. Women are sissies. We can't seem to make up our minds about anything and have this uncanny way of pussy-footing around everything. And then we sit their and complain and pout that our husbands don't understand us or care when really, WE don't understand them.

Like when I tell Toby that the kids are up from taking their naps, all I get is the sound of another page turning in the book he's reading.

If I say, "Honey, you can get the kids out of their beds if you want," he'll not even finish the paragraph he's reading and have both of the kids downstairs in no time.

Then if I say, "Did you change Landon's diaper?" and expect him to take that cue to mean, his diaper is wet, please change it, I'll be one frustrated woman.

But, if I say, "Can you change Landon's diaper please?" I may get a debate (most men loath soiled diapers) but I'll at least get a response of some kind.

Just this afternoon, I wanted to know when to have supper ready for this evening. I called Toby and asked when he was coming home from work. He acted as if I was blaming him for doing something wrong by being gone to work today or that I was expecting him home right then.

"I just want to know," I said, trying to help him see I wasn't accusing him of neglect or anything. He also needed to know I wasn't expecting him to come home right now.

He hemmed and hawed and sighed and groaned and wondered.

Finally he pin points a time and I hear, "Anywhere between five o' clock and six thirty."

Now, if I didn't know Men language, I would stew and worry and wring my hands in frustration because I wouldn't know what anywhere between five o' clock and six thirty means.

But, since I happen to be well skilled and versed in this mysterious Men language, I know full well that Toby won't be home until after seven o'clock Central.

And I won't be hurt or feel abandoned or mis-lead when the clock is far past six thirty and still no husband. Because, time is another thing that you learn to understand different as well when you live with a man that uses Men language.

I bet you didn't know there is more than just the Central Time Zone in the mid-west, did you? When you live with a man, you learn to tell time in whole new way.

And the sooner you learn that time, the less suppers you will burn.


At 4:40pm, I called Toby to see if he had another time pin pointed down when he was coming home.

You see, men have this ability to alter and change their schedules in short notice and without regret. Woman have this ability to conform. Yes, we honestly have that ability somewhere. When I find it, I'll let you know. Because for now, I'm scrambling to get supper ready in 10 minutes.

Seriously, he said he'd be home in 10 minutes.

So much for my seven o'clock theory...

(And men think women can't make up their minds. HA! We can't help it because we get it from living with them.)

I'll keep you updated though. 10 minutes in the English language and 10 minutes in the Men language don't always mean the same thing. 10 Men minutes very unlikely ever means ten, sixty second minutes. If that were the case, he'd be home at 4:50pm.

And that's in 3 minutes. (in the English language.)

Later still...

He came in the door at 4:53pm. Now I know that anywhere between five o' clock and six thirty can mean anywhere around five o' clock and six thirty.

It still could mean seven o' clock on another day.


Monica said...

Very good. But I still think I am as confused as every on the Men languege. Hopefully I can master that and two other langueges before marraige rolls around for me.

Hannah Michelle said...

Courtney, that was quite funny...I get the Men Language thing a little, living with my dad and my brother all the time...though I might do well to pay better attention now. LOL

Thank you for your kind comment on my blog. I really appreciated having the perspective of a married woman! I've enjoyed reading your blog as well - funny, but sweet. It's so obvious that you love and delight in your husband and being his wife. What a beautiful example. :-)

Coeur d'Court said...

Thanks for posting Hannah! Man, Hannahs are getting to be a majority around here. So much so that I can't remember if you've posted on my blog before because there's at least 2 other Hannahs that make it a practice to check my blog frequently. If you did indeed comment once, then a long overdue welcome is sent your way. If not, well, a welcome to you just the same!

Thanks for your sweet comment. And yes, I will admit... I really do love my husband!

(Though some would argue that there's more to life than getting married!! *says sarcastically to a female wisconsin reader who knows full well who she is*)


BrittLeigh said...

Ha, ha! Wasn't me! :o)

I loved this post though. Very, very good and true. Men do have their own language, don't they? Like Hannah, I'm just beginning to learn it, especially with Gabe. For example, I talked about going to a concert with him for weeks and weeks, and I got the impression he wasn't interested, because he leaned more on the negative side. Finally I said, "Okay, I'll buy your ticket. Are you coming?" Yeah, of course!

Duh... Why didn't I try that in the first place?

Coeur d'Court said...

(no, it wasn't you Britt!! I wonder where that female Wisconsin reader is??):)

Britt, I'm glad for your sake it went your way with Gabe and that concert. But what I HATE is when you mention *going to a concert* (for example) and they act all positive and upbeat about it BUT they NEVER said a right out flat YES but you still read into their positiveness to mean that they actually truly do WANT to go and plan on doing so.

Then the night before as you make plans for a babysitter, adjust schedule, start preparing for the upcoming concert, etc. etc., and they're like, what's going on? How come I never heard about this? When is it? WHO is it? WHAT?

It helps to tape record all conversations you have with a man or else legally document every thing they said or LOOKED like they were saying. But, not too many of us think about needing a taped conversation for future referance so we're stuck to try to drum up the conversation in our heads and carefully present it back to the men. (and then of course, it all comes back to them and they happily resort back to their past excitement about going to the concert.)

But, I'm still glad I married my man! Makes life so fun.

Hannah Michelle said...

No, I haven't posted before...I noticed you seem to know an abundance of Hannahs though. It starts confusing me after awhile, too, when I keep seeing MY name - "Hey! I didn't write that!" LOL!

I'll tag on my middle name from now on so you can keep better track. ;-)

-Hannah Michelle