Then, I started listening and it all became clear.
Then, I started listening really well and it became all too clear that the result was listening to them talk about other guys.
So, what did I do? I kept listening, really well, and eventually the love of my life decided that I was the only one she wanted listening to her and pure happiness was found.
Then, at some point around the birth of our first son, I stopped listening and started surviving. You see, the stuff I was used to listening about so well in the past started to change. There were hidden intentions behind certain questions now. “Do you like what I did with my hair?” suddenly had nothing to do with hair. So I adapted. As guys, we all adapted.
We started surviving.
How, you might ask? The following are actual questions put forth by a pair of very talented women and are examples of what guys might be faced with on any given day. The responses, what we really hear (and sometimes, think) when asked such questions to ensure we aren’t sleeping on the couch that night.
She said: “I’d like to leave the house no later than 7 tomorrow, okay?”
He heard: “You have absolutely no shot of pulling this off, which is why I told you 7. See you in the car at 8, honey. Oh by the way, you’re driving.” -Brad
He heard: “I’m going to spend too much time getting ready but will blame you when we don’t leave in time for a reason yet to be determined.” -James
She said: “Did You Hear Me?”
He heard: “There is really only one answer to this question and it’s actually not even a question at all. Answer wrong and you better believe I’ll be washing your whites in arsenic next time.” -Brad
He (thought): “She doesn’t think I’m listening. Although I was listening and will now have to repeat the conversation back to her, with compliments, I will inevitably miss one small detail thereby proving to her that I wasn’t listening.” -James
She said: “I don’t think Jessica Simpson is fat…do you?”
He heard: “I definitely think she is fat and this is a setup. She was hot when she had the tv show and I remember you saying as much. Oh, but she’s had a baby since then? Well I’ve had two. I’m listening…” -Brad
He heard: “Explain why baby weight is healthy and a worthy sacrifice for bringing a child into this world.” -James
She said: “No, it’s fine. Go out with your guy friends on Saturday.”
He heard: “And tomorrow, when you finally wake up around 10, you’re going to clean out the garage, hang up those pictures I’ve been asking you about for a month, and fix that damn, leaky faucet. Then when you’re done with all that, I’m going to get my hair and nails done while you give the kids a bath.” -Brad
He heard: “If you go, you will pay.” -James
She said: “Do you mind if we watch ‘Sister Wives’ tonight?”
He heard: “It’s my night to get the big tv and your butt is headed upstairs to the bedroom to re-familiarize yourself with what it was like to watch sports in non-HD.” -Brad
He (thought): “She wants me to tell her how my heart only has room for one woman, her, because she is my soul mate and is more of a partner than 50 wives could ever dream of being.” -James
She said: “I was thinking about rearranging the living room…it’s time for a change, don’t you think?”
He (thought): “Oh crap. Something is wrong.” -Brad
He heard: “We’re buying new furniture.” -James
She said: “I have an appointment. Can you watch the kids?”
He heard: “Remember when you went out with your guy friends last Saturday? Yup, me too. See you this afternoon!” -Brad
He heard: “I have an appointment. You’re watching the kids.” -James
She said: “Is it okay if my mother comes to stay with us for a few weeks?”
He heard: “She coming either way, and oh yeah, you’re not getting sex for a few weeks.” -Brad
He heard: “My mom is coming. Deal with it.” -James
She said: “Did you see how that woman was dressed?”
He (thought): “I’m breathing, aren’t I?” -Brad
He heard: “Why were you checking her out?” -James
She said: “I miss having a little baby around the house…”
He heard: “Let’s go visit my sister, she has a newborn and holding the baby will solve everything. (Please, let it solve everything.)” -Brad
He heard: “You want another baby?!” -James
Under no circumstances do us guys think we are the only ones who do this. Wondering how this works when the roles are reversed?
What Tracy hears. (Tracy is one of the top four funniest people at her address. She lives with her two girls and husband in San Francisco, California. You can follow their hilarious antics at Momaical.com. Tracy is also a regular contributor to: Mamas Against Drama, Mamapedia, Errant Parent, BlogHer and BloggyMoms. She has also been published in the book Life Well Blogged. The Epistolarians is her latest effort to bring a whole group of awesome women together to make you laugh.)
What Jen hears. (Meet Jen…she’s living proof that working full time and raising a tiny little troublemaker is enough to make anyone totally crazy. She’s documenting all the ugly, terrifying, beautiful, hilarious, and heartwarming proof on her blog, ‘Life on the SONny Side’. She understands that writing on the internet is like whispering on a crowded playground. But, she does it anyways, because she loves it. Her supportive husband and son are the limes in her Corona. Her amazing mom is their live-in nanny. Coffee and wine are her sister wives. She writes about motherhood, daughterhood, life, love and millions of other mildly interesting things.)
Thank you for reading this collaborative effort between myself, fellow Dad of the Round Table – James Hudyma, Tracy, and Jen. Tracy and Jen are two very talented writers with whom James and I have had the pleasure of meeting in this crazy world of social media and parenting. While we definitely appreciate and recognize their skills as writers, we are mostly impressed by their excellence as mothers. I feel comfortable in saying that the four of us believe there is no definitive line between moms and dads, not only in our roles online, but also in everyday life. Our lives overlap constantly and learning from each other is essential to raising our children.
You can not only find Tracy and Jen on their personal blogs as linked to in their responses above, but also at The Epistolarians, “a group of kick ass women writers, who are letting the world know how they think, one letter at a time.”