Considering the differences (and misunderstandings) between men and women, it's a wonder our species has managed to survive this long, isn't it? Indeed, I sometimes think that giving us humans the ability to communicate through spoken language was maybe not such a good thing after all (though I am curious to know if partners who use sign language experience the same difficulties/miscommunication issues). Like take last night.
The spouse and I don't go out much, and almost never to parties, so when the occasional party does crop up, I like to make a good impression, which typically means taking some extra time with my hair (though I have not owned a blow dryer in over 20 years), putting on a little makeup, and maybe wearing a sexy top or dress. And being a woman, I like to be acknowledged for making this extra bit of effort. (As my good friend T. used to say, though, "Fatta Chienza." You figure it out.)
So we arrive at the party (thrown by my mother and stepfather, so the deck was a bit stacked), an annual affair which we hadn't attended in a couple years, and I am immediately hugged, kissed, and praised by family and family friends. Yet does my spouse say a word about how nice and/or pretty I look (which really mainly serves to make him look good), even with some not-so-subtle nudging on my and others' parts? No.
Finally, on the way home, in the car, while rehashing the evening (which was very nice), I can take it no longer and ask him (no doubt in that somewhat whiny, needy, accusatory way we women have), "Don't you think I looked nice tonight?" (or words to that affect). And, continuing to stare straight ahead, he responds, "Yeah." As in, "Oh God, not this conversation again. Anything but that. Look, I love you, and the fact that we are still together after 18 years should tell you that." Which is all fine and good. For him.
Sensing I am looking for a bit more he adds, "I told you you looked good." To which I (of course, immediately) responded, "No you didn't. You told me I smelled good. That is not the same thing. That is perfume [technically Chloe eau de toilette]. Not me."
To which he then cast me a quick glance (in my father's old fleece coat, completely covered up, with a scarf half covering my head) and added, "you look good." As in "Okay, there I said it. Now would you please, please shut up and leave me alone?"
But, being a woman, I would not.
"I was going more for, 'Wow, honey! You looked really sexy tonight. I just wanted to tear that shirt right off you and make passionate love to you right there in the living room.'"
Trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to stifle his laughter while we waited for traffic to move on 96th Street and no doubt sensing the growing tension in the car he finally responded, "I'm going to the Doghouse, aren't I?" Then he added for good measure, "Well at least I didn't get you a gym membership!"
Men. Can't live with 'em. Can't shoot 'em. (Well, you can... but I prefer just hitting mine over the head with a cast-iron skillet. Just as effective and you probably won't go to jail.)
UPDATED 5:05 P.M. ON 12/22/08: I have removed the picture -- and will not be restoring it. While I appreciate the many kind comments, I liked things better when I was semi-anonymous -- and people argued over my views and not my looks.