It all boils down to communication, or lack of it as it would seem in our case. Although I have spoken to numerous girlfriends and it seems to be a common problem across all relationships that involve two people of a different gender.
Our husbands, partners, boyfriends, lovers, simply do not understand the language we speak.
Now I understand my husband perfectly. I am fluent in his own unique way of combining words. When he asks ‘what is there for tea?’, I translate it immediately into ‘what are you cooking for tea?’.
When he flies into the bedroom, with his ear tips pink with rage asking where the screwdriver is, I clearly hear the words…
“What the hell did you do with my tools, stop touching my stuff, stop it, stop it….
…And tell me where the hell it is.”
When I respond to his true words with a simple disclaimer that I have never seen said screwdriver and perhaps he should look where he last had it. I fully realise the grunt he utters is his way of telling me to feck right off.
When the screwdriver turns up later in a place that only he could have placed it I know the silence that follows really means sorry.
Well I think it does, I am better at interpreting words over silence.
But him? And most other menfolk I encounter are simply terrible at comprehending us women.
I buy a new dress, stand for hours in the store – twisting side to side seeing if it suits. I fall in love with said frock, and I adopt it, bring it home, give it shelter in my wardrobe. When it is ready, I take it out to show it off, I ask the other half how it looks. Any other women would hear the blatant desperation in my question and the real question which is…
“I look good, don’t I?”.
Another woman would take time to compliment in her response, adorn with praise about how desirable the dress is.
He translates the question into Swahili and simply hears,
“I have a new dress, do you want to ask me what it cost?”
And quickly he replies back,
“Is it new? How much was it?”
The dress is insulted, I realise I should have taken it out with my friends first, they don’t care about the price tag.
He always misses the meaning…
I say, “the dishwasher has finished.”
He simply agrees.
I say, “the washing is dry on the line.”
He comments on what a great day for laundry it has been.
When I ask why the dishwasher is still full and the clothes are now hard enough to suit the tinman, he replies “you didn’t ask me to do it, I thought you were making conversation.”
Conversation is usually marginally better in our house.
And of course, when I say, ‘I’m tired, I am going to have an early night.”
He starts to beam and translates, “I could not be hornier right now, please quickly strip to undies, leap into bed and start groping at my ladies lumps.”
Is it misunderstanding – or just hopefulness?
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