My husband called tonight. He’s been out of town, you see, so he called to ask how I was doing, and he wanted to talk about the exciting things that had occurred in his life. Those exciting things weren’t about work or about a new friend he had met. No, it wasn’t about that at all, but about three really good meals he had eaten. He had never been to this part of the country, so the experience was new for him, I’ll give him that. But when he called he talked to me at length about what he ate…for breakfast…for lunch…and for dinner.
I like food as much as the next gal, but I don’t really want to discuss it longer than, oh, 5 seconds. My husband is a different story. He talked about his plate of food like, I don’t know, like it was another woman. It went something like, “I ordered this wrap and they fixed it just…like…I like it. It had spinach and feta cheese. Then, I ordered a side of couscous that they made right there! [cue music] I also ordered a three-bean salad. They had the regular kidney beans and garbanzo beans but then they had beans like you fix. You know, how you put whole beans in a pan with a little butter?” (I was beginning to feel jealous about a three bean salad. He continued.) “Well, they did it just like that,” he said, “but the beans were cut up…you know, shorter.” Here, I resisted the urge to jump up and yell with delight, “They were shorter? That’s fantastic!” I didn’t though; I let him get this out of his system, so we could move on. And we did, we moved on to the fleece jacket he was thinking about buying.
Guys, if you’re reading this, I know that you don’t like to talk about your feelings, because you’re men, right. I mean, you like dirt and grease and you never talk about your feelings. It’s a guy rule, like leaving the seat up, occasionally, is your kind of rebel yell. However, to never talk about your feelings or to never “go there” leaves the women in your life feeling replaceable. I mean, if my husband and I were, say, figures in a dollhouse, sitting at a tiny table with a kind of crude background with a tiny picture of a family hanging on the tiny wall, a giant hand could easily remove me from this scene and replace me with anyone—a tiny postman, a tiny electrician, a tiny fireman, or even a tiny chair and it would be just as fulfilling…for him.
So, the next time you’re thinking that you’re “connecting” with the woman in your life, ask yourself, “if she were to hang up the phone right now (or walk out of the room, etc.) and I were to continue talking, would it hold the same meaning for me?” If the answer is yes, then perhaps you should take a different approach. Just for fun, ask her what she is thinking or how she feels about something or be willing to answer that question when she asks you. It wouldn’t kill you and contrary to popular belief you would still be a man afterwards. In fact, instead of losing your manhood, you might gain something. For instance, You might remember why you fell in love and or married her in the first place. And you might, just might realize that a garbanzo bean really doesn’t hold a candle to the significant woman in your life.