Marital Translation Issues

I’m a very literal person. I also have this crazy thing I do where I listen to what my lovely wife says and then I do exactly as she asks. You’d think that alone would be the key to avoiding problems and fights. You’d be wrong.

Never was this more apparent than Monday night when we were getting Will ready to leave before the Patriots game. He was spending the night at my parents’ house so we had to pack everything for an overnight visit. Well we’re in the car ready to drive away and Will is screaming. I ask MJ what’s wrong and she looks at me like I have two heads and says “I told you, he needs a bottle.” I’m confused because 1) She never said that to me and 2) I thought we had packed everything. Then I said “So we don’t have a bottle for him?” and she again looks at me like I’m nuts and says “No.”

So I got out of the car, walked back into the house and I grabbed his bottle because that’s what MJ said we were missing. I was a little confused because I know my parents have plenty of bottles at their house, but MJ has never made a whole lot of sense so I just go with the flow when it comes to her insanity.

I get back in the car and I hand her the bottle. She then proceeded to freak out.

Apparently, what she meant was that Will needed a bottle full of formula RIGHT NOW. But what I had brought her, was just an empty bottle. Because that’s what she said we needed…a bottle. So I went and got, A BOTTLE! She starts ranting and raving about “Why the hell would I need just an empty bottle?” and “If your kid is screaming and crying that means you get him a bottle and ACTUALLY FILL IT WITH SOMETHING HE CAN DRINK.”

At that point, I lose my shit and start yelling at her screaming “IF YOU WANTED A BOTTLE FULL OF FORMULA THEN JUST SAY SO!” She didn’t ask me to make up a bottle for Will. She told me we forgot a bottle. So I went and got a bottle. I did exactly what she wanted, and yet I’m still in trouble.

Why can’t women just say what they want clearly and concisely. I’ll gladly do it. But instead, they talk in code or they’re just very unclear as to what they want. I hear what she says and I interpret it as the most literal translation there is. I do this because women are crazy when they don’t get what they want and I try to keep the craziness to a minimum.

Take last night for instance…

MJ took Will out last night to some event that I wasn’t attending. But Will’s carseat was in my car and needed to go back to hers. So, being the nice husband that I am, I volunteered to go out into the rain to get the carseat, take it out of my car, walk over to a different parking lot where she was parked, put the carseat in the car and then come back to the house. And did I mention it was pouring rain at the time?

So when I was finished, I ran up the hill and got inside and simply said “That wasn’t fun” because of the rain. She looks at me and says “Why is everything with you like it’s the end of the world?”

How about a THANK YOU?!?!? I just went out in the rain to save her a trip, I come back in the house and I get attitude? What the hell?

It seems like we keep having this fight over and over again. It’s safe to assume that I’m not going to learn how to speak MJ’s particular dialect of female lunacy. So why, after nearly three years of marriage, can’t she understand that she needs to tell me EXACTLY what she wants? It’s so simple. If you ask for a bottle, you’re going to get a bottle. If you want a bottle full of formula, then ask me to make up a bottle full of formula. I’m like a robot. I will do whatever it is you tell me to do. But I will only do what I am told. I will not interpret meaning and I will not delve into anyone else’s twisted mind in attempt to figure out what the hell you wanted in the first place!

And poor Will never did get that bottle because I was so pissed I drove away in a fit.

Once again, the advice my father gave me about women when I was 16 years old holds true: “Smile, nod and say you’re sorry because it’s all your fault.”

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19 thoughts on “Marital Translation Issues

  1. Yes, your father is totally right. If I want Big K to do something, I have to spell it out, speak slowly and use small words.

    Once you marry us, you must realize that we do speak a different dialect and you are suppose to understand us….our girlfriends and mothers do. We have to adjust to all your weird habits and mannerisms.

    BTW, I’m strangely becoming slightly bias. MJ makes perfect sense to me!!! :)

  2. Great…

    We’ll title your friendship with my wife “When Crazy Converges!”

  3. Gotta go with CCG on this one. I knew what MJ meant when she said he needs a bottle.

  4. It’s not always women! Last night I was in the kitchen and I heard my husband on the phone with a buddy of his and I hear him exclaim “dude, she’s huge!” – so I poke my head into the living room and give him ‘the look’ and he quickly says – “it’s all in the belly, really!”. Then, we go out to dinner and on the way home he says, “I think I want to keep you pregnant all the time!” Again, he gets the look, and believe it or not – he keeps going! “You’re much more amiable when you’re pregnant”. Let us not mention that all I seem to do is work, eat and sleep. He has nobody to challenge him on what tv show he is watching, nobody bugging him to get online – he gets to do whatever he wants and therefore I should be preggers forever? The male mind is a scary, scary thing.

  5. I stand on your side of the fence, dude. I’m a literal guy too, and while my wife doesn’t take it to the extreme that yours seems to, she does get frustrated.

    I’ve gotten in the habit of asking qualifying questions, just to make sure I understand what she wants before I go and do the wrong thing.

  6. Hi!

    I just found your blog and this post has be sucked in. Except, I’m the one with the blog in our family so I write from the other perspective: Like, why when I asked for an 8 oz jar of something at the store does he buy two 5 oz jars? BUT, also brings home flowers? We just want you in our brains. Or at least to be as smart and multi-talented as we are. … :)

  7. Badass, you don’t understand the problem…

    She doesn’t really care if you actually do what she wanted done or not. What she wants is for you to know what she meant even if she didn’t express it in any way humans can normally understand.

    If you ever get the chance, see the show “Defending the Caveman” in the theater. It explains the relationship between men and women better than I have ever seen it done.

    Until then, I suggest walking in every night and saying “Hi – I’m home – I’m sorry.” It can’t hurt.

  8. You are a moron, I mean it in the most affectionate manner possible. BUT an empty bottle, are you SERIOUS?!

  9. See, I’m female and all, but I tend to be fairly rational (and not just on my own word here). And sometimes, just sometimes, men don’t seem to understand what is directly in front of them and what they’re being asked. She should have asked you more specifically, for sure, but I know that occasionally my husband will behave so helplessly that I freak out.

    Gah, that didn’t make any sense.

    *sighs*

    She shouldn’t jump down your throat like that.

  10. LOL … your dad was right on … and so was Alicia (above). Giving an empty bottle to a screaming Will ??? HELLO ???? Even the kid knew you screwed up big time.

    I do have some sympathy on the car seat though.

  11. If the problem was a screaming child and the solution is a bottle, it pretty much goes without saying that it should be full. If our house was being broken into and I tell my man to get the gun and he hands it to me unloaded, I’d be tempted to pistol whip him. Thats alls I’m sayin.

  12. To be fair, I think he was screaming because we had just put him in carseat and he hates that. But I thought she was saying she forgot to PACK a bottle to take to my parents house. I didn’t realize she meant he was crying and needed a bottle now.

    It all comes down to clarity and there wasn’t enough of it in that instance!

  13. Dude. Now, don’t get upset. This is going to happen from time to time. You were wrong. You were so wrong, in fact that you couldn’t tell the story ON YOUR OWN BLOG in a way that would make you seem right.

    Being a guy doesn’t allow you to be completely oblivious. She said he needed a bottle in response to your asking what’s wrong. Do the freakin math. Screaming baby + “what’s wrong?” + “he needs a bottle” = Make the baby a bottle, you dolt. Even I knew that. Seriously. Everyone who’s read this got to the point where you bring her an empty bottle and immediately thought: moron. She probably picked the fight about the car seat because she’s still mad at herself for marrying such a nincompoop.

  14. Im liking what you theoldguy says on this I find myself doing lots of boneheaded things but im always quick to try and fix it up. When i can if not im just SOL. But hey what are men good and but gettin in sticky situations. Chalk it up to man brain.

  15. I am guilty of expecting my husband to know exactly what I mean in whatever I say. I don’t do it on purpose…my brain and mouth speak different languages and the intended message gets lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, he knows this…and will make sure he’s clear on what I’m asking.

    And I am also guilty of literally interpreting the things my husband says. Example: we were detailing his car and he asked me to run inside and get some toilet paper.
    I double-checked, “toilet paper?”
    “Yeah, toilet paper.”
    So, always the dutiful wife…I ran to get him toilet paper. When I brought it out he looked at me like I was touched in the head.
    “Why did you bring me toilet paper. I wanted paper towels!”
    “But that’s what you said you wanted.”
    “Why would I want toilet paper for my car?!”

  16. Ok come on…I’m a pretty literal type myself, but if I had a kid screaming and somebody said he needed a bottle it would never occur to me to bring an empty one. Take away the screaming baby and I could see bringing an empty bottle if there was a request for a bottle, but the screaming baby makes all the difference for me! However, it was very nice of you to go out in the rain and deal with the car seat. Good job on that one! =)

  17. Gotta agree with MJ… I knew exactly what she was talking about! I think Jee made a good point too!

  18. Really?? Really Aaron? LMAO, sorry charlie, but you even said it yourself that you knew there were plenty of bottles at Gammy and Grampy’s. Of course she meant a full bottle. Silly boys!

  19. Well I know the bigger picture of being a husband is okay with you… but Hoowow, this is why I like being just by myself and my sons.

    3 yrs is just a primer, m’man… not even in the introductory course yet :-)

    You gotta admit, that kind of female lunacy is peanuts compared to … WHEN SHE SEES THIS POST… you’re going to hell… literally.

    anyway, hope you guys are okay…

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