This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
As most husbands and boyfriends know, honesty in a relationship is not always a positive thing.
There are some questions that, when asked by your wife/girlfriend, you absolutely need to answer the correct way even if it’s not how you really feel. These questions include:
“Do these pants make me look fat?” (Answer: “No, in fact have you lost weight?”)
“Do you think that other girl is cute?” (Answer: “Girl? What girl? I didn’t see another woman.”)
“Do you like my new haircut?” (Answer: “Wow, it looks fantastic!”)
Now I’m not stupid. I know the correct answers. But my problem is I am honest to a fault. All the time and no matter what. I’m the same guy who told his girlfriend on prom night that I didn’t like her dress or her hair. Why would I do this? Because she asked “for my honest opinion.” And when I double checked whether or not she was ABSOLUTELY SURE she wanted my honest opinion, she again said yes. So I gave it to her. And then she didn’t “give it” to me for almost a month!
But MJ has been very different in that regard and that’s just one of the reasons I married her. When she asks for my opinion she has always really appreciated my honesty. And I’m not mean about how I respond to her, just honest. For instance when she asks how she looks in a specific shirt, I don’t even need to answer. She says my facial expression gives it away and so she changes. And she doesn’t even ask me if other women are cute, she just comes out and says “Hey check her out, that chick is hot!”
But lately she’s been feeling a little down so I told her to go out and get her nails done, hair done, etc. I’ve heard that always makes girls feel better. So yesterday, on her day off, that’s exactly what she did. Now please keep in mind that like most guys, I love long hair on a woman. I mean I LOVE long hair. If it’s down to her ass it’s still not quite long enough. And yes, I know it’s a pain to take care of long hair but I’m a guy and I don’t care. It’s MUCH better than short hair.
So just imagine the scene yesterday when I came home from work, walked toward MJ to kiss her and stopped dead in my tracks. Although she says she only got about 4 inches cut, to me it was as if someone had shaved her head. It literally made me stop, tilt my head and stare.
She got the “Mom Bob.” I couldn’t believe it. She got the same haircut nearly every new mother gets. It’s sensible, short and maintenance-free. And so…plain! And short.
So when she asked me if I liked her haircut I embarked on a parade of mistakes. First of all, I hesitated. I only hesitated because I was searching carefully for the right words to use. But little did I know that pause — however slight — tells a woman all she needs to know. When I finally regained my ability to speak, all I could mutter was “Its…short.” That didn’t make her happy either but I’m sorry because she knows I love long hair and she chopped her hair. What did she think I was going to say? I’m not the kind of person who lies to his wife and I can’t hide how I feel about things. I wear my emotions on my sleeve.
But the worst part was poor MJ didn’t even realize she had gotten the Mom Bob. But then we took a walk around our condo complex and ended up talking with a few neighbors. One of them, a really nice woman named Laura who has an 8-week-old named Zach, saw MJ’s haircut immediately and gave her a compliment. But what she said was “Oooh I like your haircut. You got the Mom Bob.” Now Laura is a total sweetheart and she was just being nice and giving an earnest compliment, but at that moment MJ realized she had indeed inadvertantly gotten the Mom Bob. I saw her face and realized she was fighting back tears, tears that later came out in a flood about an hour later.
I feel bad because I know she loves being Will’s mom, but I don’t think she wants to be thought of as a mom in general. And without even realizing it, she got the official haircut of new moms everywhere. I tried to tell her the haircut was growing on me (and it actually is) because I think it resembles Charlize Theron in The Devil’s Advocate, but you never get a second chance to give that first compliment.
But hey, if my biggest fault is that I find it impossible to lie to my wife then I think I’m doing OK.