Hubs and I were going out with a group of friends for drinks at our favorite local restaurant, and I came out of the bedroom feeling all date night in an off-the-shoulder fitted sweater with soft, slouchy jeans and fabulous boots.
Hubs pointed at my jeans and asked, with a slight frown, “What are those?” “They’re called boyfriend jeans,” I replied. “Are they supposed to fit like that?” he persisted, looking confused. “Yes,” I said, slowly, “That’s why they’re called boyfriend jeans. They’re supposed to look like you’re wearing your boyfriend’s jeans.” Hubs waited a long moment and sealed their fate with “Oh. Okay. But I’m kind of surprised that anyone who cares as much as you do about what your butt looks like would wear those jeans.”
How many wrong things can one man say in one sentence??
Later, at the restaurant (after I changed my clothes and tossed the jeans into the “He’ll Never See Me in These Again” pile), I replayed the conversation with our group. The women began enthusiastically swapping hilarious stories of “Can you believe he said that??” until the men threw up their hands, insisting that women would be easier to communicate with if we came with a list of what they were never supposed to say.
We’re glad you asked.
1. Oh, crap. Is today our anniversary? So not only did you forget, you find it annoying? Whatever you were thinking of buying her, get two.
2. Yes, I agree, your sister is totally hot. Never, ever tell us you’ve looked at Sissy in those terms. “I’ve never noticed” is the only acceptable response to this question.
3. You remind me of my ex when you do that. Oh, you mean the woman you’ve been referring to for the last decade as a bitchy, gold-digging tramp? You might want to consider flowers.
4. That’s okay. I like a fuller-figured gal. OMG. “Fuller-figured,” to every woman in every country on the planet, means fat. Yep, definitely flowers. And wine.
5. What did you do all day? The not-so-subtle implication being “Did you sit on your lazy ass and watch TV all day, because it doesn’t look like anything has been done around here.” Are you trying to pick a fight?
6. If you want to go on a diet, I’ll support you all the way. Especially if she didn’t suggest the original idea. If she chooses to go on a diet and mentions it to you, the proper response is always “Why? You’re gorgeous.”
7. Can’t you take a joke? Usually used when you’ve just made one at her expense. It’s a passive-aggressive way of taking a shot at her, but with plausible deniability. But she will never find it funny when you announce that the only way you can tell if you’re getting laid is when she shaves her legs.
8. Have you taken your meds today? This is the boomer version of “Are you on your period?” Maybe we are or maybe we aren’t. We’re still going postal on your ass.
9. What did you do to your hair? There’s not a woman alive who’s going to interpret this as “Wow, you look great!” We hear “When are you going to fix that thing on your head?”
10. Are you going to eat all that? Translation: She eats like a linebacker. And from now on, she’ll continue to eat whatever she likes. It just won’t be while she’s with you.
11. Now what’s wrong? The implication being that she’s impossible to please. You just threw a tank of gas on the fire.
12. Maybe you should ask my mother for her recipe. Yeah, just what every woman wants to hear. Mom did it better.
13. Is that your third glass of wine? Counting a woman’s drinks has never, in the history of alcohol, resulted in her drinking less. And in about 30 minutes, she’s going to be drunk and pissed.
14. Is that what you’re wearing? Guaranteed to make you late for wherever you’re going, because she’s going up to change her clothes. Nine times.
15. You look fine. “Fine” is how you describe flooring and whether or not it needs to be replaced. Fine means “not great, but we’re running late, so let’s go.”
16. You knew I was like this when you married me. Well, that was 22 years ago, and she was kind of hoping you’d grow out of it someday.
17. You’re not that old. Semi-witty references to her passing years will not be perceived as funny or complimentary. “You’ll always be beautiful to me” is the safest response to comments about her midlife years. But for the love of God, do not add “no matter what.”
18. You look tired. You may as well just tell her she looks like crap. Yeah, that will make her feel better.
19. You need to calm down. Visualize throwing the cat into the hot tub. That’s what she’s going to look like in three, two, one…
20. Why don’t you ever wear clothes like that? As in “Why don’t you ever look that hot?” If I have to explain this one, you’re probably better off single.
21. Get off my back. She hears “You’re a nag. Go away and leave me alone.” Be careful with this one. One day, she might not come back.
22. It was just a kiss. There’s no. such. thing.
23. What were you thinking?? Man-speak for “You’re a complete idiot, and no one has ever done anything this stupid.” Her response is likely to be “I know. It’s the second stupidest thing I’ve ever done.” Guess which was the first?
24. Whatever. Dismissive and condescending, she hears “This conversation is over.” That may be true, but the conversation you’re about to have about this conversation is going to be a doozy.
25. Technically, we were still married, but… If you plan to stay married to this woman (or ever want to have sex again), stop talking. There is no way to end this sentence and save the marriage. Many men have tried. None have succeeded.
26. No. ‘Nuf said.