Just answer the question ma’am!

Before we start, please let the record clearly indicate that I am completely confounded by the ongoing revelation that at least one woman on the planet is willing to put up with me. It may be true that I regularly cook and clean, but those efforts aren’t nearly enough to mitigate my majestic personality.

With that caveat out of the way, is it just my wife, or are all women incapable of answering a simple question in one sentence or less?

To wit, this morning, I asked my beloved spouse a very straightforward question. Given his shorter final exam schedule, did I need to retrieve my younger son from the high school today?

In the end, it’s an eminently simple inquiry that can be answered with a simple one-syllable word – one consisting of three letters and the other two. Why, even an elegant binary code 0 or 1 response would do the trick.

confusedBut no! As is often the case whenever I seek my wife’s direction, it goes something like this:

“Well, if the three quarter moon is waning and you hear a coyote howl at 1:23 a.m., then turn around three times and look to the west. But we don’t want him playing video games instead of studying and, even though there’s no guarantee he will study in study hall he really needs to study. So if you hear the phrase, ‘The aardvark crosses the dirt road at dawn,’ you should respond with the, ‘Did he get to the other side,’ countersign and put your left elbow behind your head. But I don’t think I would because it rained last Tuesday.”

At this point all I can do is wince, tilt my head to the side like a confused canine, and whimper, “what?”

And the only way I’m going to get any kind of intelligible answer is if I immediately act like Alan Dershowitz cross examining a hostile witness. Even then it takes at least three iterations of this imperative; “Ma’am; please answer the question ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Do I need to pick up our younger son today – yes or no!,” to get the following result:

“I don’t know. I wouldn’t. It’s up to you.” This response also includes the kind of indignant look that, roughly translated, means, “You’re in some deep shit now buddy!”

So not only does my original question remain unanswered, but I can look forward to three fun weeks of celibacy, which begs the question, why did I bother to ask her a bleepin’ question in the first place?

12 thoughts on “Just answer the question ma’am!

  1. Every male on the planet can relate to this. Some of us, that have tried multiple marriage, could write a book on it.

  2. I thought you were old enough to know better than to question the answer.

  3. Obviously you’re screwed (well, not screwed) no matter what you do here. Personally I’d jump on the “I wouldn’t” and not pick him up. Because then you can always say you were just trying to follow her lead, i.e. she’s the expert and the one who really knows what to do, so if she wouldn’t, obviously that’s the right action.

  4. And in the future just ask your son.

  5. Jeff, you’ve been married long enough to know there’s only one thing you can say.

    “Yes, dear.”

  6. My sympathies to all you guys out there–married to those of us who use both sides of out brains! Oops I’m being biased! It has moments being married to one of your kind, but overall now that I am older, it is also an education in how many different ways there are to think about things! Wow, we women think too long, too hard, and consider too many angles, when oftentimes it is all so simple! Then again, sometimes you guys are so oblivious to the obvious! Most of the time just have to care, or say sorry you feel that way, at least that is my take in one short wordssssss! lol Makes life interesting! ‘one of THEM’

  7. Despite what feminists may believe, men’s and women’s minds really ARE “wired differently.”

    That’s what makes “men” MEN, and women “women,” and keeps life “interesting.”

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