Lost in Translation
You all know how I feel about communication in a marriage. It’s not easy. To be honest, it stresses me out a bit. Men and women definitely speak different languages. Last night we went to a farewell party at a local bar/restaurant. As we were getting ready to leave I asked Stephen if he was ready. His answer was, “Yes. Maybe in a little bit.” What the heck does that mean?? Yes? Or maybe? Or in a little bit? Who even knows? I think we need a live-in interpreter.
At the bar, I was at a table with a bunch of guys. Two married, one engaged, two single. The conversation turned to girls, as I’m sure it normally does. I took a big swig of my beer and tried to blend in. This could be interesting! I’m not quite sure how the conversation started. But it was fascinating. Because I’ve been on the complete other side of the conversation many times.
One topic they covered was the “Is this a date?” confusion. It appears that if a date-like activity is involved, girls should know it’s a date. I whole-heartedly disagree. If it was never made clear, there is no reason we should assume this! As someone who was “tricked” into a date, I know that this assumption by men is a good way to annoy a good girl friend of yours. Men, if you normally hang out with this girl as a friend, she’s going to assume you are friends. This is not her fault. My question is this: If you know that women often misinterpret your dates as non-dates, why don’t you just make it clear to begin with??
Another interesting thing came up. One guy shared, “Okay, so if you ask a girl a yes or no question, we as guys assume that there are two possible answers. Yes. Or no. But oh how we are wrong! In a woman’s mind there is actually this middle non-answer. And we have no idea what to do with that. I really think that if you have that non-answer for over a week, you really should just take the ‘no’ and move on, because her answer will be much worse.” Okay, guilty. Women know that a yes or no question doesn’t have to be answered with a yes or no. There are millions of answers. And really, I feel for the guys on this one. Half the time we don’t know the answer, so how are they supposed to? So ladies, maybe we need to work on this.
I heard some stories from these guys about how nervous they were to ask girls out. (“I opened my mouth but nothing came out.”) How if they decide to ask a girl out, the time leading up to the actual question is pure torture. (“I couldn’t concentrate. And then there were too many people around. And they wouldn’t leave. Just leave!!!!”) I heard stories of guys getting dumped, left, and screwed over. (“Yeah, and after all of that, she dumped me after two weeks.”) I heard stories of awkward confrontations with girl’s dads. (“I was talking to her dad and she put her hand on my leg. I couldn’t think. I stopped in mid-sentence and had no idea what I was talking about. Or where I was. What did she think she was doing??”) And at the end of it all, I was stressed out. Being a guy is rough. Being a girl is rough too but mostly because of hormones. A guy’s life is rough because of us!
So to all of you single ladies out there, give him a break! Or use this as your soapbox and give him some hints. I haven’t changed my loyalties. I still wear pink and cheer for the girl’s team. I am still 100% against the “assumed date”… it’s deceiving and weak. But on many other topics, yeah, I can see how we are difficult. I can see why men think women are irrational and confusing. But I’d also challenge men to do what I did. Spend a couple hours at a table of women. Listen to their side of the story. You may also realize how ridiculous you are.
As the conversation was coming to a close and all them men were worn out and stressed from the discussion, Stephen and I looked at each other. With a heavy sigh he said, “Thanks for making sure that I never have to go through all of that again.” So yeah, we avoid some of that confusion, but we still have quite a bit of our own.
Now taking applications for an interpreter. Must be impartial and fluent in both male and female.