On Conversation

Get out your silk pajamas and your pints of Ben and Jerry’s. It’s time to talk boys! Or girls. I always like to attempt neutrality.

Some of my good friends, who shall remain nameless, complain often about their menfolk, and a lot of the complaints seem to center around him not understanding them. “I was trying to hint that I want the Doctor Who boxed set for Hanukkah, but he got me an ant farm instead!” “I didn’t want to have to SAY that he was acting like a complete pig, because I mean, if he doesn’t know, how can I ever explain it?” “How am I supposed to tell him I want him to dress up as Richard Simmons when we’re in bed together?” How many times have you heard these lamentations from your girlfriends? How many times have they issued from your own mouth?

There’s something we all need to come to terms with, or else life is going to be a series of frustrations. It is as follows:

Men are not psychic. In fact, they are the opposite of psychic. Whatever that means.

Yes, the guys with whom we are forced to communicate on a daily basis are sadly lacking in the ESP department.

Not the ESPN department, though. They've got that one covered.

Not the ESPN department, though. They’ve got that one covered.

As are even the most sensitive and intuitive girls, as I’m sure you can attest. The result of this deficit is that we’ve got to help our significant others out a little bit. Raised eyebrows and meaningful looks are not enough for them. In fact, as soon as you shoot a man a telepathic message, his Y-chromosome jumps out, wearing an oversized pair of underwear and a cape, and deflects the message with a devastating roundhouse kick. Your best bet is to give up the ghost on telepathy with your lover and just tell him or her things. With your face-hole.

We feel demanding when we do this. “You know, we should do something really nice for our anniversary!” sounds a lot sweeter when the two of you are relaxing at home on the couch than “Take me to Benihana, you clueless Neanderthal!” does. That’s why it’s important to be polite when giving your significant other information about your desires.

Imagine a scenario with me for a moment, if you will. You’ve been together with your other half for a length of time now, to the point where he or she (let’s say it’s a he for the sake of brevity) has let himself go a bit. Nothing drastic, no forty-pound weight gains or anything. Let’s say it has taken the form of a weekend without a shower. The new Call of Duty has just come out, and he’s been sitting on the couch with a box of Barbecue Wheat Thins between his thighs for hours every day, staring at the screen like it holds his future, and a somewhat rank odor has begun to issue from his nest.

Seriously though, these things are the bomb diggity.

Seriously though, these things are the bomb diggity.

You don’t have to go right up to him and say, “Jesus wept, you smell like a week-old mushroom omelette! Get your filthy posterior off my upholstery!” That would be an unkind thing to say to someone you care about, despite their noticeable genital funk. However, going the other route and delicately suggesting, “You know, it’s a nice day out, you could go outside and… get some fresh air…” is equally ineffective. He may think that you are merely concerned for his health. Or that you want the TV so you can watch Mythbusters. Or that you need to vacuum right under him. There are any number of misunderstandings that could occur because of your unwillingness to speak your mind. All that ends now. You simply say something like, “I’d love it if you grabbed a shower before starting the next level. That five-o-clock shadow you’re rocking is sexy, but you’re getting a little ripe.”

If this were Cosmopolitan, I’d tell you to lure him to the bathroom and offer to sponge-bathe him, but lucky for you, I recognize the sheer absurdity of this proposition.

If this were Cosmopolitan, I’d tell you to lure him to the bathroom and offer to sponge-bathe him, but lucky for you, I recognize the sheer absurdity of this proposition.

He isn’t going to dump you because you were honest. I daresay he may even love you more for your bold straightforwardness. It is never unladylike to tell your partner you want something. It IS unladylike to merely hint at it and then throw a tantrum when they don’t deliver. Openness is almost always the best policy. Lying to someone is not a good way to show them you care about and trust them. However, if anyone can think of any solid exceptions to this rule, I’d love to hear them. Until then, Keep Calm and Be Transparent.


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