Gentlemen, may I advise thee: If you decide to call your wife to see if it’s all right to go out for “one” and she says, “Sure. Have fun. See you around 6.” Take that timeline seriously.
Why, you ask?
Because she’s looking forward to your return. She wants to hear the key in the door, the squeak of the hinge that sings out, he’s home. Your wife has been changing diapers, taking kids to school, scrubbing soap scum, marinating chicken. She’s ready for a happy hour, too. She’d like to drink one with you.
If 6:30 comes and goes and you have not returned, she will grow grumpy. She will open a Nordeast, drink back every ounce, curse your name.
If 7:30 comes and goes and you have not returned, she will be livid. All reason will dissipate. She will imagine you check the time on your phone and still order another round.
At 7:35, five minutes too late, she will receive your text that says, “Sorry got hung up with some union business,” and she will not believe you. She will be grab the meat tenderizer out of the drawer and hold it over her head. She will think, for a second, she wants to hear the glass crack and the tiny pieces fall to the floor. She will put the tool away, deciding you’re not worth it.
She will grow irritable with your children. Snap at their requests for more juice. Demand that they pick up their coats and shoes. “Move! You know better than to leave your stuff by the front door,” she’ll say. They will wince at the sound of her voice.
At 8:00, when you do return, the kids will exclaim, “Daddy!” They will tug at your jeans, and you will reach down to hug them. If you walk over to your wife to whisper an apology, do not expect to be forgiven. You have done this so many times, Mr. Liar Penis on Fire. And no, she doesn’t want to watch Game of Thrones with you after the kids are in bed.
Gentlemen, do not follow your apology by resting on the couch.
Do not get all horizontal when you are late and there are three young kids who need to be brushing their teeth. Your wife does not care about your weariness with coworkers or your role as vice-president of the local union. You just returned from the local pub. A bar, my friend. That’s a crowded room with adults throwing darts and ordering onion rings and drinking Long Islands. That’s heaven. She’s hasn’t been there in months.
When your toddler shows her happiness to see you by crawling on to your tummy and jumping on it like a trampoline, when she tumbles onto your man parts, doing a lively grape stomp, causing you to gasp for breath as the pain in your testicles spreads to your abs and up into your spine, and you moan as if you’re being strangled, you will look to your wife for a wisp of sympathy. She will have none, my friend. None. She couldn’t conjure sympathy up from her insides if she wanted to.
You will continue to carry on in your horizontal position, arms crossed over your middle, holding on until it’s all over. Your nervous system will release adrenaline. Your stomach muscles will contract and cause nausea. You will feel as if you’re bleeding out. But do not expect anything of her.
“I am so not into you right now.” It is the only thing she will want to say.
She will pace nearby, picking up the remains of toys and papers scattered from the day. Your pain will be an awesome victory, karma taking care of things. She will try not to laugh, but when your toddler moves your leg, hoping to help, and you scream, “Stop, stop, stop,” your wife will start. And that little laugh will crescendo into an all-out laugh that takes over and fills all the spaces marriage empties. She will continue to laugh at your pain for days to come.
Gentlemen, spare yourselves. Pay your bill and get thee home to your wife. She’s waiting.
Oblivious Men: Stop & Take Note