By DARREN HANDSCHUH
In high school, students are often taught life skills like how to cook and do bankbooks, but the course should also include wife skills that clearly outlines what should and should not be said.
Having been married for more than two decades, I have learned a lot about the opposite sex.
I still don't understand them, but I am less confused (slightly less) than I was 20 plus years ago when I said “I do.”
But I am trainable, so I have learned a few things that have helped me survive the joys of marriage.
When we first got married, I would pretty much say the first thing that popped into my head and express my opinion before my brain had a chance to analyze the question and more importantly the possible ramifications of the answer.
I am not saying to be dishonest with your spouse, but to phrase your response in the most favourable light possible.
Of course the universal question “Does this make me look fat?” is a no brainer and even as a newlywed I knew not the answer was always no.
Even if her butt can be seen from outer space, the answer must always be, “Of course not, Dear.”
Fortunately, it was an easy question to answer then as it is now, because I am blessed with a wife who not only runs the home, but manages to stay fit in the process.
She gets up at 5 a.m. to attend a spin class, which is where they ride a stationary bike to the verbally violent commands of the tyrannical class instructor.
I find it amazing she does this. About the only thing that would get me out of bed at 5 a.m. is a house fire and even then I would lie in hope of the fire department getting there before I actually had to move.
Anyway back to tricky questions followed by stupid answers.
One day, shortly after our nuptials, the little woman came home with a new hair do and asked what I thought.
Having been married for less than a year, my mouth would engage much faster than my brain and my response was not the best.
“You look like a poodle,” I said of her wavy hair without any real concern.
Wrong answer, and I am talking wrong with a capital W-R-O-N-G.
This was my first real introduction to answering questions in the correct fashion.
The look on her face told me that I just made a major blunder.
I tried talking my way out of it, but seeing as how she is much smarter than I am, there was little I could do but apologize and mark it down as a lesson learned.
She could come home with dead rats duct-taped onto her head and I would rant about what an innovative hair style she has.
That is not to patronize her, but is more a survival technique than anything else.
I am sure she does the same thing.
“Honey, is my stomach getting too big.”
“Why of course not,” may be her answer, but she is thinking “not if you are a pregnant orangutan that is.”
Bloated primates aside, there is a certain amount of leeway in a marriage when it comes to commenting on hair styles, food – even if it is boiled possum tails it is the best meal you have ever had – and, of course, body size and shape.
All of these rules can go both ways. I have only experienced them from the husband side of the line, but I guarantee my wife could provide her own endless list of enhanced comments for my benefit.
So to all you husbands out there remember: her butt is never too big, her hair is perfect and that dress looks great.
To the wives of the world: pot bellies are cute, bald spots are even cuter and the prison slop he created for a surprise meal is spectacular (you can get your stomach pumped when he is not looking.)