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Women and Men: Never The Twain Shall Meet

By: David Leonhardt

"Dear Happy Guy,

"I just don't understand men. Last night I was sitting at the kitchen table, when my husband wandered by with a glass in his hand.

"I asked him, 'Is that a triple-coconut-cream-of-pickle-juice spritzer with a dash of chili powder you're drinking?' He says, 'Sure. What else?' It looked so yummy, that I just had to have a taste. 'Put it down here on the table for me, please,' I asked.

"Want to know what he did next? He emptied his glass on the table. Right there in front of me. It went flowing all over me and all over the chair and all over the floor. Yeach! What a mess. What on earth was he thinking?"

Signed, Soaking Lady, 42 Bouncing Canyon Lane

I get strange letters all the time. Everybody wants to be happy, and they all think The Happy Guy can solve their problems. Here's another letter I received just today:

"Hey Happy Guy,

"Can you explain women to me? You just can't please 'em.

"Take last night for example. There I was minding my own business, sipping on a juicy glass of triple-coconut-cream-of-pickle-juice spritzer with a dash of chili powder, when my wife asks me to pour it on the table.

I mean, is that a crazy request or what?

"But wait. It gets worse. Even though it means sacrificing the triple-coconut-cream-of-pickle-juice spritzer with a dash of chili powder I love so much, I pour it on the table for her. So what does she do? She blows up. She shouts and screams and yells all sorts of four letter words ... each with at least ten letters.

"Can you help me understand women?."

Signed, Thirsty Man, 42 Bouncing Canyon Lane

Sa-ay. These two letters are from the same address. Go figure.

After a while, a man discovers that he and his wife do not even speak the same language. Sure, we both call it "English", but we each use different dictionaries. Consider the word "fine".

When a woman uses the word "fine", a man knows he has just lost an argument. "Fine" is a woman's way of saying, "OK, you win the argument, but you only win because I let you, and I am still right, so take your duct tape and put it somewhere useful ... like across your mouth!"

To a man, "fine" means something completely different. It means that something is fine. It is good. It is as it should be. Some men, such as yours truly, use "fine" as a response when a woman asks, "How do I look in this new dress I bought?"

Men like that ought to just hop in front of a moving train to save themselves a lifetime of slow, painful torture. When a man says "fine" to a woman, it won't be long before that woman says "fine" to him. Better get out your duct tape.

So my answer to Soaking Lady is this: "If you don't like triple-coconut-cream-of-pickle-juice spritzer with a dash of chili all over the table and the chair and the floor, just ask your husband to wipe it up. Anyone loving enough to pour such an obviously tasty treat on the table at your request, will just as lovingly lap it up."

And my answer to Thirsty Man is this: "No, I can't."

Every relationship works best when we use words the listener will understand as we mean them to be understood. For instance, if a man says "fine" and a woman hears "yuck!", just don't use the word "fine".

Or, do what I do. Keep plenty of extra duct tape for a very rainy day.

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