We all know that the way men speak and listen is not the same way women speak and listen. This will inevitably lead to the occasional misunderstanding and the need for crisis management from time to time. Fortunately for me, I am something of a pro at managing this type of crisis when it comes to my wife.
For example: My wife recently cracked a tooth and somehow didn’t know until she had pain shooting up the side of her face and into her skull. One doc suggested some kind of temporal aneurysm that would leave me a widower as I sat helpless in Korea. Thankfully he was wrong and a different doc sent her to see a dentist who then found a tooth cracked from gritting her teeth. I’m pretty sure it happened during one of our conversations. Anyway, she answered one of our twice daily video calls and let me know she wasn’t dying. Her face was still numb and I couldn’t help but think that when she spoke, her mouth moved a little like Drew Barrymore’s or Meredith Grey’s. More like Natalie Dormer, really. She even had this cute little lisp going on and I found myself grinning stupidly at her adorableness. The conversation went like this:
Me: “You’re tho cute!” I told her.
Wife: “You’re a butthole.” That didn’t come out the way you read it. It came out more of a “buth hole”.
Me: “For calling you cute?”
Wife: “You’re making fun of me.”
Me: “No. I think you’re adorable.”
Wife: “I think you’re an ath-hole.”
Me: “Look. I get that we both speak the same language differently so maybe I need to clear this up. When I say you’re cute, I genuinely mean it. I also know that you underthtand the way males interact and perhaps you calling me an ath-hole is an attempt at bonding on my level. I also think you are genuinely upset and our differing communication thtyles have caused a misunderthtanding.”
Wife: “Now you’re treating me like I’m thtupid.”
Me: “No. I’m treating me like I’m smart!”
She laughs. I win and am no longer an ath-hole. Sort of. But only sort of on the ath-hole part. I totally win.