General consensus among the men I polled recently (my dog) is that women are crazy. What makes us lucky here at The Tangential is that we just so happen to be staffed by two of the craziest. So we thought we would do the world a public service by not only translating for you things that we say and ask and what we really mean by them, but also give you insight into how we interpret statements we hear from those of the male persuasion. You’re welcome, in advance, for answering some of your burning questions. We also apologize, in advance, for the fact that we’re batshit crazy.
“No, it’s fine. Seriously, it’s fine.”
You did something vaguely offensive which is exacerbated by the fact that I’m already feeling extremely insecure for reasons that are approximately seventy-five percent founded but whatever it was I either feel uncomfortable discussing it or unjustified in being offended by it (the latter is more likely) so regardless all I want you to do is affirm me in some way at all please validate that you still like me and take back what you said even if you meant it, thanks.
“It’s not that I want to get engaged I just want you to pay more respect to me and help out more around the house.”
I want to get engaged.
“So what did you do yesterday?”
When you inevitably watched porn all afternoon did you do it as a catalyst to masturbation for pure sexual release or were you actually thinking about being with another woman, in which case you can go fuck yourself because sure, yeah, I won’t do ‘that’ but I will clean up after you and continue to have sex with you after I have seen you in your retainer and listened to you fart in your sleep all night. Also the ideal answer here is “I didn’t watch porn” because I’m willing to be blissfully ignorant in this case, fyi.
“Do you ever think about your exes?”
I’m not stupid. I already know the answer to this question. And I know the answer to this question because if you asked it of me, and I answered honestly (which there’s absolutely no chance of actually happening) I would say “Yes, fairly often. Especially when you’re doing less than stellar work in the nippular area and I start thinking back to the guy I dated freshman year of college who could do things with his tongue that would make Gene Simmons blush.” So why do I ask a question I already know the answer to? Don’t be dim. Just say to me: “No, not at all.” Or better yet: “Exes? I have exes?” Because I swear to fucking God if that bitch from your hometown shows up on your Facebook wall again I’m going to throw all your Super Nintendo games out the window.
“How many people have you slept with?”
Am I the best sex you have ever had? Honestly your number could be zero or seventy-two but the important issue here is that you say a (hopefully) inoffensive number and then follow it immediately with some statement along the lines of “but I can’t even remember what it was like to sleep with anyone else because jesus christ you’re the best ever!” At this point you should probably also make a direct reference to a routine sexual practice I typically initiate or the most remarkable part of my physical anatomy just to make sure I believe you.
“Oh your mom’s going to be in town? What are you two going to do?”
I don’t care if the answer to this question is “talk for hours about how painful her episiotomy was when I was born.” If you don’t invite me, you don’t love me and never have. Because every second I spend with your mother I am slowly executing my master plan to get her to love me more than she loves you. It’s not a competition, per se, but there’s little in this world I get more pleasure out of than giggling with your mom about the fact that one of your legs is slightly longer than the other. And only by usurping your position in her heart will I be able to use her to get a good laugh at your expense.
So what of men? What sorts of things do the translation knobbymergiggers in our brains tell us you men are really saying to us when we hear the following statements? Let’s just say, we’re not exactly optimists.
“Let’s hang out this week for sure.”
I don’t ever want to see you again because you’re repulsive and bad in bed and your kitchen smells weird but I’m too polite to actually ignore you indefinitely so I’m going to say something vague and ambiguous with the hopes that you get the picture and don’t text me every day this week trying to get me to follow up on this invitation that I obviously didn’t mean.
“I want to take this slow.”
And by slow I mean “If I never see you again it’ll be too soon.” But I sense that you’re an emotionally volatile person and I don’t want to be responsible for calling your mom if you threaten to kill yourself so I’m just going to soften the blow with this innocuous statement and hope to God you can read between the lines. This ambiguous relationship was exciting for about a week, until I realized that you did not fit the image of a woman made out of breasts I’ve had built up in my head since I was thirteen, and my mom always told me I should never settle. Gotta keep on keepin’ on.
“I probably can’t tonight, I’ve got this thing.”
By ‘this thing’ I mean a leggy blonde I met at a grimy bar this weekend while you were having a reactionary girls’ night after I told you I wasn’t available because I was hanging out with some dudes from high school. She’s not nearly as interesting, smart, loving, or fun as you but she has a huge rack and is completely out of my league so trying (successfully, with any luck) to bag her makes me feel like a real man. No offense to you but you’re not really a challenge and I just want to precisely determine the ‘best I can do.’ Oh but don’t worry, if she turns me down I’ll be sure to text you around twelve thirty in the morning and say some bullshit about being lonely or bored—you know, just to make sure you’re comfortably warming on my back burner.
“I really love you but I’m not sure I believe in marriage.”
The thought of being legally and financially tied to you for the rest of my life scares the ever-loving shit out of me. The only thing that scares me more is imagining your saggy old lady arms flapping by the breeze of the oscillating fan while we lay in bed reading. Because although I’m going to look like Walter Matthau, I will be convinced I have the capability to nail twenty-five year olds. And I don’t want to have to keep coming up with excuses for why I’m coming home late at night smelling like Fruit Roll-Ups, young tail, and Malibu rum. To put another way: my love for you has an expiration date.
“Do you want to come over?”
Ideally I would like to ejaculate on some moderately to high-moderately degrading part of your body after a brief and unfulfilling (for you) sexual experience which was, of course, the only reason I even have your number saved in my phone at this point. I will do cheesy things like offer you a spare toothbrush and a back massage but only because I think it will increase the likelihood that you’ll succumb to my sexual demands without desiring even a modicum of reciprocity. Oh and I’m probably not going to call you again until approximately ten days from now when you’ve completely given up on me (and also your will to live) or at whichever point I’m bored and horny and restless because I didn’t succeed at meeting anyone this weekend. So just, you know, don’t expect anything.
“I think you’re really sexy and it would turn me on a lot if you did [insert completely reasonable, extremely uncontroversial sexual act or behavior that is not a major departure from our current sexual repertoire.]”
Allow me to be more specific. I only think you’re really sexy when you’re doing the aforementioned act. No, it’s not that weird. No, it’s not the sort of thing it would really disappoint my grandmother to know I’m asking for. But asking for it regardless of the fact that you’d probably do it anyway because you’re a clever and imaginative woman makes me feel powerful and masculine, and watching you do it simply because I’ve asked for it makes you seem a little bit like a hooker I can pay with compliments and bags of Kraft cheese cubes. Come to think of it, I’m going to start demanding other everyday things from you. “I think you’re really sexy and it would turn me on a lot if you grabbed the remote for me.” “I think you’re really sexy and it would turn me on a lot if you tied my shoe because I just ate a bag of Pizza Rolls and don’t want to bend over.” Because your self-worth is secondary to my personal satisfaction.