Suburban Snapshots

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say
You're Not Going to Get Lucky Tonight

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Husbands, we love you. In fact, I was really conflicted about even writing this post because I know I lucked out when I decided fifteen years ago that my scrawny, bald roommate had boyfriend potential. He's got all that good stuff: honesty, loyalty, brains, an almost complete lack of ego, a ridiculous work ethic, and as a bonus, I enjoy watching him change his clothes.

But, you know, none of us is perfect, and I have to believe that as long as we recognize all the good, we've got a pass for commiserating about the bad and ugly. What I'm offering you today, husbands, is a lesson in appropriate honesty. I'll call it When to Either Lie or Shut the Fuck Up 101. Next time you bemoan your lack of spontaneous kitchen sex, consider whether you've committed one of these infractions.

Here are a couple of scenarios:

1. Your wife is modeling a dress she bought that she is obviously feeling confident and sexy wearing. She asks, "What do you think?" If, say, this dress is sleeveless and you prefer sleeves, short and you prefer long — pay close attention here — your wife does not give one good goddamn. Read her face, her tone, her gestures. After years together you should totally have this one. Your reply should indicate that her appearance pleases you. Depending on your usual style of banter you might say something like, "You look beautiful," or, "I'd definitely bend you over my tailgate in that." Your wardrobe preferences are irrelevant, your honest opinion is uncalled for. You need to keep that bullshit to yourself.

2. At noon your wife says, "I'll see you in a couple hours, I'm going to get my hair cut." You, being the wonderful, equal partner that you are, think nothing of parenting solo while she's out. You don't text her during her appointment unless someone is on fire. Maybe you even throw in a load of wash while she's gone. You, sir, are squarely on the BJ track.

At two she returns home, still your wife but slightly glossier, with a little more spring in her step. Protocol dictates that you should immediately comment on her hair, but let's say you've been waiting to go mow the lawn and you breeze past her before she's even dropped her keys. Later, when you notice she smells different and remember that she had her hair done, your reaction ought to be, "Sorry babe, your hair looks really nice." Because again, "Did you even have anything cut off? It hardly looks different," or, "Wow, you went short," are unhelpful observations. And you were doing so well earlier.

One more thing: if you make a big enough gaffe, we are fully capable of becoming upset even to the point of tears at any time of the month. It's always a best practice to not blame our menstrual cycle for your misstep.

Guys, I've got your backs on this. I want nothing but success for you. I want you to take care of my girlfriends because they really love you. I want you to have the relationships you deserve. And I want you to understand that sometimes, all you have to do is keep your mouths shut.