Saturday, March 27, 2010

Marital Phenomenon


Over the past seven years, I have witnessed several strange marital phenomenons, but among my two favorites are “the husband voice” and “the vanishing conversation.” Every bit as mysterious as the Bermuda Triangle or the Federal Tax Code, these strange occurrences employ an insurmountable combination of circular logic and outright denial that renders any spousal resistance futile.
The Husband Voice
Several times throughout our marriage, my wife has had occasion to recreate my half of a conversation we had to a neutral third party. This involves her singlehandedly reconstructing and performing our entire conversation for the benefit of those who did not have the privilege of witnessing its original premier. While this on its own is not unusual, I have discovered a unique set of characteristics that tend to accompany this unauthorized impression of me and through several discussions with coworkers found that it is somewhat universal in a marriage relationship.
We have christened this phenomenon, “The Husband Voice” and below I have identified the most common symptoms to watch for. The progression of the “husband voice” is as follows:
1.       The woman’s chin will dramatically retreat into her neck while she assumes an unflattering, lumbering posture. This serves as a caricature of her significant other’s Neanderthal-esque physical characteristics.
2.       Her face will then become unnaturally contorted into frown lines to simulate the extreme physiological duress high-level thinking apparently causes her partner.
3.       Once the speaking begins, enunciation is sacrificed for the sake of brevity and lack of recall. In practical terms this means that the man’s part of the conversation sounds eerily similar to the Swedish Chef from The Muppets.
Once this exhibition is completed, the following exchange normally occurs:
Man : “I don’t sound anything like that.”
Woman: “That’s EXACTLY what you sound like.”
Man: “When do I sound like that?”
Woman: “You sound like that all the time.”
Man: “What is that supposed to mean?”
Woman: “See! You just did it again!”   assumes husband voice    “What is that supposed to mean?”

Process repeats until the end of time……..

 The Vanishing Conversation
Many a matrimonially-inclined man has found himself desperately searching for the phantasm known as the vanishing conversation. Its disappearance usually corresponds with an inadvertent double booking on the couple’s social calendar and leads to either one of two conversations:
Scenario A
Man:  “Do you want to catch a movie Saturday night?”
Woman:  “We are going to my Uncle Nelson’s parole hearing & potluck Saturday night. Remember?”
Man:  “When did we plan that?”
Woman: “I told you about it two weeks ago.”
Man:  “I do not remember you ever telling me that; maybe you just though you told me that.”
Woman: “Perhaps if you actually listened when I talked, you would remember things that we discussed.”
Man:  “I swear you did not tell me that.”
Woman:  “It doesn’t matter now; just don’t let me forget to pick up the ingredients for my Felony Fajitas…”

Scenario B
Woman:  “Do you want to eat dinner with Steve and Sue Saturday night?”
Man:  “I already told Randy that we would come see his adult magic show at the Best Western.”
Woman:  “Why would you tell him that without discussing it with me?”
Man:  “I did discuss it with you! Don’t you remember? We had this long conversation about it last Tuesday on our way to Burrito King.”
Woman:  “I remember going to Burrito King, but you never mentioned Randy’s magic show.”
Man:   growing desperate   “I know I did, because you said “What is an adult magic show?” and I said, “I think he just does the show without his pants.”
Woman:  “You must have had this conversation with someone else because you didn’t have it with me.”

You will notice that in scenario A, where it is the husband that is blindsided by a social engagement, the wife immediately suspects the husband’s inattentiveness is to blame for the mix up. This is in direct contrast to scenario B, where the wife is blindsided, in which she immediately suspects that her husband is so removed from reality that he actually fabricates entire conversations. This is what is known as the “vanishing conversation,” and makes it practically impossible for the wife to accept any responsibility in a double-booking.

*The views and opinions expressed in the post are those of the author and don’t necessarily represent even a passing similarity to the views and opinions of the author’s spouse, advertisers, or affiliates.

1 comment:

  1. vanishing converstaion senario sounds more like a passive aggresive person

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