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Posts Tagged ‘Male Traits’

I’ve been in sales and marketing for almost my entire career.  For those of you who have ever flitted around this arm of industry, you may have heard a saying…. The Last Three Feet” (A term coined by Edward R Murrow).  The basic gist of this statement, in a sales context, is that a sale isn’t truly made until the customer is in front of the product or until a personal connection and a decision is made.

 

But what you may not realize is that these last three feet are vastly important in other ways.  Because the last three feet is also where the rubber meets the road.

  • It could be the difference between tossing your sock towards the hamper or missing the basket entirely
  • It could be the difference between your current score and the score you need to beat the all-time-champ score on your favorite video game
  • It could be the difference between tripping over a heavy item for days or having hubby lift it into it’s proper place. 

OR 

  • It could be the distance between the sink and the trash can in my kitchen.

 

Perhaps this last one is, in fact, the most important one.  Because it’s these last three feet that perplex me the most.

 

You see, practically every time hubby has a can of soda he carries the empty can to the kitchen and places it gingerly into the sink.  Yes, the sink.  I should also probably mention that it’s not 3 walkable feet to our trash cans……it’s 3 reachable feet.  As in, hubby would need to turn to the side, open a cabinet door and toss – or perhaps even drop – the can into the recycling bin.  It’s 3 feet from top to bottom.  It does not, by any means, require additional work to throw something away.  Unless of course you feel that opening a cabinet is too taxing.  Or you have some sort of physical disability that prevents you from turning left.  And hubby, as far as I can tell,  is in pretty good shape and has no physical ailments.

 

So why, you may ask, does the soda can make it into the sink but not the trash?  I wish I knew. 

 

Even though I’ve been in sales for many, many years, it seems that I just can’t close this deal.  I just keep losing hubby in those ever-so-important last three feet.  So every day, I take the empty can out of the sink and toss it into the trash.  This is one hubby trait  that I think I’ll be dealing with forever.

I’m one lucky gal……………  🙂 

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A typical conversation in my house (you can insert any item you’d like into this conversation)

 

Hubby:  “I looked everywhere, it’s gone”

Me: “You looked everywhere….. hmmm??”

Hubby: “Yes, I just spent the last 10 minutes looking for it, and it’s not there”

Me: “Did you look in the closet?”

Hubby: “Yep”

Me: “Did you look in the cubby in the garage?”

Hubby: “Yes, I even picked up the stuff and checked behind it”

Me: “Are you sure you really looked?”

Hubby: “Yes, it’s gone”

Me: “So, if I were to get up right now and look in the closet, it wouldn’t be there”

Hubby: “No way… “

Me: “So, if I did happen to find it, how much will you give me?”

Hubby: “I’m not giving you anything… it’s not there”

Me: “Ok, $5.00 if I find it”

 

I stop whatever I’m doing, walk upstairs, open the closet, grab the item he cannot find that’s sitting on the shelf staring at me, calling my name, practically jumping into my hands…

I walk downstairs.

I hand him the “missing” item.

 

Me:  “That’ll be $5.00 please”

Hubby: “Where did you find that?”

Me: “In the closet, right where you left it”

Hubby: “Humpf… I looked there”

Me:  “I know honey…”

 

By my calculations, hubby probably owes me about $1835 for locating lost items (but who’s counting?)

 

I have deemed hubby to be the worst “looker-forer” (that’s my own terminology) that I’ve ever met.  However, I’ve come to find that this seems to be yet another widespread male trait. Why is it that men cannot find anything at all around the house? Without fail, he looks forever for something and finally gives up and I find the missing item in probably less than a minute.  And, mind you, these are not items I have put away.. they are his items… tools, clothes, electronics etc. 

 

Our most recent example of this came via a housewide search for a missing cable modem. This was a brand new, $100 item that was actually supposed to be returned.  I should probably also mention that this was an item that hubby purchased, hubby handled and hubby lost.  I never touched or even saw this new modem.  So, hubby decides he’s going to make the trip to Best Buy to make the return only… he can’t find it.   He looks furiously around the house for a L-O-N-G time.  Then, with his head bowed down, he comes to see me in the family room to declare that, not only can he not find it but, he vaguely remembers throwing it away.  I did mention that this was brand new (in the box) right??  So, I say to hubby “well, I don’t know what to tell you about this one.  I had nothing to do with it, and now you’re telling me that you think you threw it out… I cannot magically find this one.. no matter how much money you’re willing to give me!”  Hubby says… “well, I guess that’s $100 down the drain…”

(little does he know that he could have paid me $20 and I would have gladly put it somewhere for safe keeping AND he still would have netted an $80 return)

 

So, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why it’s so difficult for men to keep track of stuff, to put stuff where it belongs and to later find these very same items.  I may never, ever understand this!

 

And….. as for the missing cable modem…. We did indeed find it, in a random bag, in a random closet about 3 days later……  And, it’s still a big mystery about how it could have found it’s way there… hmmmmmmmm….??!!

 

 

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Man Rule:  If it isn’t the biggest…. it can’t be the best  …. Right??

 

My TV post earlier this week got me thinking about this bigger is better theory.  This is one particular Man Rule that creeps up on me sometimes, even when I least expect it. 

 

You see, I don’t feel the need to have the biggest anything.  Small things can still be fantastic and I generally prefer performance & quality over size.  (this post is starting to sound sexual…. It’s not meant to be… although I suppose this could be the first Woman Rule since some of the same principles do indeed apply!)

 

Men always want women to say that size doesn’t matter but in actuality, it matters tremendously…… to THEM! 

 

In a man’s mind, size is a physical display of manliness (get your mind out of the gutter!). It’s a way to illustrate your success, or dominance to the outside world.  Size comparisons also breed competition, which is a cornerstone of the male psyche.mine is bigger

 

Vinnie’s TV was an example of how size gives you bragging rights when you’re a man.  We all know how important competition and bragging rights can be to a fragile male ego…

Some examples of male “competition”:

  • My team is better than your team
  • I can grow a better beard than you can
  • I can eat more hot dogs than you can
  • I’m the Guitar Hero Champion
  • I can toss this wedding ring into that cup more times than you can

 

Most of those examples are performance based competitions BUT

When a man sees that he can “win” the competition by way of a physical object instead of actual effort, well…. you can guess which route he takes!

 

Hubby illustrates this behavior quite regularly. Most recently with Electronics Envy, not long ago with our new fridge purchase (in case you missed the post — hubby insisted we buy biggest/coolest fridge on the block).  And even more recently with our pumpkins.   Yes, I did say pumpkins  (I told you this man rule creeps up on me sometimes!).

 

Every year we take our nephews out to pick & carve pumpkins.  Hubby likes to egg them on when they chose what he considers to be pumpkins that are too “puny” (keep in mind these kids are 4 & 6 yrs old, so” puny” pumpkins to hubby is certainly a decent size for the kids).

 

world-record-pumpkin

Thank God, this one was not available

Anyhow this year, as we’re perusing the pumpkin selection, hubby is drawn to the biggest pumpkin there.   This is a pumpkin that I might refer to as “too big”, but hubby refers to as “perfect”.  He bullies the kids into selecting it.  Ok, maybe bully is too strong a word.  Other choices might be:  Coaxing the kids?  Applying to their young male egos?  Training them early on the “bigger is better” man rule?  Whatever you want to call it, we wind up buying this ridiculously big pumpkin.  He’s so proud of his selection that he actually wants me to “carry it” for a minute to see how heavy it is.  This is his effort at covert bragging… in his head he’s saying…  “see, my pumpkin is bigger & better than yours”.  Needless to say I don’t play along.

 

Pumpkins get loaded into the car and we carve them with the kids at home.  All the while hubby is still training the nephews…. 

 

“See how my pumpkin is bigger than Aunt Shell’s?”

“Whose pumpkin do you like better… mine or Aunt Shell’s?”

“Isn’t the big pumpkin cool?”

“Aren’t you glad we picked out the biggest & best pumpkin?”

 

It’s hardcore little boy training at it’s best.  The kids are initially resistant but they soon seem to realize that the BIGGER pumpkin is obviously the BETTER pumpkin.  Hubby glows with joy & pride.

 

How does this story end?

 

Well, our pumpkins are happily displayed on our stoop…. hubby’s large pumpkin dwarfing my “puny” pumpkin.   It would seem that hubby has indeed won two competitions.  The one against me that I wasn’t really playing in the first place.  And the imaginary one he’s playing against the neighbors now that his HUGE pumpkin is on display for the entire world to see.  He is obviously taunting Vinnie…. who may indeed have the bigger TV, but obviously hubby has the better pumpkin.

 

And… all I can do is shake my head……………

 

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Many people say that bigger is better.

 

As far as men go, I think the best example of this theory can be seen with TVs.  If I had to guess, I’d say that TV Envy is probably a pretty common male trait.   And, as you may have read in my Marriage TruthsA TV is never big enough.

 

Somehow a man is a better man, with a big TV.  It’s some sort of an outward and unspoken sign of; manliness, importance and coolness, all rolled into one.

 

Let me share some examples:

 

During our basement Man Cave renovation, hubby was given a 50”Class TV … but, what the box actually said was… 49.9”.  And, he was “mocked” relentlessly by his friends that he didn’t have a 50” TV.  (gotta love boys being boys!).  We wound up having a problem with this TV and when we replaced it, hubby got a TV that was officially 52 inches.  (phew.…all is right with the world!)

 

Why am I thinking about this now?  Well, I’d like to share a story from this past week.

 

Hubby was outside mowing the lawn.  The end of his “chore season” is upon us.  No more outdoor work  = no more hubby chores?  (Hold on just one sec… there’s no way that’s gonna work.  I guess that’s a post for a different day……) Anyhow, he’s outside and our neighbor pulls into his driveway.  I have to be honest, I’m not sure if hubby went over to chat him up OR he came over to puff out his chest…(the meaning of this will become clear in a moment).  But, either way they wind up talking for a while outside.

 

Hubby comes inside not long after his conversation with our neighbor.

 

Hubby:  “Guess what Vinny got!” childlike enthusiasm

Me:  “What?”

Hubby:  “He just bought a new TV!”

Me: only half listening “That’s nice”

Hubby: “It’s 55 inches!!”  hubby is drooling with envy

Me: “You have a big TV” still not entirely paying attention

Hubby: “Not that big” pouting

Me: “Sorry honey, I can only imagine how hard it is to not have the biggest TV on the block anymore”

Dramatic pause..

Hubby:  “Guess what…”

Me:  “What?

Hubby:  “Well, Vinny couldn’t fit the TV AND his family into the car so he left them at the store”

Me: “ WHAT?” ok… I’m listening now..

Hubby:  “He had Lynn and the kids with him and they couldn’t all fit in the car so, he brought the TV home and left them there” obviously proud of Vinny’s ingenuity

Me: “Wait.. he left Lynn & the kids at the store and brought the TELEVISION home??”

Hubby: “Yep!” as if this was the only decision that makes any sense

Me: “I’m still not sure I get it… the TV came home BEFORE his family?”

Hubby:  smiling “Yep!”

 

Now, before you all start to question the sanity & behavior of Vinny… please understand that I later found out that he didn’t actually leave them at the store.  He took them to a neighboring store to do more shopping while he brought the TV home.  But, in true hubby-storytelling-form I was not getting all the information until I asked about 10 follow-up questions.

 

So,  based on the following behaviors:

  • Vinny’s behavior:  Coming over to ”puff out his chest” and show off his new TV
  • Hubby’s behavior:  Supporting the decision to put the TV above all else

 

The following things appear to be true:

  • Men seem to feel the need to outdo each other at every turn when it comes to electronics. 
  • Electronics seem to always get their attention even when other important things are involved.
  • The tide can turn rather quickly, once another man makes a new purchase.

 

Do I even need to tell you what hubby talked about for the next hour?? 

 

Well, we discussed how we could rearrange our house to accommodate a 70” TV.  Or perhaps this could better be described as hubby discussing rearranging for a new imaginary TV… WITH HIMSELF.

 

(I don’t think he’s realized that he’s not the only one who can employ Selective Listening when it’s necessary!!  🙂 )

 

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I could probably write 10 posts alone on hubby & laundry (and who knows.. maybe I will!)

It’s a topic that, at least in my house, has so many different aspects to it:

  • The wash cycles for: whites, lights, darks, gentles
  • Sorting clothes
  • Folding clothes
  • Dryer vs non dryer
  • Putting clothes away

(I could go on and on…)

Today, I’d like to talk about items that miraculously get laundered but, somehow don’t seem to fit into the category of laundry. Or at least not in hubby’s vocabulary.

In case you are confused (and why wouldn’t you be?), I am referring to linens. And, for the purposes of today.. I’ll even fine tune this more for you. Today, I’d like to specifically talk about towels. Towels that are seemingly laundered by magical fairies at my house!

Hubby admittedly doesn’t really do laundry. It’s sort of one of “my tasks” on our divvy list of household chores. It’s probably better this way, since I actually understand all the subcategories of laundry that I noted above and well, let’s just say, hubby may not even know where our laundry room is. And, since we know “clean is not always clean”, we also must deduce that he perhaps doesn’t understand the definition of dirty??

Anyhow, back to towels.

I think that hubby would use a towel, left on the rack in the bathroom, until it disintegrated into nothing. I have never, ever, as long as I’ve known him, seen him decide on a given day, that a towel is “dirty” and should be laundered. I often even wonder if he realizes that occasionally he’s using fresh, clean towels? This is another unique male trait – the ability to just simply not see the towels as they walk themselves to the laundry room (even though they have to pass through the Man Cave!)

I remember a true story from my college days that perhaps gave me the first glimpse of male mentality when cleaning up towels….

 

pumpkin

The guys who lived across the hall from me had a smashed pumpkin in their shared bathroom.. the details of WHY are probably unimportant. Suffice to say, they were college guys, and pumpkin smashing apparently provides great comedy? Well, no one cleaned up the remnants of this mushy pumpkin. These guys probably never cleaned up this bathroom at all (remember this was college). What they did do was, toss dirty towels on the floor. Fast forward a few weeks.. I hear excitement from across the hall. And, when I take a look, I see that they are gathered around a discarded wash cloth that had found a home in the corner of the bathroom. This washcloth, which was still damp, had sprouted a new fledgling pumpkin from the seeds that were all over the floor. And, I got to see it first hand: Male EXCITEMENT and PRIDE. They were celebrating the magic of using dirty towels to create something special!

Obviously, there’s no way I’d allow a science experiment in my bathroom, but I have to wonder if his Selective Vision applies to towels also? It seems to be the only explanation I can come up with. We know that hubby only sees what he wants to see… but, in the case of dirty towels, does this also mean he has Selective Smell? Whatever the case, I am forever baffled about why his clothes make it to the hamper (usually) but the towels never do. Unless, perhaps, I’m the one who created a monster, by continually making sure they are laundered? If this is the case, I guess I have to live with it. I cannot just leave hubby’s towels there forever…. because in MY bathroom….. clean actually needs to be clean!

Maybe this is yet another male mystery that will continue to remain unsolved. “The Dirty Towel Mystery”.

Do you have an explanation? If so, I’d love to hear it!

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True Story…. My coffee machine at home doesn’t work today!  (before you proceed… if you didn’t read my post yesterday – please do so now  “A Sprinkle of Estrogen”)

 

Either the universe is trying to tell me something…

 

Like maybe I drink too much coffee or…

Maybe I should cut back on caffeine or…

Maybe men & estrogen jokes aren’t funny or…

Maybe I shouldn’t threaten messing with hubby’s masculinity

 

OR

 

Maybe Hubby has sabotaged my Mr. Coffee??

 

Since I’m unemployed, hubby gets up before me. 

Sometimes he leaves me presents (if you need a refresher see HERE). 

Sometime he leaves me notes (call the lawn guy). 

Sometimes he breaks my coffee machine to protect himself.

 

 

Ok, I really have no idea if hubby messed with my coffee machine.. In all likelihood he didn’t even touch it (he doesn’t even drink coffee at home before work). But it is quite curious that it completely doesn’t work today.

 

I wake up, grab the carafe, fill it with water, grab a filter, fill it with coffee… turn it on ….. AND>>>>>> NOTHING! 

 

The little light is on but it’s not making any noise.  It’s as if it’s mocking me.  Laughing that I thought  it would be an accomplice to spiking hubby’s coffee. Taunting me with that little orange glow.  It sits there, stubbornly glaring at me.  I unplug it and plug it back in.  The same mocking light.. shining brightly on me…. Interrogating me – “Did you really think that you’d get away with this?”  I can hear it say to me.  “Aw come on, just make my coffee” I say.  SILENCE!

 

Anyhow, I was too lazy to go out and buy myself a cup of coffee today… so, I’m officially caffeine free.. and it’s 2:00 now.  Yes, I’m cranky. Yes, I want some coffee.  No, I’m still not really awake. 

 

And….. even if Mr. Coffee doesn’t want to play this game with me, Mr Fat Free Milk just might have to step up, after all, I’m trying to conduct a legitimate experiment here! 

 

To Be Continued…………..

 

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I read an interesting article today that attempts to review the “Why” behind a couple of gender based quirks.  It was an interesting read which can be found here: Why Does My Partner.  But, as always, I like to put my own spin on things.  So below, I’ll highlight a few of the male traits they addressed and I’ll relate them to hubby & me.

 

Why he prefers to spend five minutes precariously balancing a banana skin on top of the trash rather than empty it.

 

The Article Suggests:  “Real men test their masculine abilities on an overflowing trash bag.  It’s a challenge to get a thrill out of – a half-empty bag is boring.”

In My House:  If the banana peel actually makes it to the trash can, I’d celebrate!  The true test of his masculine abilities is to see how long he can tune me out as I ask him why certain items don’t make it to the trash at all.

 

Why he can’t find the keys when they’re in front of him. 

 

The Article Suggests: “Researchers aren’t certain as to whether this difference is down to hard-wiring of the brain or learned.  But, women tend to perform better when tested on location memory”

In My House: The reason he can’t find the keys when they’re in front of him, is because I’ve moved them from where he put them to where they are SUPPOSED to be.  And, he’d never in a million years be able to find them hanging on the key holder.

 

Why the way a gift is presented is nearly as important to her as what’s inside it.

Lord help the man who wraps his wife’s expensive gift in brown parcel paper 

 

The Article Suggests: “Because it’s not just about the present; it’s about the communication. And, .. women often try to read a guy’s emotions from his actions”

At My House: A true gift wouldn’t actually need to be wrapped at all.  It could come in the form of a clean bathroom, some folded laundry and a cooked dinner!

 

Why he can recall an obscure ’70s band but can’t remember your anniversary.

 

The Article Suggests: “Emotional memories such as anniversary dates are triggered by estrogen, whereas the ability to recall facts utilizes testosterone,”

At My House: I’ll be testing this theory tomorrow with a sprinkle of estrogen in his coffee… I’ll have to keep you posted!

 

Well, there you have it.  You just got a glimpse into our household… pretty scary huh?!! 

And, even after all that….I’ll admit, I still don’t really understand the “Why”.

Do you?

 

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