“Don’t you just hate it when you have to spend 10 minutes explaining a 10-second phone call?” fumed Jamal as he slammed down his riding gloves on the table. We all looked at him knowingly as we pushed aside our teh tariks out of a shared sense of commiseration. Despite his strapping six-foot-two frame and Rambo-style demeanour, Jamal was no playboy and was as likely to cheat on his wife as Melaka would receive six inches of snow tomorrow night. Everyone knew this; everyone, of course, except his wife.
Maybe it’s his 200-mile-per-hour Suzuki Hayabusa that’s parked under a nearby tree. Maybe it’s his softer-than-marshmallows heart. Maybe it’s his disarmingly intense smile. Maybe these are the things that are driving his wife to believe (erroneously) in horror scenarios of him copulating with every female in sight if given half a chance.
But maybe it’s not anything to do with him at all.
The rest of us are nothing like Jamal. We all drive beat-up old Protons that do 0-60 kph in about a week, look like Rodney Dangerfield after a horrific traffic accident and are about as suave as baboons at a ballroom dancing competition. Yet every single one of us switch our mobiles to silent-mode (or turn them off altogether) when we go home after work.
And why is this so?
No, it’s not because stray vixens in heat, smitten by our stunning good looks and overwhelmed by our sexual prowess are likely to call us during dinner. Get real, OK? Even if we had sexually-compliant, nubile nymphomaniacs stashed away at a luxury condo somewhere, we’d be smart enough to tell them not to call us at home, right?
No, the real reason we live such sad lives (risk missing calls no matter how important) is because we don’t want to go through what Jamal has had to go through: spend 10 minutes explaining a 10-second phone call. Yes, folks! It doesn’t get sadder than this. But for the sake of domestic peace – and keeping our sanity (what’s left of it) intact – this is what we have to do. Explaining to our bosses (or clients) why we didn’t answer his call is always much easier than explaining the conversation (had we answered the call) to she-who-must-be-obeyed. At least, our bosses (or clients) will have, at the most, maybe five questions!
A fellow blogger, a smooth operator known as Uncle Lee, maintains that women are to be loved, not understood. I subscribe to this whole-heartedly, too. But I’ll let you in on a secret: men need to be UNDERSTOOD. No, we are not so unreasonable as to demand to be understood in our totality. This is too much. All we need women to understand is that we cannot stomach having to face an inquisition for even the most minor of things.
As a friend of mine puts it, we have a tough enough time hunting mouse-deer and fighting sabre-toothed tigers. We have little patience with “Why are you home late today?” and its 25 or so supplementary questions. Maybe we should just bypass the questions and instead go straight to, “No, dear! I am not 30 minutes later than usual because I met this slut on the way home and decided to bonk her silly first. And how was your day, dear?”
My comrade-in-arms, Tommy Yewfigure, is partly right when he says that women ask too many damned questions. The damned questions are only part of it. Worse are the implications behind the questions. Somehow, they are not merely requests for further information, are they? The questions invariably assume that somehow, somewhere and at some time we’ve been up to no bloody good. And if we are sloppy in answering these questions, we’ll be rewarded with yet another barrage of questions (replete with their not-so-nice implications).
In case there’s any doubt, let me explain. We don’t really mind the questions (as long as you limit them to two or three); what really drive us up the walls are the loaded ones. Of course, saying this will not just stop them from asking loaded questions. Instead it will lead them to clam-up altogether and not to talk to us at all.
So, what are we to do? Of course, I suggested to my friends that we just grin, bear it and think of England. It was either that or become gay. To this Jamal quipped, “OK, if we do, the one who draws the shortest straw gets Bangkai!”
Note: This post was partly inspired by my friend Tommy Yew and also partly by fellow-MRSMer Oldstock (whose story appears here)