Living in a house full of men, I spend the majority of my time being worshiped and adored completely ignored. It’s not that I’m not loved. The fact that my children can’t bear to be apart from me for the 2 minutes it takes me to pee, proves that. Their desperate need to share their thoughts and feelings the moment I get on the phone with a friend clearly demonstrates their utter adoration. And let’s not forget the tokens of their affection they leave scattered around the house so I couldn’t possibly miss them while they’re away at school- socks, water bottles and globs of toothpaste in the bathroom sink.
You would think that with all these grand gestures, I’d be feeling the love 24/7 ’round these parts. Unfortunately, toothpaste and interruptions aside, I feel a little unloved and, well, invisible because no one does what I ask.
Initially, I concluded that the lack of response to most of what I say was due to one of the following reasons:
1. Everyone in my house must be deaf.
2. I only think I am speaking, yet I am in fact mute.
3. Being in possession of a penis somehow interferes with the ability to hear
A quick trip to the pediatrician several years ago ruled out #1. I know #2 can’t be right because all my girlfriends hear me just fine when we meet up for Happy Hour. And let’s not forget the fact that they think most of what I say is brilliant and wise- clearly a sign of good hearing and listening (and half price margaritas.) And although I’m not 100% convinced there isn’t some sort of penis-hearing correlation that science has yet to discover, my own “unofficial” experiment proved that even with a penis, a person can still listen if the information is presented in just the right way.
After years of in depth research into the male mind basically talking to myself I think I have finally solved this mystery! What we are experiencing here is not a failure to hear or even a failure to listen. We are experiencing a failure to UNDERSTAND the words I am saying. It’s not a physiology thing, it’s a vocabulary thing. You see, the people in my house (mainly my children) obviously have a different interpretation of the things I’m saying. They hear, they just misunderstand.
Luckily, I am a total word genius. Of course you knew this already, right? So I think I can clear up all this miscommunication going on and end a decade of chirping crickets whenever I speak.
11 Words or Phrases the Boys in My House Misunderstand
What it means: thanks, thankfulness, graciousness, appreciation
What it does NOT mean: Thanks, thankfulness, graciousness and appreciation ONLY when YOU get what YOU want.
What it means: The act or practice of obeying, doing what you are told
What it does NOT mean: The act or practice of obeying, doing what you are told WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT.
3. Sleeping in
What it means: to be dormant, quiescent, or inactive
What it does NOT mean: Sleeping 3 minutes later than usual
What it means: free from foreign or extraneous matter
What it does NOT mean: I’m tired of picking up my room so I think I’ll stop now and tell Mom it’s done.
What it means: completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action
What it does NOT mean: Still needing to grab your hat and/or jacket and tie your shoes when it is time to leave for school
What it means: providing fun, causing amusement
What it does NOT mean: Tormenting your sibling until he finally cracks and punches you in the face
What it means: having a need for food
What it does NOT mean: Boredom, your tummy made a tiny sound so you must fill it, it’s been 3 hours so you might as well eat
What it means: to weary by dullness, tedious repetition
What it does NOT mean: Too lazy to come up with something to do to entertain yourself
What it means: to move, proceed or act with haste
What it does NOT mean: to continue on at the same pace with no sense of urgency whatsoever
10. Move, please
What it means: to politely ask someone to move from one place to another
What it does NOT mean: to politely ask someone to move from one place to the exact place your mother is trying to push the cart or maneuver the vacuum!
What it means: feeling regret, sympathy or pity
What it does NOT mean: automatic absolution from any wrongdoing and avoidance of a consequence
So you see, my children are not suffering from some undiagnosed hearing problem and their genitalia is not preventing words from entering their ear or hindering the brain’s ability to process said words. What we have here is a simple failure to understand the words Mom is saying. Thank God I figured this out!
I can safely assume that there will no longer be tiny heads in my face, waking me up from a dead sleep and giving me a heart attack at 7:03 on Saturday morning. Tomorrow, when we are HURRYING out the door with the speed and agility of a cheetah, everyone will actually be READY, really ready. Hat, shoes, jacket and backpack in place. And the next time we are in Target or the grocery store no toes will be crushed beneath the wheel of the cart because when Mom kindly says, “Move, please” my little darling will actually move OUT OF THE WAY, not simply in front of the cart. Most importantly, though, all these things will be done immediately, with only one request from Mom to her obedient children. Right? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
I’m still not 100% sure that a penis doesn’t interfere with the ability to hear.
That’s just my normal.