Sh** Guys Say
Things guys say and their underlying meanings
A series of videos titled “Sh** Girls Say” has been making the rounds on the Internet, and I’d like to scoff at them, except for the fact that my husband insists I’m guilty of uttering every single phrase featured in the videos, from “Pass me a blanket!” to “You’re the best!” to “Get these chips away from me!”
Ahem. Although those words may have passed my lips and those of my female friends a time or two thousand, it’s also true that our husbands are just as guilty of employing stock man-phrases. In fact, there are Internet videos titled “Sh** Guys Say” to prove it. The difference is, theirs contain hidden meanings. But I’ve managed to crack their code.
Man-speak: “Honey? Where’s the mustard?”*
Translation: “I am glancing down at my open hands, and I do not see the mustard. This is the only place I’ve looked, despite the fact that the mustard has resided in the refrigerator door for as long as Pat Sajak has helmed Wheel of Fortune. The mustard did not spontaneously leap into my hands the moment I desired it; ergo, it is missing. Perhaps the 2 percent milk could join in the search by putting the mustard’s photo on its carton.”
Man-speak: “I’ll be ready right after I finish (this beer, watching this game, resting my eyes…).”
Translation: “I’m wearing my comfy pants and I don’t want to go to your stinking fancy event. The next time you prod me to get ready, I’ll sigh heavily and walk upstairs to change, moving as slowly as possible. You’ll grow increasingly agitated, and with any luck, a fight will commence. Then I’ll be back on the couch, cuddling with the clicker and watching The Simpsons reruns while you attend the fancy event alone. Who’s the smarter gender now? D’oh!”
Man-speak: “Can you speak up? You’re mumbling.”
Translation: “I can’t possibly be losing my hearing; clearly you’ve suddenly developed the same voice as the adults on Charlie Brown TV specials. Hey, you should really get that checked.”
Man-speak: “Feel my forehead. Is it clammy?”
Translation: “A Code 5 ManCold is imminent. Launch preparedness plan: Run, do not walk, to the store to stock up on ginger ale, saltines and tissues. Fill the car trunk with medicine. Practice saying, ‘You poor thing’ with the correct mix of sympathy for all I’m enduring and admiration for my manly, epic battle to return to good health.”
Man-speak: “I’m not lost! I know exactly where I’m going.”
Translation: “Oh, crap.”
Man-speak: “Of course I was listening!”
Translation: “I’m a little bit scared of you right now, with your big feelings and emotions and wild hand gestures. Oh, dear God, is that a tear forming in your eye? Please don’t let it be a tear. I’m really trying to follow: So Shari said something that made you feel… bad… is that right? Wait, maybe it was Harry? Was he your boss…or that co-worker you…like? Or is it don’t like? I really need to go find some loud power tools and wield them now.”
Man-speak: “If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? ’Cause I’m as free as a bird now, and this bird you cannot cha-a-a-a-nge!”
Translation: “Admire my air guitar playing. Seriously, I’m really good at it! If you want to throw your bra at me, that would be totally understandable.”
Man-speak: “Can you drive so I can just relax in the passenger seat?”
Translation: There is none. No man has ever uttered this sentence in the history of Man-speak.
Sarah Pekkanen’s most recent novel is These Girls (Washington Square Press, 2012). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.