Thursday, May 2, 2013

What is He Thinking?

I was thinking of starting an weekly column for single women called, "Advice from the Other Side: Insights from a Married Lady for the Single Gal." 

But then I realized that the revelations from my five years of married life can actually be summed up with accuracy in one single phrase:

Don't waste a lot of time wondering what he's thinking.

Having spent a good twenty-four years of my life (from ages 12-36) single and interested in boys, it would be difficult to quantify exactly how many hours of my life I devoted to obsessing over this question. 

It is only now that realize how epically misguided that was.

There were the nights spent in middle school wondering if Sean Harding was calling because he wanted the answers to my algebra test or whether he REALLY wanted to ask me to go see Ghostbusters!

And there were the days in college hashing out with roommates the inner workings of the mind of the guy who said that thing about the Spin Doctors show coming up over the weekend! 

Then came technology and there were IMs to be analyzed, emails to be deconstructed and the all-consuming horror of the question, "What did he mean by that text?"

Having lived with my husband now for half a decade I am coming to the realization that the inner life of the male species is perhaps not quite as rich a tapestry as I had come in my earlier years to imagine.

When we were first together I would fall into despair whenever my husband was distant or sullen. I would fill in multi-part explanations as to what could be amiss.

Perhaps he was still worried and disturbed that I'd told him I'd gone a bit over our agreed budget when I made those travel arrangements?

Goodness, I hope he's not mad that I left him to handle the baby all morning when I went out for breakfast with my friend.

Oh no, should I have not said that thing about his needing a haircut? I really didn't mean anything by it...

At some point in the day, as I considered the dozenth possible scenario that might lie at the root of the problem, I would look up to catch my husband gazing longingly towards the kitchen. I'd finally screw up the nerve to ask him what was wrong and he'd somberly intone,

"I really wish there were some more of those brownies left from yesterday...."

And I mean, this happened like EVERY TIME.

We'd snuggle on the couch and I'd sit wondering where our lives might take us, whether or not we were on the right career paths, and what the years ahead would bring for the small children playing at our feet.

I'd turn to my beloved, smile up at him and inquire,

"What are you thinking about?"

A thoughtful look would play across his face, he'd gaze out towards our kiddos, and respond,

"Isn't it weird that Aquaman's superpower is the ability to summon fish? Like, how many times does that really come in handy?"

And, I don't know, maybe it doesn't apply to all the dudes in the world, but as I spend more and more time with David I have just come to believe that a lot of the motives I ascribed to the men in my life and much of the "secret meanings" I thought lay in our interactions were, in fact, total projections.

The simple reality is that my husband, like a lot of his fellow males, is not a ponderer. 

David doesn't spend a whole lot of time analyzing situations, and he is truly mystified by my desire to talk over and over about things that can't be resolved through conversation. What he says is almost always fairly closely aligned with what he means and he doesn't really spend a lot of time turning stuff over in his mind.

Which means there's a lot of comfort to knowing that I don't have to worry about what he's thinking.

As long as I keep him in a steady supply of baked goods...