I’ve never really had a pet, unless you count goldfish, but I'm assuming people who do have pets yell at them every once in a while.
“Listen, Rover,” they say. “I slave and I slave to put food under the table for you and a roof over your head, and how do you repay me? You eat things right off the counter, you smell like a zoo, and you beg me to take you on car trips and then spend the entire time barking into my ear. And I don’t even know WHAT that thing is that you dragged into the house!”
And these people are right. But then they get to talking with their friends, and they realize that, as it turns out, all dogs are like that. That’s how dogs are. You can train them to be different, but that’s their default setting.
Ladies: this is just the way husbands are.
I think that if we all understood this, it would go a long way towards achieving shalom bayit (peace in the home). A few months back, I asked people to write in with any questions they had about why men do the things that they do, which I would then try to answer to the best of my ability, meaning I would make jokes until everyone forgot the questions. My hope was that by explaining that it wasn’t just their husbands that did those things, these women would realize that that’s just how husbands are.
1. Why do men put empty bottles with less than a teaspoon of liquid back into the fridge?
Is that just men? When I was growing up, ALL of the kids in my family did this. The rule was that whoever finished the iced tea had to make more, so when we got to the bottom of the bottle, we made sure there was a tiny bit left, and then we just stopped drinking. We would all just go thirsty, until my mother came along and said, “Why is no one making more tea?” And then she’d do it. At some point she even tried making more than one bottle at a time, but that didn’t really help. By the time she opened the fridge again, there’d be three bottles that, put together, would not fill a shot glass. So no, I don’t think it’s just men.
But I do have a theory, which is that guys really are willing to make more tea, just not this very minute. But we’re afraid that if we leave the bottle out of the fridge, by the time we come back, its space will be taken up by something else, such as that one leftover meatball that our wives want to save, like someone is going to open up the fridge one day and go, “Yum! One meatball! Now I can’t eat dairy for six hours!”
2. Why are men perfectly happy owning just one pair of shoes? And why do they think that the same pair goes with every single outfit?
Okay, first of all, the main reason we don’t care about our shoes is that we can’t see our feet. But besides for that, men buy clothes for functionality. I personally own four pairs of shoes: There’s my Shabbos shoes, my weekday shoes, my sneakers (of which I’ve had the same pair for over ten years now), and a pair of slippers that I bought back when I lived in a dorm and I decided that it wasn’t in my best interests to let my feet touch the floor. I also have a pair of rubber galoshes that go over my shoes, although technically they don’t, because I keep them so far under my bed that I can only ever get to them when I move the bed to clean for Pesach, and by then, galoshes season is over. And then I say, “Hey, that’s right! I have galoshes!”
But my point is that men don’t buy shoes to go with their clothing; they buy shoes to go with the different things that they do, and it turns out they don’t do that many different things. Why should I own a pair of black dress shoes and a pair of navy blue dress shoes if half the time I’m going to end up walking out of the house wearing one of each
3. Why, when I ask my husband what we need from the grocery store, is he not able to think of anything, but as soon as I get home, he comes up with five items that I should have bought?
This isn’t personal. When women go shopping, their husbands honestly don’t think they need anything. Women write out shopping lists of things they need and then they go out and buy those things. A man, left to his own devices, will not go shopping until there is nothing in his fridge except an upside-down bottle of ketchup and something way in the back that he’s not sure what it is, but his wife put it there a long time ago, and she must have had a good reason. Then the man will go to the store and buy everything that looks good, especially if it’s a fast day.
4. Why don’t men ever ask directions?
Who needs directions? Do you think Christopher Columbus asked anyone for directions? Everyone else was like, “The East Indies are that way! That’s why they’re called the EAST Indies!” And he said, “No, we’re going to go west! I know a shortcut!” He could have sailed off the edge of the world; he didn’t care. He wasn’t going to take directions from anyone. Even when he got to America, he said, “Look! Indians!” and the Indians said, “No, we’re Native Americans!” but he said, “No you’re not! You’re Indians!” Sure, he didn’t find what he was looking for, but if he had, he wouldn’t have made it into the history books.
Most men are hoping that the same thing will happen to them. So if you ever find yourself in a car driven by a guy, and you’re thinking that you must be miles away from civilization, that’s just what the guy wants. You’re all worried, but he’s busy looking around for natives.
Got any more questions about men? Post them below. The questions, I mean. Not the men.