How to answer when your girlfriend enters the room and says, “What exactly do you think you’re doing?”

Of course this is humor, not meant as advice. Following any of this literally would probably be dangerous to both your relationships and your health… 😉 Trust me when I say ‘RUN Forest RUN” will be happening if you take this seriously

IT IS SATURDAY, a crisp afternoon, and you’re exactly where you should be: stretched out on the couch in front of the television, just about to watch the NFL Championship. Opening beer number two, relaxed in the knowledge that the pizza you ordered is even now on its way. Nothing could improve this moment, except maybe a bigger television. Suddenly your girlfriend/wife  enters the room and says, “What exactly do you think you’re doing?”

Is this a trick question or what?

Yes, it is. The trick is that no matter how you answer it, you will immediately find yourself driving down to your nearest home improvement center, where you will spend the rest of the afternoon trying to decide the type of curtain rod that’s right for you.

How does this work?

It has as much to do with the nature of the question itself as with anything else. Women are expert at posing questions that seem to have no right answer. Here’s a common example.

Do I look fat?

There is no answer to this question that won’t be interpreted “yes.” “No” means yes. “Yes” means yes. “I don’t know” means yes. “It doesn’t matter” means yes. The briefest hint of a pause before speaking means yes, yes, yes. Most of us would rather go to the dentist than field this one, yet it may well come up several times a week. Your only real choice is to say “no,” clearly and immediately, leaving no possibility for any subtext, and making it sound like a widely acknowledged fact and not simply your opinion. This doesn’t work, but all the other options are worse.

There are several other questions for which “no” is the only answer, and several more that call for an emphatic and unqualified yes. In all of these cases, elaboration, justification or any attempt to be funny is unlikely to pay off.

Consult this handy chart:
JUST SAY NO

Is there someone else?
Do you still fantasize about her?
Are you tired of me?

JUST SAY YES

Do you still love me?
Do you ever fantasize about me?
Do you like my hair this way?

Unfortunately, many female inquiries require more than a simple yes or no response. Some of them are more like riddles. Such as this one:

Which shoes look better?

Typically you’re already late for dinner when your girlfriend confronts you, with one pair of shoes on and another alongside them. This is no ordinary choice. It’s a devious chicken/egg puzzler, the sort of choice that would lead even Hobson to say to Mrs. Hobson, “Whichever, you old trout!” If you pick the shoes she already has on, she’ll think you’re trying to hurry her. If you pick the other pair, she’ll think it’s because you know you can’t pick the ones she has on. Some men try a nonlinear approach and opt for a third, unoffered pair of shoes, but this is inevitably taken as either an attack on her judgment or an opportunity for her to attack yours. On no account suggest another dress. You might as well say, “You’re fat.”

This raises the question of why she’s asking you at all. She knows you don’t know which shoes look better, and she knows you don’t care, so why is she trying to elicit your opinion? This is part of an ongoing campaign to domesticate you. As part of the same campaign, she will occasionally consult you about alternative table settings or new towels. In these two cases a disdainful and dismissive “beats me” should do the trick, but don’t try that with the shoe dilemma, or you’ll miss your reservation. Instead, suggest that she try on the other shoes, then tell her the first ones look better. This lets you more or less off the hook, as long as you don’t raise a fuss when she decides that the second pair are better after all.

Where do you see this relationship going?

This could be described as an essay question, since you’re obviously not going to get away with snappy little answers such as “forward” or “upstairs” or “I dunno.” Another problem is that you and your girlfriend are operating at cross purposes here. She wants a heartfelt expression of your feelings and an honest assessment of your future together, and you want an easier question. There is certainly no point in answering a toe-curling query like this one without at least a rough idea of precisely what it is she wants to hear. Questions such as this one are a category unto themselves, i.e., Questions that should be answered with another question. See how easily some of the more difficult leading inquiries can be parried through the simple deployment of reflexive interrogation.

Her: Where do you see this relationship going?
You: Where do *you* see this relationship going?

Her: Do you think she’s attractive?
You: Who?

Her: Will you marry me?
You: Where am I?

Her: What if I were pregnant?
You: Are you pregnant?
Her: Why? Do I look fat?

Whoops! We’re in a bit of trouble here. You should have seen that coming. Try a more surreal approach:

Her: What if I were pregnant?
You: What if *we* were pregnant? …. (Cool, huh?)

Some all-purpose question-answers include: How much is a lot? Why do you ask? Should I be? What are you saying? Does it matter? What’s love got to do with it? Are you talking to me? (Note: Are you having your period? is not one of these.)

Let’s try a math question. How many people have you slept with? Hmmmmm….Now, you can tell her the truth, unless the truth is more than 12, or you can have a guess at the number she’s more or less expecting. Like most arithmetic problems, the answer is a lot easier once you have a formula. This one should work as long as neither of you has sex for a living.

Number of people she’s slept with
+ Number of people she knows you’ve slept with
+ Number of people you actually have slept with.

Add these up and divide by 2. If you round up to the nearest whole person, you should end up with a realistically healthy but not particularly shocking number. If the result is greater than 12, then _say_ 12.

Why don’t you lighten up?

This rhetorical gem is used whenever you express your disapproval of shoplifting or speeding, or whenever you go to a nightclub and spend the whole time dancing to some unbelievable crap you’ve never heard and _then_ go out and _buy_ it! There is no good answer to this question. You could draw attention to her inconsistency in this matter, noting that she doesn’t like it when you act like a kid or when you act like your _dad_ (God forbid); then again, if you do that, she’s liable to see your point and break up with you. Speaking of breaking up, how about this one?

Are you saying you want to end it?

Women, like lawyers, rarely ask a direct question, unless they already know what the answer will be. As for women lawyers, I don’t know what they do, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know. The point is, when a woman asks you this question, she knows you’re going to say no. Even if you want to say yes, you’ll say no. You can’t turn the question back on her, because you have no idea what her answer is going to be. If you are trying to break up with her, you’ll have to say no and start the whole painful process again. If you aren’t trying to break up with her, then it’s best to change the subject. Let’s try something easier.

Notice anything different about me?

Well, slightly easier. This question is of a piece with two others: “Have you forgotten what today is?” and “Have you been listening to a word I’ve said?” Apart from being questions that are easier to answer wrong than right, they’re the kinds of things women say in sitcoms. They are best treated in an ironic postmodern context, i.e., just say what Ward Cleaver would say.

Her: Notice anything different about me?
You: New apron? … (Ouch!)

Her: Have you forgotten what today is?
You: Of course not. It’s Thursday.

Her: Have you been listening to a word I’ve said?
You: That’s nice, dear…

Funny, huh? Well, it’s not your fault if she doesn’t get it. If she wants a better answer, she’s going to have to start asking better questions. Questions such as:

Have you taken a look at yourself lately? This question and its cousin, the almost always uncalled for “Who do you think you are?” are ways of gently reminding you how much of a factor pity was in her original decision to go out with you, and how that decision could be rescinded if you behave in any way that cannot be described as abject. You probably brought this rebuke on yourself by mentioning that you reckon Brad Pitt is getting a little chubby or by speculating that Jack Nicholson doesn’t have to wait until his birthday for  sex. You’re not really supposed to answer either of these questions. You’re just supposed to apologize for your wanton self-esteem-having. Instead of apologizing, just smile. Your manifold inadequacies as a boyfriend – nay, as a man – are a kind of revenge all by themselves. Next!

Do you believe in fidelity?

Like most philosophical questions that seem to pop up out of the blue, this question doesn’t pop up out of the blue. This general query about fidelity is in fact a coded inquiry about the extent of your fidelity on a specific occasion or occasions. Your response will also have to be coded. Consult this translation chart before giving your answer:

YOU SAY – Yes
YOU MEAN – How much does she know?
SHE THINKS – He’s hiding something.

YOU SAY – It depends
YOU MEAN – How much does she know?
SHE THINKS – I knew it!

YOU SAY – Why do you ask
YOU MEAN – How much does she know?
SHE THINKS – Bastard!

YOU SAY – I dunno. Do you?
YOU MEAN – How much does she know?
SHE THINKS – How much does he know?

There are several more variations, but they’re not worth going into. By the time she asks you this question, you’re already in deep trouble. It doesn’t really matter what you say, as long as you don’t blush when you answer.

Let’s look at an example that calls for more straightforward lying.

What are you looking at?

She means, “You were looking at that girl, weren’t you?” And you thought you’d perfected that trick of keeping your neck still and just letting your eyes swivel. Obviously, the truth is not the best answer here. We all know that the truth can set you free, sometimes before you’ve found somewhere else to stay. It may seem easy enough to answer this question with a cunning lie, but when men are caught offguard, their ability to deceive is impaired.

Here are a few of the more common mistakes men make when asked, “What are you looking at?”

Too specific: The rust around the bolts on the handle on the flap of that mailbox on the northwest corner.”
Not specific enough: “That thing.”
Too good to be true: “A diamond necklace in that window back there that would be perfect on you.”
Too true to be good: “A see through nightie in that window back there that would be perfect on you.”
Too obvious: “Nothing.”
Way too obvious: “That blonde babe over there with the big…I mean nothing.”

Here’s one that requires a little interpretation.

What are we going to do now?

This one often crops up whenever some kind of emergency or seemingly unsolvable problem arises. The part that requires interpretation is the mysterious “we” in the middle. This means two things: In one sense, “we” clearly means “you,” as in, “What are you going to do now,” but there is also a sense of “we’re in this together,” implying that you bear equal responsibility for the fact that she’s just dropped her keys down a grate, or that she stores her jack and spare tire in her garage so they won’t get stolen.

In such situations you’ll probably find that the only answer to “What are we going to do now?” that you can think of is “We are going to break up. Goodbye.” Most likely you’ll decide not to say anything. After which she will probably let loose with the rather ill-advised:

Why don’t you say something?

Whether you answer this one is up to you. There is only one question that you should never, ever answer. Keep silent, cower behind your Fifth Amendment rights, pretend you didn’t hear, run away, whatever, but don’t say anything when she asks:

Should I get all of my hair cut off?

If you say anything, then when she does get all her hair cut off (and let’s face it, she’s already made up her mind) and she hates it (and she will hate it), it will be your fault. Even if you say absolutely nothing, the best you can hope for is that she will come home with all her hair cut off, stare you straight in the eye and say:

Does it make me look fat!!?

…..You’re on your own…..

America is the greatest nation on earth – In your FACE, Donald Trump

 

America is #1 - hey hey signOn July 4th 2016, we will once again celebrate our independence from the tyranny of England. Those British monarchs can be so oppressive. If it were up to Queen Elizabeth, we’d all be forced to drink Earl Grey tea with every meal.

Every year at this time, Americans proudly mark our independence with fireworks, burgers on the grill and binge drinking. And why shouldn’t we? Ours is the greatest nation in the solar system. I’m a patriotic American – something my wife will never understand because, sadly, she’s Canadian.

When it comes to being great, no country on earth is better than the U.S. of A. We’re NUMBER ONE! Look at the Olympics – God almost always backs the Americans – except in soccer – because he knows that Americans love God more than any other country.  Every time a U.S. athlete wins, the first thing he does is give thanks to God.  The Czech Republic (ranked the least religious nation on earth) never thanks God. And do you remember the last time they won a gold medal? Me neither. Because they hate God.

Oh sure, I’ve read a few misleading statistics about how the USA ranks 12th in college graduates, 27th in life expectancy, 37th in healthcare, 47th in press freedom and 53rd in ability to locate Mexico on a map. (I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere west of France.) But most of those statistics came from CNN’s World Desk Editor Fareed Zakaria. And that sure doesn’t sound like an American name to me. He probably has an axe to grind about his visa status.

I don’t care what statistics you want to throw in my face. It doesn’t change the fact that the USA is #1 in the world. Finland may rank first in education. And technically speaking, the Netherlands’ first place ranking in broadband access just nudges out our 23rd place finish. But in many other categories, the USA is Numero Uno. For example, America ranks …

  • 1st in guns per capita
  • 1st in cocaine seizures
  • 1st in obesity
  • 1st in percentage of the population that’s incarcerated
  • 2nd in carbon emissions – but we’re coming after you, China! So watch your back!

America ranks #1 - Gun ownershipAmerica is the birthplace of technological innovation. Think of some of the greatest inventions of the 1800s: the battery, gas lighting, the steam-powered locomotive, the electromagnet, aspirin, and the hot air balloon. Um, okay, I was just informed that none of these were invented by Americans. I guess I picked the wrong century to make my point. Should have gone with the 15th.

But America is the birthplace of incredible innovations that have changed the way we live. For starters, there’s cheese crust pizza, microwave popcorn, pop tarts, and Groupon. In 1958, an American invented the hula hoop – still used some 50 years later by nine-year old girls and 40-year old men who have not had a date in over a decade.

In 1960, America brought the world the Etch A Sketch, which eventually led to the invention of the world’s first computer in World War II. Um, I have just been informed that the Etch A Sketch was actually invented by a Frenchman named André Cassagnes. Okay, that may be, but it was later manufactured in Byran, Ohio, which I’m reasonably certain is in the USA.

It does not change my point, however, which is that America is God’s gift to the world.  Our forefathers who invented America (our five fathers if you include Alexander Hamilton) would be beaming with pride about how the USA has kicked England’s butt since we said, “Adios, amigos!” back in 1776. Could they possibly have foreseen a golden age of television featuring shows like Duck Dynasty and Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Probably not. I think Jefferson and Adams were probably more likely Dukes of Hazzard guys. Let’s face it. Which would you rather watch – an American TV show like NCIS or that hit Russian show Exciting Dessert Recipes with Cabbage?

If you’re still not convinced that America is better than any other country, let’s just compare sports viewing options. In America, we get to watch NASCAR, college football and Wipeout. In Switzerland, your only legal option is badminton. Or you could move to Canada, where they feature 24/7 coverage of middle-aged men sweeping ice with brooms. Or perhaps you’d enjoy living in Scotland, where all they do all summer long is play golf by day and hang out in pubs by night, playing darts and getting rip-roaring drunk. Okay, I’ll admit, Scotland is starting to sound pretty good to me, too.  On second thought,  I have traveled to all those place….rather be here .

America is #1 - submarineBut no nation beats America for national parks. Where else in the world can you go and stare at a giant slab of rock with likenesses of Washington, Roosevelt, Jefferson and Lincoln carved into it? You’ll never see those faces on any mountain in Spain, that’s for sure. We have more national parks than any other country. And I plan to visit one of them someday, just as soon as I’m done playing World of Warcraft against some dude in Scranton named Roger whom I’ve never met.

America is also the most diverse nation on earth. Most people living in Norway were born and raised in Norway. Most people living in Afghanistan were born and raised in – and trying to escape from –  Afghanistan. But the USA is a melting pot. It does not matter what your skin color is or what your religious beliefs or your ethnic origin are. We can all come together, united in a common belief – that the mess we’re in is the government’s fault.

So  pull up that Adirondack chair you bought at Ikea (a Swedish manufacturer), light up your BBQ grill (made in Taiwan), enjoy some Mexican nachos with salsa, grab a six-pack of your favorite Irish Guinness beer, and set off your Chinese-made fireworks. Take pride in the fact that you live in the greatest nation on earth – not to mention one of the happiest (#19th to be exact, just 18 spots behind Paraguay).

God bless America.