Relationships can be tough. This week I was exasperated with my wife, Penny, and said, “I was a fool when I married you.” She said, “Yes, dear, but I was too in love to notice.”
I think sometimes that if Penny really loved me she would have married someone else. We’ve had our share of conflicts. We made a commitment when we were married that we would never go to bed angry, so we stayed up all night every night the first three months of our marriage.
Most of our conflicts involve communication. Unfortunately, the early part of my life was spent as a boy. Boys grow up fidgeting instead of talking. They are activity oriented. We grew up playing King of the Hill and Capture the Flag. We put on a helmet and knocked someone down. Men think a relationship is going great when they don’t have to talk.
Men like a no-huddle offense — all action. Women think a relationship is going great when the men in their lives have time to talk. Every night they seem to enjoy the huddle. Let’s be honest. Most women talk about general things. Women can just sit and talk. That’s very difficult for a man to do. He talks best when he’s spraying WD-40 or hammering. Men talk better when they fidget. Guys just have to fidget.
Guys never really grow up. Even when they grow up on the outside, they still play games like softball. That’s a legitimate fidget for older, graying guys. They just can’t seem to stop. Even when they hurt and ache and have to see the fidget doctors, the chiropractors, and the orthopedic surgeons, they can’t keep from fidgeting.
I was talking to a friend of mine. He had just bought a brand new Buick. It was loaded and had a remote control that opened everything. It turned on the lights, locked and unlocked the doors, opened the trunk, and turned on the alarm. It did everything with just the push of a button. He and his wife decided to take a trip in their new car, and she had all of her hanging clothes neatly laid in the trunk so they wouldn’t wrinkle. They stopped to get gas, and, with a full tank of gas, they got a free car wash. While in the car wash, my friend was killing time and decided to look at his remote. Men are men, and they like toys and gadgets and stuff, so he started to fidget with his new remote. He hit the wrong button, and his trunk opened. Water and soap filled the trunk and washed his wife’s clothes along with the car. Two hundred miles down the road, he finally got up enough courage to say something. He said, “Honey, do you see the humor in this yet?” She said, “No.”
Women don’t understand fidgeting like men do. Women understand talking, and men don’t. Penny and I are working on a solution to this problem. She didn’t want to divorce me just because I was a man, and we are committed to growing old and breaking our hips together.
I think we have found the answer to our problem. I love to play golf. God must have invented the game for men. I can fidget with a big stick — lots of them, in fact — and I can hit something really hard. What a game! People ask me why I play golf. One reason is that it is cheaper than Prozac. Another reason is that I can fidget. The golf swing lasts only about two seconds, so even if I hit the ball 100 times I’ve played golf for only 200 seconds. But it takes about four hours to play a round of golf. So what am I doing the other 14,200 seconds? I am riding around in a golf cart, drinking Diet Coke, and talking. That’s how men talk. We fidget, talk, fidget, talk, fidget, talk, fidget and talk. Men can’t just sit and talk. We have to have a little fidget while we talk. Penny has now taken up golf. One reason is so that she can talk to me. It’s great. We fidget, talk, fidget, talk, fidget and talk.
Now that we have solved our communication problem, we have another problem: competition. Men like to win. I think Penny understands that. Yesterday she made a putt that beat me on a hole, and the minute it went in she said, “Oops!”