My husband often teases me about being a man-hater. I tell him that is not true. I don’t HATE men, I simply tell the truth about men. I simply speak out-loud those things that all wives think, but they are too well-mannered to say. But, as well-mannered as my friends are, they still giggle loudly and give hearty amens whenever I pass on my vocal observations about men.
Most men can’t find anything in cupboards. It is a given fact. They admit their guilt by simultaneously reaching for a cupboard and shouting, “Honey, where’s the ___________?”
When a bachelor, my brother laughingly dubbed this syndrome Married Eyes. Ten years ago he gave away his name and his eyesight.
My peanut butter has been in the same place for five years, and Scott still can’t find it. If the label is turned a 1/4 of an inch to the left, or it didn’t jump out and say “Here I am” it is lost. Just lost. I have to give him directions to find things like I would a kid.
The following scenario happened when he needed a towel.
“Go to the linen closet in the hallway. Yes, that’s the one. It is in the hallway, it has doors. Good, good job. OK, not put your hand on the right doorknob. No, your other right. Open the door. Good job! You are listening so well. Now, count down two shelves. That would be 1 – 2. Good. Reach out and touch it. The extra towels should be right in front of you? You can’t find them? Did you open the right doorknob? Did you count down two? Are you sure? OK, here I come. Look, right doorknob, down two shelves, they are right there. Oh, you couldn’t find them, huh?”
Anything he needs in the morning, Q-tips, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, comb, has to be in open view so I can have a little peace in the direction-giving department in the morning. After 20 years of marriage, I branched out boldly and gave him his own drawer. If it is not on the counter, it is in the drawer.
But, behind all other doors, in the kitchen, in hutches, in closets, it all is a mystery. It is like a game show, where he has to guess what is behind each door and he will win a prize if he can properly find it. The prize – not annoying me.
Cupboards are a mystery, but the north woods of Minnesota where he grew up are familiar. He can find the spot where he shot his first deer, and every deer after that, where he saw bears, a pack of wolves, badgers, beavers, grouse, otters, a weasel and a bobcat. Any instance that stands out in his mind for ANY reason he has mentally marked and can retrace his steps with a blow-by-blow account that would put Howard Cosell to shame. He recognizes specific branches, rocks, clumpings of trees, bogs and anything else that lives in the woods and hasn’t moved too far over time.
He can find anybody’s house, using vague directions, by driving around until he recognizes their car. Amazing! He can always find his car in a parking lot guided by the cars he noticed around his own. The details stand out like a pillar of fire, guiding him in the right direction. All cars look the same to me. I know the differences between colors and I can tell the difference between a car, a pickup, a minivan and a full-sized van. Other than the obvious, like a Volkswagen camper-bus or a dump truck, they all blur together in this glob of metal structures with four wheels. I marvel at his ability to memorize so many unimportant details, like every vehicle that has ever been made.
One morning I had a stroke of genius. I could affix little Hot Wheels to mark all the cupboards for my closed-cupboard-doors-challenged-husband. That way I could say, “The peanut butter is behind the red Chevelle” or “The glasses are parked behind the green Chevy pickup.”
As I imagined this joyful scenario, my husband cheerfully following directions and easily finding his way around the mystical maze of closed cupboards doors, I had a rude awakening. That meant I would have to memorize all the makes of models of the many little vehicular units attached to the doors. I wouldn’t be able to say, “You know, that little car, with two doors, four wheels, and it is red,” in case I had two red vehicles. Or, if I called a Toyota a Honda, he would be again as lost, looking for a make and model that weren’t matching up.
I reluctantly had to set aside my fantasy and accept the reality that as long as there were doors on my cupboards, he was going to need help.
But, then again, maybe painting a wilderness scene on each door might work………