I received a great e-mail recently titled “Nine Things Women Say.” I went way out on a limb and shared it with my husband.

He read it very carefully and then read it again. He didn’t comment, but a little while later I found him reading it yet again.

I figured he just plain didn’t get it because he has always been a little humor-impaired. I finally asked him what he thought. “Isn’t that funny?” I asked as I tee-heed a little.

As if to confirm my suspicion that his funny bone really is disjointed, he said, “No.” He went on to explain that the “Nine Things Women Say” would be funny if it wasn’t so true and if it hadn’t taken him most of our married life to understand.

“If I had this as a guide a long time ago it would have saved me a lot of trouble and confusion. It’s like being handed a road map after you found your destination the hard way.”

I reread the e-mail and tried to consider it from his perspective, and I can tell you it was a real eye-opener for me.

The top of the list was “Fine” and this is a word I use frequently. I just assumed that Henry understood that when I said “Fine” that it really wasn’t fine at all and meant that I just didn’t want to argue with him any longer. I assumed that he understood that I was right and would come around to my way of thinking. He rarely did, and now I know why. He didn’t understand “Womanspeak.”

Next on the list is “Five Minutes,” meaning when the woman says she’ll be ready or finished whatever in “Five Minutes,” it’s going to be at least a half hour. When a woman tells a man she’ll give him “Five Minutes” to do something she really does mean “Five Minutes.” What’s not to understand about that?

Third on the list is “Nothing,” which according to the e-mail and Henry is the calm before the storm. “Nothing” means something, but the poor man has no idea what that something is. Well, in my opinion, if Henry had been paying attention he would know what the something that brought about the “Nothing” is all about.

“Go Ahead” is next, and I will admit that when I say “Go Ahead” it is a dare and not permission. Henry never understood that and went ahead and did whatever it was I said “Go Ahead” to. This always leads to a lot of “Fine” and number 5 on the list.

Number 5 is “Loud Sigh,” which is nonverbal communication that means “Why do I waste my time?” I am the queen of the “Loud Sigh.”

Number 6 is “That’s OK,” which is similar to “Go Ahead” and means anything but “That’s OK.” The man should just book a guilt trip at this point, but they usually believe that it’s really OK.

“Thanks” means different things at different times. Sometimes when a woman says “Thanks” she really means it. It’s all in the tone of voice. A sweet “Thanks” is a sincere thank you; but an emphatic “thanks” is not. An emphatic “Thanks a lot” or “thank you very much” is just using polite language for a much more vulgar sentiment. Until Henry finally learned Womanspeak, he would actually say “You’re welcome” and then wondered what he did wrong. He doesn’t step on that land mine much anymore.

Number 8 is “Whatever,” and it can be interchanged with “Fine” or “Go Ahead.”

And lastly, at number 9, is “Don’t worry about it; I’ve got it.” Even men who are not versed in Womanspeak should understand that when they hear this they should indeed worry. Something the man was asked to do he didn’t and now she is and he’s going to pay. It couldn’t be any clearer than that for gosh sakes! Henry, however, seemed to think the fact that I did what he was supposed to do let him off the hook. Sooner or later he would find out that the “hook” was going to get him when and where he least expected it.

In fact, I think all of these statements are pretty clear and I don’t understand why it took Henry most of our married life to figure them out. I think that most of the time he really wasn’t listening and still doesn’t and the way I see it, that’s just fine, thank you very much, loud sigh.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.