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What mum left out…

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When talking about men, our mums are something like used-car salespersons. And with good reason. If they were 100 percent honest about the flabby spare tire, the tendency to accelerate unexpectedly and brake unreliably, or the engine’s habit of overheating at the slightest provocation, they might never get any grandchildren.

So mum left out the occasional salient but crazy-making truth about life with men. No problem, really: Men themselves clue us in soon enough. Who else, after all, would have the audacity to look at us when we’re eight months pregnant and confide that they’re not sure they can handle being in the delivery room? The truth is…

Most men can’t multitask.
Sure, you can do the laundry, bake a cake and make a few phone calls simultaneously. But giving a man instructions to do two or more things at the same time is the equivalent of wearing kryptonite lingerie on a date with Superman. The guy’s just not going to be able to function.

    They don’t remember things the way we do.
    When he does something to piss you off, tell him, “This is just like what you did in the middle of dinner at your great-aunt Marie’s 75th birthday party, and you promised me then that it would never happen again!” He’ll have no idea what you’re talking about — heck, he’s doing well if he remembers that he has a great-aunt Marie — and the more details you dredge up, the more perplexed he’ll become.

    Their priorities are the inverse of ours.
    In Manland, it is utterly unreasonable of you to make such a fuss over the water ring his beer bottle left on the mahogany table that’s been in your family for five generations. A crisis, my friend, is what happens if you change the settings on the stereo’s graphic equaliser.

    Men are a tad colour-blind.
    One friend and I completely freaked out her husband with an extended conversation about the contrast in color between the couch, which was more of a burgundy, and the carpet, which was more of a cranberry. We knew he’d reached his breaking point when he cried out, “For pity’s sake, they’re both just red!”

    They can’t really define the word irrational.
    This is a particularly good trick of theirs. The way the game works is that he whittles away at your patience with some little thing or other. It could be that he went out three times today and each time forgot that he promised to pick up the dry cleaning. It could be that his version of helping you clean the house involves alphabetising the CDs, which somehow got out of order. Eventually, you snap and let loose with a sarcastic or even unkind comment. That’s his cue to adopt a patient if long-suffering tone in which to ask why you have suddenly grown so “irrational.”

    It’s a trap that never fails to snare us, and the only escape is to look him in the eye and say, “This is just like that time three years ago, when...”