I have here an email written by John, from Marietta, Georgia. He writes:
“Sean, I lost my car keys and I’m late for work, I can’t find them and I’ve looked everywhere. I don’t really want to call my wife because she always knows where my keys are.”
John, this is by far the strangest letter I have ever received. But you were right to contact me. The best help I can give is this: Whatever you do, don’t call your wife.
Because if you do, she will find your keys, and she will win. And if your wife wins, she will hold it over your head for the next two million years.
And if you’re like me, this subject will be brought up when you least expect it, like when my wife introduces me at parties (“This is my husband, who couldn’t find his own keys if they were lodged in his throat.”).
Sometimes you will be in the middle of a disagreement with your wife and the subject will pop up. You’ll probably be arguing the same way all married men argue, humbly pointing out the many sacrifices you make for the family. While you are speaking, she will interrupt to remind you about the time you lost your car keys, whereupon (poof!) you will be instantly neutered.
So how can you find your keys without the help of a qualified female? This is a tough one. Because women know everything. They can also smell aromas that average humans can’t smell.
I base this statement on the fact that many times I’ve been trapped in confined spaces with myself and have failed to smell odors coming from my sweat glands, scents my wife claims can be detected from as far away as Quebec.
My wife has a nose like a pregnant bloodhound. She is always saying, “What is that SMELL?” Then her nose starts sniffing around, trying to locate the source. Most times her nose lands on my shirt. Then, she’ll gag and say, “OH MY GOD! IT’S YOU!” So I’ll remind her how much I sacrifice for our family again. Round and round it goes.
I think the reason women can find missing things is because they have what neuroscientists refer to as Total Recall. This means that your wife remembers every insignificant thing that has ever happened in history since the Birth of Christ.
Wives don’t forget anything. Even when wives pretend that they have forgotten, they are lying. (“Why no, Glenda, I can’t remember if my husband is allergic to shellfish anymore. I guess a little shrimp gumbo won’t kill him.”)
Last week, I was on my way to the grocery store. Right before I exited the door, my wife said, “Don’t forget the red quinoa, you forgot the red quinoa last time.”
Forgot the red quinoa? First of all, I don’t even know what red quinoa is, let alone how to spell it. Yet somehow my wife remembers a time, possibly after the Civil War, when I forgot to buy this.
So I told my wife that I didn’t remember forgetting any red quinoa.
She answered, “Well, I’m not surprised YOU don’t remember, you couldn’t find your own car keys if they were shoved up your earhole.”
Are you following me here, John?
I don’t know about you, but when I go to the grocery store, I scrutinize my grocery list because I know that, as a man, I am going to forget something. This is just a fact of manhood. No male has ever gone to the store and managed to get everything on his list.
I don’t know how this phenomenon works. It’s a scientific marvel that can’t be explained. Your wife could send you to Winn-Dixie with an ultra-short list that reads:
2. More salt.
But when you get home, your wife will say, “You forgot the salt!”
Or sometimes she’ll mention something that wasn’t even on the list, such as dish soap. And you’ll be thinking, “AHA! I have her now! Her list never said dish soap!”
Then you’ll reach into your pocket for Exhibit A. But as soon as the list from your pocket is exposed to fresh oxygen, something miraculous will happen. Forty-two new items will materialize upon the list, written in your wife’s handwriting. Items including “Scotch tape,” “dish soap,” and “fat-free organic BPA-free free-range cottage cheese.”
You will then have to go back to the store and eat a big slice of BPA-free humble pie. In the checkout lane, you’ll end up with the same cashier as last time. She will be very amused by you when she scans your items because, as a woman, she is aware of what’s happening here. But she won’t say anything. She’ll just smile a lot.
In some cases this cashier will remind you to check your list one more time before you leave, and she’ll use the same tone kindergarten teachers use during Potty Time. You should definitely recheck your list because, as my wife would point out, you couldn’t find your own car keys if they were rammed straight up your Blessed Assurance.
Anyway, I’m out of room here. But for now I’m telling you, from one man to another, do not—I repeat, DO NOT—call your wife and ask her where your keys are.
And whatever you do, don’t forget the red quinoa.