I am looking for the peanut butter in my kitchen. But I can’t find it. I can never find things in my own house because I am married.
Just when I figure out where the silverware is located, or the peanut butter, or the master bathroom, my wife changes everything around. Then she changes it again.
When I ask her about it, she offers no explanation other than: “I moved the peanut butter above the dishrag drawer.”
If I actually knew where the dishrag drawer was located it would be smooth sailing. But I have not been able to find our dishrag drawer since the late 1990s.
So I just keep looking around for the peanut butter, opening and closing cupboards until I end up staring into a cabinet filled with vitamins and one Oster six-speed hand mixer. Then, I completely forget what I was looking for and end up on the sofa watching the “Young and the Restless.”
I forget things because we men have short attention spans. I get distracted all the time. I can be talking about one thing, then suddenly (bam!) did you know that a squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing?
Which is true, by the way.
This attention deficit problem in males is annoying to women. But it’s just part of being a man. We can be very thickheaded.
This is why a man can wander into his own kitchen, open his OWN refrigerator, stare at fourteen different kinds of mustard on the door, including the moldy Grey Poupon that nobody has thrown away since his cousin’s wedding reception last summer, and without the slightest irony ask his wife, “Do we have any mustard?”
At my in-law’s house it was salad dressing instead of mustard. My father-in-law would accumulate salad dressing like nobody’s business. I finally figured out why when I went shopping with him.
He would take three steps into a Piggly Wiggly, pause, scratch his head, and say, “What the hell am I doing at a grocery store?”
Then, as a card-carrying man, he would do the only logical thing to do in moments of memory lapse. He would buy French dressing.
When we would arrive home, he would be carrying a paper sack filled with important household items such as popsicles, a wooden paddle with a rubber ball attached, a straw hat, a licorice whip, a Danielle Steel novel, and salad dressing.
And his wife would shout, “What’s all this? I sent you into town to renew our car tags!”
So the orphaned salad dressings ultimately found their way into a section of the refrigerator known as No Man’s Land. This is where ancient condiments went to die. Some bottles were so old that the labels bore campaign advertisements for Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Even worse, when my father-in-law would serve salad for supper, he would arrange these bottles on the table like precious antiques. During the meal, dinner guests would unknowingly select a bottle of Thousand Island dressing that dated back to World War II. They would pour it onto their salads, chew their food with very polite smiles, and die within forty-eight hours.
But that’s a guy for you. Men aren’t as interested in petty things like expiration dates or food poisoning.
Some women criticize their husbands for being so lax, but that’s not fair. You don’t hear men complaining about various quirks common to many wives.
We don’t gripe about how our bathroom vanities are littered with thirty thousand tubes of something called Neutrogena, eighty-five earrings of the same shape and size, and one cosmetic tool meant for curling eyelashes which resembles a torture device from a slasher movie.
And don’t even get us men started on how a woman will take a perfectly comfortable bed and cover it with “throw pillows.” These pillows look like real pillows, but are not meant to be used by civilians. In fact, they aren’t supposed to be touched. They are for looks only.
I once knew a man who mistakenly used his wife’s throw pillow for taking a nap. He was dragged behind the house and shot.
It’s the same way with the decorative napkins we received as a wedding gift. I am not allowed to use them. Not even when they are folded up and sitting beside my actual dinner plate.
Once, we were eating chili and I reached for my napkin. My wife shouted, “NO! WHAT’RE YOU CRAZY?”
“What’d I do?” I asked.
“DON’T USE THAT!”
“But I need to wipe my chin.”
“You’ll ruin it if you do that.”
“What am I supposed to use?”
“Go get a rag from the dishrag drawer.”
So this is just part of life. We men and women have to learn how to coexist without judgement or criticism. And even though we don’t always understand each other, it’s important to try.
So if you are a male, lost in his own kitchen, and you have no idea where the peanut butter is, don’t worry about this because squirrels are tree-dwelling mammals who are double-jointed.
Hey, wait a minute.
What am I doing in the grocery store?