I’m really not sure how well I know my wife, because I have yet to be fundamentally tested. The same goes for her with me.
Burbank studio set and hold up a piece of blue poster board answering Bob Eubanks’ questions about our “whoopee” habits? Yeah, probably. Other than that, why or when would I have to?
So, is there ever really a need to completely know and understand our spouses outside of a game show setting? Sure.
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I barged into a conversation between two co-workers the other day, one in which a female co-worker was perplexed over what to get her husband for his birthday. The male co-worker asked, “Well, what’s his favorite sports team?” She said she didn’t know.
That set off a tirade over the expectations that women have that their mates or significant others be able to read minds and know what they want, while knowledge of us is some unnecessary byproduct of the relationship. We were all half-joking, of course. Half.
It was probably an unfair generalization to make about women, but I don’t think it’s entirely off base. It’s part of the way we feed into gender roles and stereotypes. Women are sensitive, nurturing, prescient creatures and men are clods.
Having a good time with it, the male co-worker and I devised some ridiculous 10-question exam — half sports, half general knowledge — to assess our female co-worker’s knowledge of her hubby.
She did extremely well, and pretty much debunked any idea I had to bash wives and girlfriends, even if for a little fun. So she didn’t know her husband’s favorite sports team? She pretty much aced everything else, such as things that had to do with his eating, sleeping, shaving habits. She even answered some questions about fears and dreams.
Could I do that with my own wife, or am I really just a clod? Am I a living stereotype of the insensitive, barbarian male? I don’t think so, but the proof has to be in the pudding.
Later that evening the Wife and I talked about this. She, too, aced the same test I had given the co-worker. I did, too. But that’s only because I came up with the questions, passed through an unconscious filter of things I knew to be true about her.
Then I started to whine: “Test me, test me! Come on!” She couldn’t think of anything on the spot that I should know about her. I think we assumed we knew all we needed to know about each other.
And that’s how we left it, and that’s how I feel today as I write this and turn it over in my simple male brain: We know what we need to know, and what we don’t know or can’t remember must not be integral to the success of our relationship.
That might sound a bit too tidy, but think of it this way: If a couple has been together for a lengthy amount of time, more than the seven-year-itch period, for example, then there must not be any big, lingering, damaging secrets left. Who knows what’s on the horizon, but for the present the peccadilloes and idiosyncrasies specific to each half have yet to sink the ship. There must not be any hidden bank accounts, or worse yet, hidden children or mistresses.
For the newlyweds and simply smitten, there will be growing pains and periods of discovery. Some relationships just aren’t meant to be, and some are.
Whether you know your husband or boyfriend’s sports team is insignificant to your overall happiness.
There was one question worth knowing the answer to, however. If given the opportunity to choose “with cheese” or “without,” what would your hubby do? I imagine my wife would say 95 percent “with,” 1 percent “without” and 4 percent “considering cheese.”
Those are the big questions.