My wife turned off the radio. Not a big deal, usually, but there was a baseball game on and a man was in scoring position.
"You weren't listening to that, were you?" she asked as I stood there, my face locked into the same position as primitive man when he discovered fire was hot.
Yes, I thought. It's a baseball game.
In the time, "habladoo," stumbled from my mouth, one pitch must have been thrown. The entire dynamic of the game could have changed. Didn't she realize this?
"Goonga-hanna," I said, although I'm still not sure what I meant. I was in Primitive Guy mode, and Primitive Guy liked beer, muscle cars, cheerleaders and not missing baseball. Words weren't that important.
It was finally baseball season. After a disappointing football season, disappointing college basketball season, and disappointing professional ice-fishing season (darn that global warming), I had a fresh new season to be disappointed by - and I'd already missed 25 seconds.
"But you were going out to mow the lawn," she said.
Why yes, yes I was.
I shook off the shock of a 1-0 game snatched from under me like a tablecloth by a magician. I smiled. Primitive Guy - who usually only shows up during backyard barbecues and high school reunions - was gone. I'd been on my way to mow the lawn when the baseball game stepped in my way. The baseball pause happened because I'd made the mistake many married guys make. I'd behaved like a man.
Guys, contrary to what women say, they don't want you to act like a man unless they're awakened by breaking glass at 3:15 a.m. Women want you to act like, uh, well ... a woman. A bigger, hairier woman, who can open jars.
Ladies, our brains don't work like this. Nature has trained us to be killers; we just take it out on the lawn. So, to clear up any misconceptions about your relationship, here are the top five reasons guys do the things we do:
1. Guys only think of things they care about.
2. At a base level, guys care about themselves, winning, guns/cars/the original "Star Wars" trilogy, buffets, free beer, sports, and holding grudges that sometimes date back to high school.
3. Just because a guy doesn't remember something important to you doesn't mean it's not important to him, too - he's just preoccupied with something from No. 2 (see above). Birthdays and anniversaries are a great example.
4. Order of importance also corresponds with what's in front of their face at the moment. Summer vacation, retirement and what's on the calendar for next Wednesday aren't nearly as important as that fly in the room, something that itches, or a baseball game with a guy in scoring position.
5. There's almost nothing as important as a guy in scoring position.
And, if a guy ever does anything that doesn't agree with 1 through 5, he's doing it just to make you happy.
Copyright 2007 by Jason Offutt
Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” is available at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and tsup.truman.edu. Visit Jason’s Web site, www.jasonoffutt.com, for his other books.