The Petty Humiliations of Love

lunchWhy do women take such delight in humiliating men?

I put the question to an expert, a guy at work who knows more about women than anyone I know.

“That’s way out of my league,” he said, “talk to the work-wives.”

The work-wives are what he calls the women we work with. He maintains, and rightly so, that we spend more time with other people’s spouses than we do our own.  Not only that but we get along better with them because the workplace has rules about being nice – unlike marriage.

So I brought it up at lunch.  “Why must wives humiliate their husbands?”

“Awwww,” said Sue, “is someone tweating you cwuely?”

“No more than usual,” I told her, “but seriously, why?”

Her best friend Marsha chimed in, “If we didn’t, men would forget they are idiots.”

A quick poll confirmed Marsha’s opinion as a majority view. A second unanimous survey revealed the only reason men survive – is women.

“Really?” I said, defending my gender, “I know plenty of guys who are at their best as bachelors.”

That got a few snickers.

To which I countered, “and yes, I’m talking about straight men.”

They nodded in mock agreement.

“Further more,” I said, “they do FAR better alone than they do in relationships.”

Eyes rolled.

I put a test to them, “If you left your husbands alone for a month, how would they fare?”

Sue’s hand hesitated meaningfully over her salad. “Could I leave him a month’s supply of frozen diners?”

Marsha chuckled, “That wouldn’t work for my Larry. He plays video games non-stop. No one would be there to tell him, he’s hungry.”

“I couldn’t leave John alone for a minute,” Carol said.

I believe her. I’ve met John. The guy is a mouse in an electrified maze. If you met Carol, you’d know why.

“So what would he do?” I had to ask.

“He would do what all men do when left alone – revert to being a boy.”

Heads bobbed in agreement.

“And the problem with that is?” I asked.


“Right,” I said in mock agreement, “It’s every woman’s project to make a man out of the boy she married.”


I was waiting for that.

“So if women build men, why must they tear them down?”

Carol checked around the table for permission to divulge one of life’s great secrets. “Because, when boys become men, they get so full of themselves that they treat women like girls.”

Again, smirks of agreement. She continued, “It’s very unpleasant and we are reluctant to let things go that far.”

Then Becky, a grandmother many times over, spoke up. She was no longer kidding. “It’s really affection in disguise – humiliation is I mean.”

Carol looked doubtful.

“In marriage you give everything up. If you cannot give up a little pride once in a while,” she said, “what else can’t you give up?  And if you cannot take a little grief from the person you love, what else can’t you take?”

Author: Almost Iowa

32 thoughts on “The Petty Humiliations of Love”

  1. Your description of John, Carol, and the electrified maze left me helpless with laughter. Brilliant. And, sorry, but my husband is kind of awesome, and I’ve always felt uncomfortable in a group of women who like to lump all men together as buffoons. Actually, most of my women friends think their guys are pretty darn cool too.

  2. I was just thinking, and you know how much that hurts. Maybe you should let your wife do a guest post. That way we could hear her side of things. Course maybe not.

  3. At this time I would like to quote George Carlin: “Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.”

    But yeah, humiliation sucks no matter which team you are on.

  4. The real problem is that you entered an argument you had no hope of winning with a superior force against you. Discretion, man… Discretion.

  5. To be honest Doug, I have never understood the battle of the sexes as anything but a competition. What the point of it is must go back to the cave days, since it seems to have always existed.

    1. I think it goes back further than that. I have it on good authority that when the first woman spotted the first cave, the first man said, “You want me to fix what?”

  6. If it’s affection in disguise, how come women get so upset when men practice it on them? I am not talking abuse here. I’m talking that they get their feelings hurt when, for example,we tell them that going to five different stores to save money ends up costing twice as much as they would save. And God help you if you said, “Yes, it makes your butt look big” when they ask. For an honest opinion.

    1. If it’s affection in disguise, how come women get so upset when men practice it on them?

      Men and women express themselves differently. For instance, I do not show affection by head-butting my wife. My grandson, however, loves it.

  7. To deal with such an issue in a way that combines both light methodology and cleverness is a gift I wish I had, Nice one. You nailed it with “If we didn’t, men would forget they are idiots.” As an accomplished idiot I know this to be true!

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