Let me start by saying I love my dad. I do. I really do. But like so many men, sometimes he just doesn’t get it.
Yesterday, we were sitting in the living room. I was finishing up a press release and my dad was simultaneously watching curling and playing solitaire on his computer. My e-mail alert chirped and so I switched screens and learned that school number three sent me my second rejection letter.
Understandably, I was disappointed and so I turned to my father and said,”Well, I won’t be going to Syracuse.”
“Umm, because I just got their rejection letter.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
I would add details about emotion or inflection, but there wasn’t any. He barely looked away from the curling match. And he doesn’t even like curling.
So, looking for someone to commiserate with, I sent a mass text to friends and then tweeted about my sad news. While on Twitter I learned that Brian Westbrook was released from the Eagles.
“The Eagles released Brian Westbrook.”
He threw his head back. “Jesus. What the hell? I swear that Andy Reid has his head up his ass. Why did they get rid of Tony Hunt if they were just going to turn around and get rid of Westbrook. And what are they doing with Vick? Or McNabb?” He shook his head. Visibly upset that Brian Westbrook, not even his favorite player on the Eagles, was being released from the team.
I struggled to hold back my righteous indignation. Instead I told him he really needed to get over the loss of Tony Hunt.
I realized my old man couldn’t help himself. I also realize that there are probably a lot of guys out there that struggle with this very problem. So I think you should take a lesson from my dad.
First, I want you to think of a sports scenario that would really upset you. Then, the next time your girlfriend or fiance or wife comes to you, upset about something that happened during her day, think about that scenario (as if it just happened) and react accordingly.
Of course instead of saying things like “I swear that Andy Reid has his head up his ass.” Make it personal to her: “I swear that boss of yours has his head up his ass.” See, not so hard. Plus you really can’t overreact in this sort of situation. Even if you get so angry that you throw something, the woman in your life will probably appreciate it. Even laugh at your bravado and feel better about her crummy day -- making you an even bigger hero to her.
And men think women are so complicated.