As I’m sure most women will agree, male ears function differently than female ones. For example, they are far more likely to hear “sure, go play golf. Painting the garage can wait another week” whereas “please pick up your socks” will somehow bounce off the eardrum and land on the floor. Next to the socks.
I recently saw a clip from the end of one of my favorite Bruce Willis movies, Armageddon. In it, Bruce escorts his daughter’s fiancee to the surface of the asteroid that’s going to destroy the earth. The younger man, played by Ben Affleck, has ‘won’ a lottery. His prize is the privilege of staying behind and setting off the nuke that’s going to save the world. The problem is, he’s got to be standing next to it. Bruce realizes that there is no way in hell he can step off the gangway of the escape ship and look his daughter in the eye having left her fiance to die alone. So he wrecks the young man’s air supply such that hecannot carry out the mission, and boots him back into the elevator, saying “It’s your turn to take care of the little girl.”
That scene reminded me of my wedding day, and a conversation I had with my father in law. Since women’s ears can’t hear it, I thought you might be interested in it here.
Father Gornik said: “Who gives this woman?”
And then my father-in-law SAID: “Her mother and I.”
But what I HEARD was: “*sigh* Boy, there is no way in hell you are good enough for my daughter. But, God knows why, she has chosen you, and so I’m going to work with it. Congratulations: It’s your turn to take care of the little girl. If you fuck this up; if you so much as raise your hand to her, well. . . . I own a backhoe, and the Pisgah National Forest has over a half-million acres. Are we clear?”
A little farther on, Father Gornik said: “Do you, William, take Kelly to love, honor, and cherish, so long as you both shall live?”
And I SAID: “I do.”
But what my father-in-law HEARD was: “Sir, I have no idea why she chose me either. And I also have no idea where we’re headed next. But I do promise that she will never know cold, and she will never know hunger. I will keep her warm, safe, and dry. And know this: as long as I have breath in my body, no man shall raise a hand to her, least of all me. And that includes you. Yes, I think we are clear.”
That’s why most men get along so well with their fathers-in-law. We understand one another.