RA Column

Here is this week’s Regarding Annie column. The man will never learn.

“Sometimes the difference between men and women absolutely astounds me.

We all know that as far as “What Not to Say” is concerned, Mr. Rico Suave is usually about as sharp as a butter knife. If you could only see his face, you’d realize that 97% of the time he is completely ignorant of any insensitivity and considers his truth telling to be one of his greatest attributes.

Personally, I’d take a liar any day.

So the other day we’re walking through a department store doing a little birthday shopping for our now five-year-old, Rex. It had been a lovely evening, no kids, no stress, just us and the toy aisle. I was feeling all warm and cozy toward him, thinking to myself that I’d really found a gem the day I convinced him to marry me.

Then he started to talk.

“Hey!” he says, “I want to tell you something, but you have to know that I mean it in the best way…”

You’ve heard of red flags? I should have realized that this preliminary warning was more like a nuclear explosion. Unfortunately, I was feeling all gooey and lovey toward him and figured that my sweet, adoring husband would know better than to say anything in the non-relationship-building category.

“What is it?” I ask with a smile.

“So,” he says, “I was looking on the computer at some old pictures from last year, and man, I’ve gotta tell you, you used to be so skinny!”

Translation: I was looking at some old pictures of you and realized that you are no longer so skinny. Wow. Could a man lose his ticket to the practice of procreation faster?

“I mean,” he says, “Right now you’re pregnant, and I know you eat a lot more these days, and that’s totally okay–” Permission to eat, thank you kind sir, “But I had forgotten how skinny you used to be! I mean, you were really tiny back then, I hadn’t realized how much you’d…changed.”

Changed, gained, it’s all the same thing.

The most unsettling part of this conversation was the fact that the boy was seriously just paying me a compliment. In his mind, why wouldn’t a woman want to hear that she used to be desirable? Why wouldn’t you want to know that you used to be thin and lovely? Yeah, sure you currently look something akin to a beached whale, and eat more than the Green Giant, but wow, you used to be hot.

At this point, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh or cry. He thought he was being so chivalrous, piling on historic compliments and not realizing just how moldy the conversation was sounding. I knew the only road to take was the path of least resistence.

“You’re right,” I say, “I sure used to be thin. Those were the good old days, eh? But hey, I won’t always be pregnant, right?”

“Sure, sweetie,” he says, giving me a squeeze that said something to the effect of “I kind of think you’ll be pregnant forever, but I’ll love you anyway.”

Sometimes I worry he’s right. Eight weeks has never felt more eternal in my life.”


  1. I have a brother like that…the kind that thinks his honesty is helpful. As if I didn’t realize that I’m not as skinny as I was last month. Or that make-up really does make a difference.

  2. My coworker, Charlie, told his wife she would make a good plus-size model. He didn’t understand why she wasn’t thrilled.

  3. OH MY GOSH. And you let him live????? Bravo, girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. We girls do it, too. One time I told my husband I thought muscles like Arnold Shwarzenhofferpuffnstuff or however it’s spelled looked mutated and creepy, and I liked his (my husband’s) build better.


  5. I was talking to Jefe last night explaining how it was ok that I had never called him a douchebag, but only a jackass.

    He looked at me funny and then I realized I had put my foot in my mouth.

    I was trying to pay him a compliment and let him know that I thought we was super swell compared to Mr. Douchbag down the street.

    It didn’t come off that way.


  6. Oh no! I know that’s not funny, but that is so funny! Oh men, will they never learn?

  7. That is one of those two edged compliments that aren’t really a compliment at all. You should have busted out balling and run to your room. They never learn if there are not consequences to pay for foot-in-mouth disease! Seriously though, I have been pregnant 9 times and delivered all healthy kids and I promise that it really does end and that, someday, you might even look back at this and laugh (Or you could put red pepper flakes on his side of the bed, just sayin!)

  8. insert foot – swallow…

    he was trying…

    like my ManOfTheHouse was trying to tell me how nice I looked when I lost a bunch of weight by pointing out how fat I was before. (okay, that’s not at ALL what he said, but I’m female, so it’s totally what I heard… that’s what we do!)

  9. POOR HUSBANDS…men in general. They’ll never get it quite right. I guess we have to cut them some slack and reprocess everything they are TRYING to say and accept it for the good they intended.
    poor things. my hubby cringes when I ask him key questions…….Like does this saddle make my butt look fat.

  10. Wives need some kind of portable translator that allows us to hear what our husbands “mean” to say, rather than what came out of their mouth. Is there an app for that?

  11. i really do love the way you write. i have been reading the post, sometimes laughing inside , other times laughing out load all while my hubs is looking at me like i have lost my mind. but i did wnat to stop by and tell you how i have enjoyed reading.

  12. Annie you are a sweetheart bc that is when my husband would have gotten left in the toy aisle at the store!

  13. Definitely would have made him buy a HUGE tub of your favorite ice cream for saying all of that and then give you the week off from taking care of kids (in addition to hiring you a personal chef, maid and masseuse). 😉