When I graduated from college, I thought I was the smartest young man in the world. I had completed sixteen years of school. I was an educated fellow. I had my college degree! I was ready to take on the world. I knew it all. I was a smart guy.
Then I got married.
The first few months went smooth. Ah…young love and all its blindness. Good meant good. Red meant red. A smile was a symbol of happiness. Just one look at each other, the sound of our voice or the touch of our hands made our hearts go thump-thump! Thumpity-thump!
It started very subtle. An eye raise here. An eye swell there. Soon yes didn’t necessarily mean yes. Red sometimes became a different color. The smile had a few things hidden behind it. Things started getting so complicated. All of a sudden, I didn’t feel so smart.
Why didn’t they teach me these things in school? I became so confused!
Scholarly types call these signs non-verbal communication. They say 50-70 percent of all communication is of this type. I believe they may be low on their percentages.
The signs began with her eyes and over time, progressed to other areas. Each sign had varying meanings and had to be handled with precise care. While I never claimed to be the most astute person, I am rather proud of my observations and the formula I designed over the years to solve each sign.
Here they are!
The eye roll- This starts in the early years of marriage, accompanied with a slight head turn to conceal the roll. Gradually, the head turn is removed, revealing the full roll. I have found the meaning of this move usually corresponds to a statement or action interpreted as stupid. The solution is always an apology. I tell her she is beautiful. It works every time.
The eye lift-This has many meanings, mostly bad. It has been used to say enough is enough. Or really? Or is that all ya got? The solution is a compliment and/or an admission to an error of judgement. I tell her she is beautiful, and she is my everything.
The eye swell- This is never good. It is the equivalent of an eye roll plus an eye lift. When this happens, I try to disappear for a while. I really think it through. I return with an apology, a compliment and sometimes flowers. I tell her she is beautiful.
The arm crossing added to any of the above always warrants flowers.
Over the shoulder glance-This subtle move means it’s about time I start doing something constructive. I start doing something constructive. I tell her she is beautiful.
The once over look-means are you serious? You wearing that? My solution is to ask her, “what do you think I should wear, sweetie?” Sometimes it works; most times not so much. I tell her she looks beautiful.
The head cocked down to the floor look-means are you gonna pick that up? I pick it up. I tell her she looks beautiful. She tells me to knock it off. I knock it off.
The head down look- means leave me alone and don’t ask what’s for supper. It’s in the fridge and I don’t want to hear anything about it. I leave her alone and go to the fridge and eat supper.
The look away is similar to the eye roll or eye lift, but not as serious as the eye swell. Are y’all getting all this?
The hand squeeze-means either shut up or enough already or stop walking so fast or stop looking at that gorgeous lady. I shut up, slow down and only peak at the gorgeous lady. Never, ever look back at the gorgeous lady. Ever!
The hand wave in front of her face- means she got a manicure. I always compliment the color. Always!
The hand fluffing the hair while talking-means she got her hair done today. I always compliment the new style. Always.
The shoulder tap-means it’s time to be quiet. I stop talking.
Grabbing the inside handle above the car door-means slow down. I slow down.
The arms wide open with a broad smile on the face look- means I’d better compliment something, starting with the outfit and if that isn’t it, the hair and if not the hair, just say I love her, and she is my everything
Sometimes she gives non-verbal statements without using body parts. This requires expert interpretive skills.
When I find my freshly washed clothes on the bed, which are normally hung, trouble is just around the corner. First, I immediately hang the clothes. Next, I wait to find out what I did wrong. Then I compliment her housekeeping skills. I ask her if I’ve told her lately that I love her. She tells me to knock it off. I knock it off.
Sometimes she makes verbal statements that mean something else. Again, this is an advanced interpretive skill.
“I’m fine!” This almost always means she is NOT fine. I mean, she’s fine, but she’s not fine. Really, she’s fine. But she’s not fine. Gosh you women are so complicated!
It’s in my purse- means she has no idea where it is and knows I’ll give up once I open her purse, which is full of Kleenex and hey, is that my wallet?
I’m a little low on gas-means she is low on gas and I need to fill her tank. I do it, but I know it would be wise to add some of my lawn mowing gas to the tank before I leave the house or I may be walking.
Where is your wallet? – means I am about to be robbed.
Honey I’m tired-means honey I’m tired.
Wait a minute. Is that wha…. YES! The sign of all signs! The one that makes it all worthwhile. THE WINK! It means, well let’s just say it’s time for me to go.
“Hey honey. You look beautiful. Have I told you lately that I love you?”
Wink. Smiley face!