I recently came to the realization that I haven’t laughed enough lately. And I thought, maybe you haven’t either. So, I decided to dust off a few of my older (and funnier) blog posts in the hopes that we could have a laugh together.
And so, without further ado, bring on the laughs.
My husband suffers from a condition called Male Pattern Forgetfulness. Perhaps yours does, too. I’ll use an example to illustrate the symptoms of this insidious disease for which there is no known cure.
Last night I reminded my husband (for the second time this week) that I was having dinner with my critique partner, just like I do every other Thursday night. So when I received an email at 4 o’clock in the afternoon asking me what we were doing for dinner, was I surprised? No, I was not.
When I got home from dinner, my husband was digging through his closet. “Whatcha doin?” I asked. As is customary when he is concentrating, he ignored me. A little while later (after I’d moved onto something else), he emerged from the closet triumphant, a shoe box in his hands.
He came into the bathroom where I was now brushing my teeth and readying for bed. Setting the box on the counter, he pulled out an old pair of running shoes. “My favorite pair of ASIC’s bit the dust today,” he said. “These are the shoes I wore in the CaliMan half ironman triathlon we did in 2004. Knowing they don’t make them anymore, I put them away for later and forgot about them until now.”
I stood before him, dumbfounded, and blinked. Twice. After spitting out the toothpaste and rinsing my mouth I said, “So, let me get this straight. After having reminded you not once but twice, you couldn’t remember that I was having dinner with Patricia tonight, but you can remember what shoes you wore in a triathlon NINE YEARS AGO??!!”
And then the realization that had been there before me for some twelve years (since I met him) finally found purchase. My darling husband does not suffer from Male Pattern Forgetfulness. He suffers from Selective Listening Disorder.
I was so relieved to learn this because, thankfully, there is a cure for Selective Listening Disorder. Here’s what you do. Stand in front of your husband without saying a word. It may take some time for him to realize you are there.
I should point out that you must be fully clothed. The goal is, after all, to get him to actually listen to you.
Once he makes eye contact (and do wait for the eye contact) tell him what you have to say. Then–and this is the key—have him repeat back to you what you just told him. It may take a few times for him to get it right, but be patient with him. He is learning a new (and quite possibly foreign) skill, after all.
Please understand that this is no way guarantees that he’ll actually remember what you say, but it does significantly increase the odds.
How about you? Does your man suffer from Selecting Listening Disorder? How have you dealt with this disturbing disorder?