• Fri, Jan 21 2011

Lost In Translation: Tell Me What I Did Wrong

Lost in Translation is our weekly column from a college guy’s perspective.

As a red-blooded, meat-eating, beer-drinking, porn-watching member of the male sex, I say plenty of things that piss women off. But how am I supposed to do anything about that if said women don’t tell me so?

This silent treatment, run around the bush bullshit isn’t getting anyone anywhere.

While I enjoy the classics section of the library and don’t mind an evening outing to a good staging of a forward-thinking play, or even an alternative folk-rock band comprised solely of females (my, oh my! but seriously, First Aid Kit is fine by me…), behind my reading glasses and underneath my houndstooth blazer is your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill guy. I know all of this is rather stereotypical, but I’m not preaching that “men are from mars, women are from venus” bullshit that Dr. John Gray spouted. I’m just saying that there are going to be times when conversations are going to stumble into that no man’s – I mean – no person’s land where we aren’t going to be on the same page. That’s not saying we should flip through those to the next chapter, but it is absolutely necessary that there is an open, honest dialogue when trodding forth through those often treacherous grounds.

Quite recently, a lady friend and I were sharing a relaxing evening of drinks when I must have let slip something or other that really rubbed her the wrong way. ‘Cause for about an hour and a half she would not even look at me in the eyes. The occasional glance and curt retort, and that was all. I, of course, not being the daft idiot that she categorized me as in that very brief period of time since I made the oh-so-terrible comment, asked a few times if everything was alright. She said yes, and knowing that pushing the issue wasn’t going to make her giggle and smile and return to the approachable girl I had asked out, moved on.

But she didn’t. Nope. A good twenty minutes later she turned to me with a glare that I swore someway or another took a vice-like grip of my balls and harshly whispered that I was an “inconsiderate asshole,” just like everyone else had told her. Ignoring the latter part of that conviction, at least for the meantime, I asked her what was wrong. Well, apparently I had made an inappropriate, out-of-my-jurisdiction, so to speak, assessment of one of her best friends when we were talking about how they had been arguing then ignoring each other since a big party a couple of weeks back.

And whether she wants to believe it or not, I understand. There are times when I’ll be venting about one of my friends and the moment whoever is listening to me weighs in, I decide they’re out of line. But I’ll let that be known right away, not when I’m closing up our bar tab. Figuring that I’d salvage the last half hour, I apologized and went out of my way to be friendly and cute with her. Needless to say, this didn’t go too well. She thought I was mocking her. I went home about an hour later, all alone, and thoroughly confused.
While confrontation may not be everybody’s cup of tea, why in the world would she toss aside a perfectly nice night to hold onto a strange grudge? I’ll admit I’m going to be wrong from time to time, as most guys in a relationship will often be. All I’m asking for is that you let me know when I am, because I do hear what you’re saying, and will do everything in my power to not stumble again. Just don’t hang me out to dry.

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  • geist

    I am currently giving a guy the silent treatment. If he ever mans up enough to ask me why I’m mad at him, I’ll tell him. Until then, tough cookies for him.

    Why don’t I just tell him outright? Because guys have a tendency to get aggressive, defensive, abusive, and maybe violent. Maybe they don’t care they hurt my feelings–a lot of guys don’t, and also don’t care to hear they screwed up, or want to learn from their mistakes.

    So I’m giving him the cold shoulder to make sure he knows he messed up. That way, I don’t have to pretend everything is okay, and the ball is in his court. But I’m not going to push the issue and make a bad situation for myself.

  • geist

    However, in your story, that is indeed some suckage for you. That was a terrible move for the girl to say everything was alright. She should have said right there everything wasn’t alright and opened discussion.