In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more columns by Palmer here.
When my brother says he’s going “to pay the water bill,” what he really means is he is going to the bathroom. For reasons I have yet to comprehend, families love to share too much information, or TMI, with each other. “Paying the water bill” is a perfect example of the challenge of translating “male-speak.” Long ago, I accepted the fact that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but I still scratch my head on a daily basis trying to understand what the men in my life are trying to communicate.
Fortunately, help is at hand. A team of female software engineers at Apple has announced the creation of iMale, an application that translates common male phrases, expressions and activities into something women can actually understand. Here are some examples:
“I’ll be in the garage”: He doesn’t want to talk about whatever you want to talk about and is retreating to sacred ground.
“I’m ready”: He is wearing a shirt you absolutely hate, or has shorts and flip-flops on when a blizzard is raging outside.
“He’s a great guy”: The buddy he wants to fix your best friend up with has the social skills of a Neanderthal but can quote any sports statistic on request.
“It’s fixed”: He still has to call his plumber friend and make another run to the hardware store, but he’s pretty sure they understand the problem.
“I need body wash and shampoo”: A school dance is only an hour away.
“I understand”: He doesn’t have a clue.
“I’m reading”: He’s going to bed early.
“You look fine”: He hates what you’re wearing.
“Let’s do a different kind of vacation this year”: This will involve either something death-defying, something nauseating or a visit to his parents.
“You never told me”: Yes, he heard you say something, but the dial wasn’t set to receive.
“I’m going to the library to study.” This means a teenage boy is going straight to his girlfriend’s house, and odds are they will not crack a book.
“I’m off to the bank”: He is going to buy something you don’t want him to have, such as licorice, whiskey or chewing tobacco.
The iMale can be installed in your phone, brain or both. The iMale application contains a compendium of sports idioms because male-speak is confusing unless you watch a lot of ESPN or happen to be a big fan of sports, specifically football, NASCAR and hunting. Men love to lace their sentences with expressions such as “when the rubber meets the road,” “pull the trigger on,” “take the ball and run with it,” “make the play” and “knock it out of the park.”
I’m not objective, but I think we can all agree woman don’t muddy the conversational waters with expressions like, “where the chocolate meets the frosting,” “push it out like you are delivering a 10-pound baby” or “go for the lipstick.”
The iMale also includes an interpretation of one popular activity men participate in on a regular basis: sleeping.
Men are never sleeping. I know this may come as a surprise to many of you who have seen your beloved on the couch with the Broncos game blaring, emitting sounds indistinguishable from a bull moose preparing to rut, but ladies, your man is not asleep. No. He is merely “resting his eyes.” And it’s all for you. The Big Sleep Fake-Out is a ruse. He is so concerned for the safety of his honey, home and hearth that he is “resting his eyes” so he can spring into action in case an intruder happens by.
Even though they try our patience, we love them anyway. And vice versa. And remember, if you need more help than this column provided, put the iMale on your holiday shopping list.