Tuesday, February 7, 2012

As Tom Tuesday: What Do Men Mean when They Say...

Our question today comes from my bud Heidi over at Rainy Day Ramblings who is confused by what men say.
Dear Tom,
Can you define how many beers are involved when you say,
"Hey honey, I will be home a little late, I am going to go out with
the guys and have a beer? "

Dear Heidi,

First...we were hoping to get your voicemail and were thrown off a bit when you actually answered.

Second, what you are referring too is an advanced level of “man-speak.”

The basic level of man-speak consists mostly of grunts, snorts, and mono-syllabic words.  Yep, naw, hmmm, and, “huh?” are the most used words in man-speak.  Mixed with nods, shakes, and chin pointing, whole conversations can be carried out between men using only those words.

A man does not have to point out a beautiful woman to his buddy.  The buddy saw her.  Man One just needs to nonchalantly point to the female subject with his chin.  Man Two steals a glance at her and may either nod, shake his head, or say yep, or nah.

What was Man One asking and how did Man Two answer him?  The implied question is the key to the whole exchange and is completely dependent on circumstance.  One has to be fluent in man-speak to understand the nuances involved.  So, for the sake of brevity, I will not try to explain here.  Just understand that men speak man-speak and women have their own language which we, as men, cannot fathom.

Complications arise when men, through oversight or fear, use man-speak to communicate with women.  Most women are not fluent in man-speak, nor do they want to be.  Men forget that sometimes and slip into their true native tongue thus making the mistake of expecting the women to understand.

Pertaining specifically to the beer question, having “a beer” means:

“My buddies and I are going out to drink, insult one another, ogle women other than our significant others, and try to recapture our youth for a night.  Those things are going to take time and I am going to be home late.  Do not wait up unless you are horny.  I make no guarantees about what my abilities will be when I arrive home so…don’t wait up.

Please do not call to check up on me.  If you do call, please do not make me say the “L” word in front of my friends as that will lead to ten minutes of accusations of being “whipped.”  I love you and will happily tell you that in private.  If I am drunk enough when I get home, I will probably tell you very honestly how much I love you at that time.  It will be sincere and touching when you think about it the right way...

I promise to be safe and not drink and drive.  I promise to not have physical interactions with other women even though I might flirt a bit with them.  I cannot promise that I will not have a hangover in the morning or that you will not have to take care of me a bit.  I may get into a drunken brawl and there is bail money in my sock drawer.

If, tomorrow, you ask me how the night went, my answer will be short and in no way resemble what actually happened.

Now, you go put on one of those movies that I will not watch with you and have a glass of wine.  Invite those friends of yours that I hate and badmouth men if you want.  I don’t care.  Hell, you can even go out with those wild gals I used to warn you about.  Just don’t dare show up at my bar OR bring home anything penicillin won’t cure.

I love you.  Have a great night!  I know I will.”

But we can’t say that.  If we did, you might forbid us our night out and we would then be forced to go out in spite of your proclamation.  We might even be so angered by being “forbidden” that we may break some mutually agreed upon rules in our relationship just to prove that we “still have it.”

Imagine a man saying all of those things straight out to the woman in his life.  There would be a fight!  A big one.  And not only do we hate those fights, we know we cannot win them.  Neither one of us wants me to go out AFTER having a fight, now do we?

We both know how stupid I can be.

Also, saying all of that just takes too damned long.  When we call and say we are going out for a beer, you know what we mean.  You might not understand man-speak, but I have let you down before so you SHOULD be used to it by now.

Yes, I could have told you sooner so you could have made plans yourself.  I did not choose to not tell you I was going out earlier to spite you.  I did not even know we were going out until my buddy brought it up ten minutes before we got off work.  Men don’t plan these things in advance, you know that.  It just sorta happened.

And that’s the real key to the beer question: Men do not plan events, they just sort of happen.  We are victims of circumstance and we do not want to fight about it.

Maybe next week, someone can explain to me what a woman really means when we ask them what is wrong and she says, “Nothing.”  Or why we are expected to ask that question three times to get an answer.  Or why women are always thinking of something…doesn’t that get tiring?



  1. I read this post to my husband who grunted, stuck out his chin & (I think) farted. Am I correct in interpreting that to mean, "I thought it was brilliant!"??

  2. Ha I love it! Fishducky's response was the icing on the cake. Now I know more about the mind of a man! Great answer!

  3. "Men don’t plan these things in advance, you know that. It just sorta happened."

    I have to remind myself of this all the time...

  4. Love Bud!
    He needs to blog too!!!
    Great job Tom!!!

  5. Fishducky, your involvement makes interpretation a bit difficult. But, I think the grunt was an acknowledgement of the truthfulness of Tom's post. The chin jut was him thinking about how he could have written it better. And the gas was an admonishment sent Tom's way for revealing closely held male secrets in such a public forum.


  6. Love it! My husband and I had quite a chuckle. You are one funny man, Splitter.

  7. You know - this article needed to exist about a year and a half ago.

    I have gotten in so much trouble for my lack of planning that numbers escape me, well true numbers at least. In my mind I know that if cornered and asked how many times I'd say something along the likes of "Like 10 f'n thousand times already, now get off my back already"
    And, it would do you all to read that quoted sentence in a good Brooklyn accent for full effect.

    I will be sharing this with the world.

  8. Dude you better add my blog to your list or I will have to kick your ass!

  9. Excellent post! A must read by all women trying to understand men.

    If they would only listen....oh wait, that's supposed to be the guy's problem, ie, not listening.

    Oh well.

  10. LOl, Rob.

    Heidi, I AM subscribed and it does not show up on the right. I have a few blogs like that. Weird.

    Grouchie....it really does seem like things just sneak up on us.

    Plus, you NEVER hear a group of men planning a get together more than a day in advance. has to be spontaneous and that's where the trouble begins.