Al Campbell, Field Editor

February 18th, 2002

Men Are from Caves; Women Are from Another Planet
By Al Campbell

Men are from Mars; women are from Venus. At least that's what one guy said, and he made a mint selling the book; but I think he missed a few things. My wife thinks men are from dark, obscure caves called basements, and most fly-fishermen I know would tell you that wives come from another planet, but none of us is sure which planet that might be. One thing's for sure; we don't speak the same language.

Most fly-fishermen aren't known for articulate speech. In other words, we don't have a way with words, especially words associated with the female language. I'm not going to try to tell you that I understand the female language; that's for the guy who wrote that book. I assure you, I don't understand it at all; but I have managed to glean a few tidbits of experience from many years of marriage that might be helpful.

At the risk of creating a cosmic disturbance big enough to cause wives to change their secret language, I'm going to pass on some of the things I've learned. I do this in the hope that these hints will perhaps improve the marital harmony of a few fly-fishermen having a tough time with this stuff. Here's a few key words and phrases that you need to understand if you want to survive the marital communications barrier.

  • I'm bored - This means "I'm bored," but it doesn't tell you anything more. It could be a hint that she wants to go out to a mushy movie or maybe wants to change the color of the living-room walls. It might mean she wants to go out to eat or needs a chauffeur to drive her to the mall. It's your job to guess what she means and suggest it promptly. If you blow it, you'll experience the next type of communication.

  • Silence - This unspoken type of communication means you missed a subtle hint, didn't guess right, didn't catch the "I'm bored" hint, or were supposed to know something without any hints at all. Don't bother asking because the answer will be "If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you!" You blew it buddy, and getting out of this mess isn't going to be easy. The problem is, you don't have a clue about what you did wrong or how to fix the problem.

  • SILENCE! - This unspoken form of communication is deafening. It usually means you forgot something vital like a birthday, anniversary or other important date. It could also mean that you accidentally said or did something inconsiderate; like taking a fishing trip with your buddies when she wanted you to suggest doing something romantic with her. You aren't going to win, and any hints you get will be subtracted from the time you have to guess what the problem is and find the correct solution.

  • We don't talk anymore / We don't do anything exciting anymore. - Guys, this doesn't mean she wants to see an action movie. I'll be darned if I know what it does mean, but don't believe it when you hear the ad "Nothing says it like flowers." Flowers won't get you out of this mess. It's going to cost you a lot more than that; probably a weekend at some place you'd never visit on your own. If you had a fishing getaway planned, circle that weekend on the calendar and make reservations for the other place. Those words are hard on the fly-fisherman's life style.

  • We don't do things together anymore - This doesn't mean she wants you to invite her on your next fishing trip. It's more likely to mean a day trip to the mall (in a town at least 100 miles from home), followed by a "romantic" dinner of indigestible food, illuminated by candles so you won't know what you're eating. If the dinner bill doesn't cost at least a day's wages, you're not out of the doghouse yet.

    On (insert a date from years ago) you said (did) (insert anything that might be inconsiderate) - This is a killer. You don't stand a chance on this one. There isn't a fly-fisherman in the whole world who can remember what he said yesterday, so a quote from ten years ago can't be defended against. Who knows if the event really happened? You can't remember even little clips of that day, so you don't have a chance to defend yourself. Even if you had the memory of an elephant, it couldn't match the total recall a wife has of an obscure event that happened many years ago, when you transgressed the rules of marital communications. Do you have a credit line at the florist shop?

    I hope this little lesson in marital communications helps. I'm sure it won't keep you out of the doghouse, but it might help you discover why you're there. Finding the right solution to your transgressions is your problem. I'm working on my own solutions and don't have time to help you with yours. ~ AC

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