30 minutes of silence

I’m not mad at you. I didn’t change. I just need some peace and quiet if I’m to be pleasant for the remainder of the day. Give me a half hour, preferably in the morning, to quietly organize my thoughts and prepare for whatever ridiculous questions your are going to ask at 10am.

To better understand this need, let’s go back to the beginning. I wasn’t there, but based on my limited understanding of the subject, I think it went something like this:

In the beginning God made Adam. Adam was a cool dude, a real outdoorsman who spent his days relaxing, eating, drinking and fishing, but it wasn’t perfect. He got bored with no problems to solve in the world, so God sent him Eve to give him direction, motivation and challenge him out of complacency. Now he spent his days organizing and reorganizing the landscape, harvesting food far in advance of when he needed it and accumulating the wealth of the land in an effort to please Eve. Adam was more productive and his life was enriched, but he was growing weary and would occasionally lose his patience and question Eves judgement, which would result in less rational demands of the following week.

Recognizing the issue, Adam sought a solution. He started sending Eve out on small tasks (like picking out fruit), so he could take time to reflect on the day ahead. He found that this calmed him, but resulted in the unintended consequence of wild interpretation. Because she was so amazing, Eve couldn’t understand why Adam needed time away from her and began to question him incessantly about it:

“Are you mad at me?” (at this point anger hadn’t yet been invented)
“What’s bothering you?” ( the concept of frustration had only come about with Eve’s arrival)
“Who is she?” ( Other women hadn’t yet been invented either)

Adam never did figure out how to combat the side effects, and dealt with the frustration until the day he died.

We can’t say what questions you might ask your man, but we have worked out a solution: positive reinforcement. Communicate with your man to help him set aside this half an hour a day, either before you are up, after you go to sleep, or while you are out running errands, and notice the change in his demeanor for the remainder of the day. You don’t have to understand it, but you do need to understand its importance. Remember, we’re just trying to make you happy.

-B.

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No questions before 10AM

This was the first rule I ever instituted, and still my favorite. No questions before 10 am keeps my household running smoothly, and prevents 80% of arguments. The rule is simple, I will not answer any questions before 10am. The reasoning is simple, I am not a morning person and know that I’m not in the frame of mind to make binding decisions before 10 AM. As any of you with a significant other know, all decisions can potentially become binding decisions, so thus, no questions may be answered.

FAQ

Is this just for questions from spouses or for all questions?

Primarily spouses, but with enough determination, it could be rolled out to family and friends. Implementation with coworkers is difficult.

What if I have something important to ask?

You don’t

But it’s an emergency!

If its a true emergency, you shouldn’t be asking questions, you should be calling 911 or following my lead through the zombie fields.

What about phone calls?

Put the phone down. I won’t answer them before 10 am.

Emails?

Sign out of AOL, then read the 4 hour work week. I don’t answer emails until 10am, not even invitations to astronaut camp.

are there an circumstances under which you will answer questions before 10am?

So far I’ve found few reasons to make exception. Those that made the list include:

Would you like me to make you waffles and bacon? (because waffles and bacon)
Do you have any cash in your wallet? (because of the financial implications of non-action)
Do you realize it’s Saturday? (because of the additional sleep implications)

Do you have more questions you think should make the exception list? Leave them in the comments field.

-b

“Do you have change for a twenty?” – Why wallets are better than purses.

When considering the accessories that your man should have, the most vital tool that a man should come equipped with is his wallet.  The wallet is an interesting component. The wallet can come in several different styles for different age groups and social classes. The wallet can be chained to the owner’s belt loop or assigned a different location on the owner’s person depending on the style of dress he is in.  The wallet has several folds and pockets to store identification, business cars, photos, a single condom and of course cash. 

So what is the big deal about a wallet?

The wallet is a symbol for a man’s identity in a relationship.  The wallet represents man’s pride.  A man who leaves his wallet at home becomes vulnerable and lost as if he were a child sent out on walk-about in the Australian Outback.   

As men we feel that our marital responsibility is to provide for our spouse.  Men WANT to pay for things.  No matter how much we bitch and complain about it, men do not want to give up their right to pay for things.  When we are with our spouses and we are buying something together, 9 times out of 10 the man is pulling his wallet out of his back pocket and ready to fork over the cash or the plastic.  Women KNOW this and EXPECT it.  If women pull out money to pay for anything it’s because they are unsupervised by their male counter parts.  This does not mean that men are superior to women and that women should not ever have money or be able to use it. Men need to fulfill their role as the provider. To deny a man his natural role will negatively chip away at his psyche.  This is strictly a reinforcement of the male ego. The only time we as men should ever ask for money from the wife is if it comes in the form of quarters, dimes, nickels or pennies. Loose change and the need for unneeded accessories is the purpose of a purse.  Men do not carry a purse because they are efficient and prioritize.  If a woman tries to attack a man’s need to pay this could be dangerous to the male ego! If the male ego suffers damage it could be irreversible.

Socially, men want to display their capability of providing for themselves and establishing their place in the social hierarchy.  The wallet is an extension of our personalities and our accomplishments. If we are with a group of friends, we do not want to look incompetent amongst one another.  The wallet is the symbol of our providing skills and can not be stained with the embarrassment of moth infestation or several declined credit cards.

How do I keep my man’s ego intact?

To sustain efficient wallet maintenance, men should always keep plenty of singles and twenties in their wallets and at least two credit cards and one debit card.  This combination will allow any man to provide a division of large bills or handle hearty purchases on the fly and avoid any embarrassment.  Singles are primarily for vending machine purchases and girth of the wallet; the fatter the wallet the bigger the ego.

Keep some pictures in your wallet. Photos of the wife/girlfriend or both (if you’re that guy, which is pretty ballsy if you ask me) will remind you why your wallet is in your back pocket in the first place.

Space is limited. It’s not necessary to keep anything in your wallet that doesn’t belong. The best way to do this is to go through your wallet at least once a month and eliminate any paper waste, i.e. recepits or business cards.

For the single guy or the swinger, condoms take up a good portion of space. If you need it keep it but rotate the old with the new.  You don’t need any accidents happening that could force you into a n unwanted predicament (children and wives make the wallet slimmer).

Wallets can be substituted for money clips for only two reasons: tight pants or little pocket space.

There is no reason a man should be wearing tight pants, so that narrows it down to the latter.  Limited pocket space is due to wearing a suit or similar fancy dress. The style of the money clip is essential to the outfit of the wearer.  If the money clip style is abused however, it can be deemed uncool and foolish looking. So use the clip sparingly and take pride in your wallet.

The wallet is a part of you but like most things that are old and grungy it doesn’t last forever.

So when should I replace my wallet?

The timeframe is different for us all. When you know, you know. The wallet tells a story of its owner so the longer you have it the stronger the history. If history is not important to you, remember to maintain your wallet’s upkeep and replace if necessary. A variety of wallets will only lead to lost cards or money! One wallet is enough.  Another place to store money is your bank account not another wallet.  This is why bank accounts exist.

So remember, the wallet is an extension of your skills as a provider and reinforces your male ego.  Maintaining your wallet is just as important as maintaining your life.  Women should encourage this aspect of the male ego so that their man is secure and can act out his role as a provider.  The most important thing to a man is his family and his ego. Damage either of these and he is now a broken man.

Easy Listening: Can you tell if I am or not?

So I’m sure I am not the only man in the world who has “the hearing problem.” I have gotten into several altercations with my wife where she has strongly accused me of being a terrible husband (mind you, she is Italian and exaggerates) for not listening to her when she is speaking.

The MANual is designed to clear up this rubbish of false accusations.  Not listening to her is not accurate at all.  In fact, I am a very good listener. I suffer from a specific hearing ailment that prohibits me from collecting all the data leaving my wife’s lips as it travels to my head.  The condition I suffer from is selective hearing. This particular condition is not medically inhibiting to me but can definitely turn a quiet evening into a reenactment of the whipping of Jesus Christ.

The selective hearing option in men should NOT be scorned.  This is NOT a method to annoy a man’s other half intentionally. Believe me, the last hing I want to do is piss my wife off.  Any man who says they don’t care is full of it. NO ONE wants to ge their wife angry.

Okay, back to business. When a woman begins to address any topic, regardless of our level of interest, there is a point in the male attention span where a gap of radio silence affects us all.  In defense to the radio silence factor, I would like say that all men are susceptible to the power of these hearing gaps. 

Why is that, you ask? It just so happens that for my particular situation, which I strongly believe is the problem for all us men, is that when I am being spoken to about anything, my brain begins to come up with a solution.  Yes, immediately upon receiving information, my thought process has become so efficient that it wastes no time in the chatter that is happening at the moment.  My thought process wants to put together a mental task force to successfully develop a solution to your needs.  Selective hearing is just how it sounds. My hearing selects the important information that is spoken and filters out all of the nonsensical words that do not help with providing a solution.

However, like any product, there can be moments where, if the function is not completely understood, this could be misconstrued as inoperable or a faulty product.  Sometimes when I am intuitively listening to my wife, the efficiency kicks in at the wrong moment and fragments of information can be lost. Do not be alarmed. Repeating the information casually within conversation will allow the selective hearing process to correctly gather the appropriate amount of information needed to provide an accurate solution.  The selective hearing option on all men is a stock feature and cannot be adjusted nor can it be removed.  This feature can be utilized proficiently when operated without the distraction of a television. 

How do I know that he is selectively hearing what I have to say and not just ignoring me? Selective hearing can be identified on a physical level. When you are speaking to a man, and his gaze has become similar to a large farm animals or an aquatic pet, the selective hearing process has been initiated.  Here is when the fun begins.  At that distinct moment, your man is now calculating how to fix your problem and processing all of his other thoughts with a cross-reference library to see how that solution can be applied to other problems that may be affecting you or anyone else that he may know. It’s as if a powerful computer has been activated to produce an accurate solution.

If you are not sure if he is listening ask him the question you are sure to ask: What did I say? If the software for the selective hearing has been updated, he should respond with key bullet points that identify the main idea of your conversation.  This implies that the selective hearing process was a success and that you have gotten your message across flawlessly.  If he cannot repeat everything you have said, that means the filter is working properly. 

Should your man’s selective hearing need a tune up? The answer is: sometimes. As the product gets older the filter becomes larger.  The filter begins to capture important information along with the nonsensical.  Do not be alarmed. This is a natural occurence and can be repaired with a hearing aid or simply repeating the commands.  However, in repeating the commands make sure not to be aggressive for the man may take this as a hostile accusation of being a poor listener. 

Men are simple and gentle creatures. They are designed to protect and provide for their loved ones sincere quality service.  So when your man seems to be out of touch and unresponsive when you speak, it is only his efficient selective hearing apparatus hard at work.  Remember, selective hearing provides YOU the best solution for YOUR needs.

Pets and Children: The Units Theory

I (B.) never wanted a big family, maybe you do, maybe you don’t but I’m going to assume you don’t want 10 kids, 5 dogs and 17 cats for the purposes of this post, unless of course you want your own sit-com. I developed this rule out of necessity as my wife is always pressing to understand the limits of how many kids and pets we could potentially have, so I’ve put it down into a simple formula.

Kids + Pets <= 4 units
Kids<= 3 units

I never wanted more than 3 kids, and I never wanted too many pets, therefor we can have up to 3 kids, but not more than a maximum of 4 total responsibility units. If she wants more pets (2 dogs for instance) she can have a maximum of 2 kids reaching the 4 responsibility unit cap.

You can tinker with the formula for your needs, changing the min’s and max’s but to save you some of the difficult exceptions that come up, here are a few things we learned in testing the theory:

  • Unusual and responsibility intense pets can count as multiple units (e.g. horses 2-3 units, dolphins 3 units and velociraptors 4 units)
  • Large and salt water fish tanks count as at least 1 unit. Tanks large enough to accomodate sea mammals (dolphins, orcas, whales) should be judged accordingly.
  • Small caged animals count as .5 units per cage. Unit allocation may be adjusted based on ratio of cage dimensions to living dimensions.

The true importance of the rule is to establish relationship solidarity as to the number of pets. Failing this simple mathematical formula requires one of two solutions. You change your formula, or you change your partner.

 

-B.