BERRY: Words of advice for young husbands

Oct 4, 2012


In fact, I've been a guy for almost my entire life, except for maybe that time I went to Bath & Body Works searching for a Christmas gift for my wife. After 45 minutes of popping lids and sniffing soaps and lotions, I think I became a woman. I had to stop off at the Carhartt store for a testosterone transfusion. 

Since I've been a guy for so long, that means I've made many, many mistakes regarding women. I'd like to try and spare all of you younger guys some grief when it comes to females — so put down that toilet seat lid, put the cap back on the toothpaste tube, take out the trash, grab a cold brew, and sit down and take some advice from your good ol' Uncle Grant.

Here is my first example of what not to do: 

Last week, my wife pulled a T-shirt over her head. "Zat new?" I asked.


"How much did it cost?"

"Nothing. Karen's son gave it to me."

"Whoa!" I said. "Karen's son must be huge!"

"What are you saying," Amy asked, "that I'm big?"

And that, my younger male friends, is the kind of stuff you should learn to lasso before it exits your mouth.

In my defense, I've met Amy's friend Karen. She's young. About my age. So I figured she'd have small kids like I do, even though the T-shirt Amy got from her son said Central Michigan University Alumni.

OK, Lesson 2: 

Amy and I recently bought a new bookcase. I was lugging my end of the heavy hunk of lumber, while Amy's end was drooping and sagging, and she was huffing and puffing and her face was turning red. "Put some weight into it!" I demanded.

And that, gentlemen, are the thoughts that need to be corralled before they become words, because your wife may just find the strength to give that bookcase a mighty shove right into your manhood. And you'll say to her, in a high-pitched voice, "Atta girl."

Let's move on to No. 3: 

My wife came home from the beauty salon one afternoon, and those two women must've had one heck of a gab session because Amy's hair had way too much taken off the top, the sides and the back. When Amy walked in the door, I thought she was one of the Beatles from 1964. I took one look at her and asked, "Wow! Are you mad at your hairdresser? Did you get your money back for that?"

That's the kind of thing that, once it gets past your teeth, it can't be caught and put back in. That's the kind of thing that sets a woman to blubbering, and no amount of telling her she's beautiful will ever convince her that you're not lying. At that point, the best you can do is say, "Aww, don't worry, honey, it'll grow back."  

OK, young men, lean in here a little bit — I don't want you to miss any of this. I'm trying to save you the pain that I've been through.

If you go to your wife's class reunion and meet all her high school friends for the first time, don't say, "Wow, your friends are all really hot. Are you sure this is your class?"

If your wife spends an afternoon cooking a pork roast with carrots, onions, gravy and mashed potatoes, and asks how it is, don't respond, "My mom's was better."

If you're lying in bed watching "The Biggest Loser" on TV with your wife, always remember that it's not a compliment to her if you say, "Honey, I think you would kick butt on this show!"

Well, like I said, I've been at this a long time. So, guys, you don't have to take my advice. Go on, learn it all the hard way, but don't ever say that ol' Uncle Grant didn't try to save you a whole lot of grief — and a whole lot of money that you'll be spending on flowers.

In case you've heard nothing I've had to say so far, please heed this last little snippet of advice:

If your wife is in a foul mood, complaining because you failed to put the new toilet paper on the roller, don't — under any circumstance — ask her, "Why are you so grouchy?" That's the kind of question that will make her forget to buy Pop Tarts at the grocery store, and make her accidentally shrink your lucky T-shirt.

— By Tribune community columnist Grant Berry


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