It was 30 degrees at 9am, and I was headed to the pool to cool off. Suddenly, I heard my significant other’s voice coo, ‘Matt, can you phone the kennel about the dogs for when we go on holiday?’ Huh? That was over six weeks away. They’re two three-kilogram Chihuahuas – how much space could they possibly take up at the doggie day spa? Clearly, she was joking.
I grunted in response and carried on with the day. At lunchtime, she rephrased the request: ‘Did that number work – the one for the kennel?’ Then at dinner, my personal favourite: ‘So, what did they tell you when you called about boarding the dogs?’
At this point, I had no choice – it was self-preservation. I pulled out my secret weapon, the one little phrase that’s proven to drive her straight up the wall: ‘You’re nagging’.
I felt guilty… ish, but hey, as soon as I said it, she stopped asking me to make the call.
Here’s the thing: In guys’ minds, we already did everything a woman (ie. Mom) asked for 18 years, and it almost killed us. But now that we are (ahem) all grown up, we don’t want to be told what to do. If we do everything our girlfriends and wives say, we will actually lose our manly status and turn into children again. Yes, we really think that.
Enter ‘You’re nagging’. We know this phrase will silence you instantly, and that’s why we whip it out. We’re well aware that being called a nag mentally morphs a woman into a 160-kilogram housewife in pink curlers and a hideous floral nightgown.
Men also know – though we’ll never admit it – that we make your repeated requests necessary in the first place. Ugly guy truth: No matter how much we love you, we’re only capable of listening to about 20% of what you have to say. As a result, we force you to repeat yourself, and then we call it nagging, and then… you get really, really pissed off.