It was that critical make-or-break point. Twenty-two years old and three months into our relationship, Mr. Candy and I were having “The Talk” at a cozy Manhattan bar over chicken fingers and too many bottles of wine. What were we, I wanted to know, and should we just go our separate ways. I wasn’t upset or confrontational; I was simply tired of his noncommittal attitude and ready to move on, if that was what he wanted. Mr. Candy, a usually talkative and jolly guy, was rendered quiet. This was the first time a girl had forced him to have The Talk, and he was more uncomfortable than Paris Hilton at a Mensa convention. The awkwardness was almost tangible — the kind of awkwardness that makes it hard to meet eyes. Mr. Candy was staring at the table so hard, I could have sworn he was fighting back tears. I touched his hand.
“What are you thinking?”
A short pause, as Mr. Candy traced a small area of the table with his finger.
“How far I can push this piece of fuzz without it falling apart.”
That’s right, people. In the midst of having THE Talk, the talk that would decide our future together or lack thereof, the talk that would ultimately lead to marriage and the creation of our beautiful daughter, Mr. Candy was mulling over FUZZ.
It was then that I learned two very important things: 1) My future husband was honest, almost to a fault; and 2) Guys are just not that deep.
You’d think I would have also learned not to ask that question again. But here’s the thing about us women: we have a lot of trouble accepting the fact that men spend more time thinking about fuzz than they do about us, convinced that guys must devote some time thinking about the relationship. Especially when, you know, we’re in the MIDDLE OF A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP.
Well, no offense to my fellow ladies, but we are, in fact, idiots.
Thirteen years later and I still delude myself into believing one day Mr. Candy will respond with an innermost thought that he just now feels comfortable sharing, or a romantic sentiment that will sweep me off my feet.
“What are you thinking?”
Seven times out of ten: The fate of his sports teams.
Two times out of ten: Work.
One time out of ten: That he really likes my cleavage.
This is no exaggeration. The only exception to that rule was when I told him I was pregnant last year. “We are going to be parents! What do you think?” I assumed he would hug me, overjoyed. Instead he turned pale.
“Oh, my god. That’s scary.”
Then he immediately wondered how the baby would affect his NFL Sundays.
Of course, we all know by now that The Talk and The Pregnancy have happy endings. A more devoted husband and father, Mr. Candy could not be. But just ONE of these days you’d think he would humor his annoyingly persistent wife and say, “That I’m the luckiest man on earth.” And I would reward his white lie with more cleavage.