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Thursday, October 18, 2007

 

Yes Dear

There is a phrase common to most married men which has it’s equivalent in every known human language. This phrase often is the last resort of the mature household peacekeeper and the disinterested male who really can’t be bother to listen to their other half kicking off about what is to them (The disinterested party), some trivial issue. You don’t really mean that you agree with everything that your spouse or significant other is saying, it’s just that you can’t be bothered right now and would like some peace and quiet to a) think b) watch the footie c) get out of doing any more bloody trudging round shopping centres.

The following may be useful as examples of the principle in action.

Figure 1: Evasion
Partner “Have you done the washing up / put up shelves / put out garbage / walked dog?”
You (Disinterestedly, carry on as before) “Yes dear.”
Half an hour later.
Partner “You haven’t done the washing up! Etc.”
You “Pardon?”
Partner “You said you’d done the washing up!”
You (With innocent surprise) “Did I?”
Partner “You said ‘yes dear’ when I asked you.”
You (Try to sound sincere at this point) “Sorry love, I thought you were asking about something else.”
Partner “Men! You’re all selectively deaf!”
You (Using pre emptive meekness) “Yes dear.” Now you can get the hell out of Dodge.

Figure 2: Pre emptive strike
You “Yes dear.”
Partner (Perplexed) “What?”
You (In tones of ironic apology) “Sorry love, thought you wanted something.” Now you can put those headphones back on or turn the volume back up safe in the knowledge that whatever you were going to be asked to do has been completely driven from your partners mind.

Figure 3: Passive – aggressive
Partner “You aren’t listening are you?”
You (Sweetly) “Yes dear.”
Partner “No you weren’t!”
You (All sweet reason and light) “Oh but I am now. What did you want?”
Partner (In frustration) “Owaarh!” Partner then shuts up and sulks for a bit so you can get on with whatever it was you wanted to do in the first place.

Mrs S and I often use the “Yes dear” on each other with an exchange that goes something like this;
Mrs S (Says something mildly contentious)
Me “Yes dear.”
Mrs S “I’ve been ‘Yes deared’ haven’t I?”
Me (With an evil grin) “Yes dear.”
Mrs S “Cheeky sod you are Bill.”
Me “Of course.”
Mrs S “I’ll get you later Bill.”
Me “Yes dear.”
Mrs S “Stop it!”
Me “Stop what?”
Mrs S “You know perfectly well what I mean.”
Me “Yes dear.”
Mrs S “Owaarh!”

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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