Monday, June 16, 2014

"How Do I Look?" Advice for Husbands

Dear Husbands,

When we ask you how we look, it's not because we're trying to torture you. Yes, we know, to you this question is a minefield. There are so many wrong answers possible. I'm going to spill some secrets here and tell you both WHY we do it and a few ways you can answer correctly.

1. We need someone to tell us if something is wrong. Stains, rips, buttons askew, unmatched shoes - maybe you couldn't care less if they happen to you. But we care - a lot. Help us out - we've been wrangling toddlers (or teenagers) all day. Presentable is the new standard and you can help us meet it. And please, PLEASE, just tell us if our skirts are tucked into our tights. So. Not. Cool.
source: K Michiels
2. We need someone - namely you - to care. When you answer "fine" or "OK" or worst of all, you don't answer at all, we interpret that as you are busy, you don't care or, on a really bad day, that you don't love us anymore and we are destined to live out the rest of our natural lives in a loveless, lonely marriage and... OK, yes, we can get a bit carried away. Please don't let that happen.

If we ask you which shirt is better, tell us which one you like and maybe even why. ("It matches your eyes," "It looks happier," "It feels better when we hug," are all possible winning answers.)

We're asking your opinion not just because we don't have any girlfriends handy, but because your opinion carries so much weight.
3. We need someone to remember. When you say something like, "I like that dress because it reminds me of that one you wore when we were dating," well, that's gold right there. That's Pass Go & Collect $200 in wife world.

We want to know what you like. If you think one hairstyle is better than another, for heaven's sake, SAY SO. Fixing hair can be a time-consuming task. Save us the effort if you prefer down or up or curled or braided. Do you want us to wear eye makeup or a darker lipstick or less makeup altogether? What do we wear to make you think about when we first fell in love? Is there a scent or perfume you like better than the others? Don't just think it - say it.

See, this isn't just academic. We do this for you. Sure, we want to be presentable to the world. We'd rather not walk out in public in unflattering clothes. But the real goal is to see a sparkle in your eyes. If you tell us which shirt you like best, I guarantee you'll see that shirt more often.
Let's recap:
  • Don't say: That's hideous.
  • Do say: I like your (insert specific article of clothing here) more.
  • Don't say: Fine.
  • Do say: I love when you wear (specific item here).
  • Don't say: nothing.
  • Do say: Hon, you're wearing two different shoes. Tell me which one you want and I'll go get it. [bonus points!]
  • Don't say: I wish you looked like you did when we were dating. [author's note: this is considered grounds for divorce in all 50 states.]
  • Do say: That (specific article of clothing) reminds me of when we were dating, OR I love it when you wear my team colors, OR pretty much anything else other than the above statement.
Get it? We're dressing for you. We want to know you care, that you notice us, and that you love us enough not to let us go out with spaghetti sauce stains down our sleeves.

If I can assist you further in these matters, do write.

Sincerely yours,
A Wife
[*author's note: this letter was not precipitated by any incorrect action on the part of the author's own fabulous husband. It is advice purely for the betterment of marriages everywhere.]

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Mandy Thomas said...

This is great! I love it when I get specific, positive or practical feedback from my husband. Plus, he has a better eye for what looks right together. Now if I could just convince him "How does this look?" is not a trick question! ;-)

Karen said...

My Philip is quite an artist. His opinion on what looks nice carries double weight with me.

Maybe we just need to be more specific in our questions. "Does this color make me look tired?" Instead of "Do I look fat in this?" Poor husbands, so many minefields to cross. ;)

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