ManFAQ Friday: Selective Attention for Self-Preservation

It’s Friday, and that means answer time! For those of you who have commented with questions from previous ManFAQs, thank you. I’m adding yours to the list of questions women have asked about men over the years, and I will answer them all in turn – to continue to demystify the more malodorous gender for those of the gentler.  Actual questions, posed by real women, and answered by a REAL man. What could go wrong?

Question:   Why is it that my husband always notices if someone’s video game toon has reached a new level or gotten new gear – but getting him to notice a new thing in the house or a new hair cut is a bit like pulling teeth? 

Answer:    This is actually a corollary to the well-known issue of selective hearing.  The first thing you have to know is that Change Is Bad.  Well, not bad per se, but fraught with danger – because we don’t know how to react.  You’re describing changes that took place without our knowing about them beforehand – we weren’t there when it happened and we don’t know what your reaction was at the time. 

Do you have any idea how much trouble we think we’ll be in if we come home and say, “Wow, great haircut!” only to find that you are firmly of the opinion that this has been the worst hair day of your life to date, and you’re contemplating shaving your head, and you’ve been crying since you got home?  What if it turns out that new vase is from your great aunt Mollie, whom you loathe, and you’re pissed that you have to display it at least until the holidays because what if she comes over with Mom unannounced?  We don’t know if YOU like it yet.  Aversion to that kind of danger is literally built into our DNA – because guys who routinely step on those domestic landmines don’t procreate as often.  For obvious reasons.

Video games aren’t more interesting.  They’re just safer, by which we mean “less likely to impact our chances of Hey Hey later.” 

Now you know.  Please, feel free to comment!  Also, forward any questions you’d like answered to BUMD – at –!

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