Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Translating Man Talk

Yahoo had an article about translating men's talk. (It was linked from the front page; give me a break. -- Translation: I'm a man and cannot have people thinking that I might be interested in relationships or anything emotional; therefore I must offer an excuse for reading this article.) I decided I would offer my own translations. I'm copying pretty extensively from the article, so please click on this link to read the original so that I don't feel bad. (Translation: I think this is fair use, but I'm not certain so please don't sue me, Ms. Yahoo Attorney. Remember that I linked to your site so that I'm actually directing traffic your way. In fact, you should pay me.)

Anyway, each numbered paragraph is from the article and my comment is beneath it. Others are welcome to translate my translations as they wish.

The original article.

1. He starts talking about how crazy all his single friends lives are, and then he tells you that he doesn't miss it at all. What most women will think if they hear this, is that he misses those days. This is not true. He says this because he is looking for confirmation that you feel exactly the same way. He also wants to communicate that he's ready to take the relationship to the next level.

Well, depends on the crazy activities he's telling you about. If his crazy friend was walking home to find his clothes being tossed out the window of his no longer shared apartment or his friend got drunk and shacked up with someone you know your boyfriend doesn't like, then, yes, he's showing off how much smarter he is to be in a relationship with you. If his crazy friend ended up on the bus for the local NFL cheerleaders team on the way to San Francisco and, moreover, he left the bus with two dates and a collar with lipstick on it, then, sorry, but he's missing the single life suddenly. If the bus thing happened, he's actually telling you in hopes of getting a few boyfriend points. "See, I could be with hot cheerleaders but I'm choosing you! Don't you want to, um, reward me for being so into you?"

2. Since you recently took him to your family's house for dinner, he can't stop talking about how much fun he had with your brother. What he means here is that he really likes your family, and wouldn't mind being a part of your family.

What he's saying is that he likes your brother. It's not a code. He wouldn't mind hanging out with your brother even if you broke up, but most guys are not that stupid.

3. He teases you about things like how clumsy you are or about how you put smiley faces in every one of your emails. What he's really telling you when he does this is that he really likes you a lot. Remember that men are just giant boys... we tease the ones we love and ignore the ones we don't.

Yes, wasn't that hand in the warm water while you were sleeping last week so endearing? And don't you want to spend your life with a giant boy? What? No? You were looking for a man? As Corey Flood said to Lloyd Dobler (played by John Cusack) in the movie Say Anything: The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy.

4. A man tells you he needs his space. So what does this mean to you? It means that you need to ignore him and not call him. Men love the chase. By not calling him, he'll start calling you and wondering what happened.

Yes, nothing says love like being ignored. This one does depend on the man. Some people, which includes the male ones, would tell their grandmother off if they thought they were in the right. Some people would politely say, "um, that's interesting, I'll have to check my calendar," when Hitler asks them to the movies. Which one is he closer to? Can he hurt feelings for long term good, or is he going to finagle out. I'm a finagler. If he's a finagler, "space" probably means he's breaking up. Sorry.

5. A man says that he really wants you to meet his parents. What does this mean in man talk? He's telling you that you are his girlfriend, and that he is ready to take it to the next level by getting you involved with his family. This brings us right to the next bit of man talk.

Yeah, this one's accurate. The only thing else I can think of is that he's finally found a girl he thinks his mom will like and so he's taking the opportunity to show you off. Unfortunately, he might not like you as much as he thinks his mom will. If he's only going for son points with his mom though, he will regret it for many years when his mother compares everyone else to you. At least it's a little payback.

6. When a man calls you and says, "I want you to meet my friends on Friday night," this is as big as meeting his parents. He's introducing you to his pack. It means that he thinks you are attractive and sexy, and he wants to show you off to his friends.

This man has friends he likes to see on Friday night?! Why isn't he spending Friday night with you?! Bastard.

7. After sleeping over at his house several times, he tells you that the next time you sleep over you should bring some things to make you feel more comfortable and a change of clothing. In man talk, that is basically telling you that he's wondering what it would be like to live with you. He also wants your things around.

A sleep over?! Yes, definitely bring your sesame street sleeping bag, your Dukes of Hazzard lunch box, and a ouija board.

Oh, you mean THAT kind of sleepover. Maybe he just wants to make THAT kind of sleepover happen more often.

8. You have plans with him on a Sunday, and you find out that he passed up floor seats to his favorite basketball team to keep those plans with you. What does that tell you in man talk? It tells you that he's hooked... and that you are his girlfriend.

This tells you the man's got serious cash. Floor seats at a basketball stadium and he can go again later? Damn. If you've been dining at Denny's, you're getting gipped big time. If you know he's got no cash, then you've found yourself a man with a load of credit card debt. Run.

9. He is watching one of your favorite shows on a night you're not together, and he calls you afterwards to talk about it. In man talk, what does this mean? By doing this, he's telling you that he pays attention to you, and he's interested in learning more about you and sharing more things with you. Men generally do not choose to watch "Project Runway" on their own. If we're watching your TV shows, we really like you.

True that, as Sammy would say. By the way, is Project Runway like a This Old House of airports? If so, I'd totally watch that. Nothing like watching a little cement pouring on TV. Mmmm, ready mix.

10. He tells you, "I've cleaned today." What this means in man talk is, "I spent the day doing something I dislike more than anything." You need to realize that when a man says this to you, he really likes you. To most men, cleaning the house is just about the worst way he can spend a day.

I thought this meant, "ok, I could see you wrinkling your nose when the milk in the fridge was green and you had to leap over stuff to get into the bed, but, um, I'm really, really hoping that maybe, you know, we could try that sleepover thing again? Please? You can sleep on top!"


Robin S. said...

I like your translated article the best. I like it because you're not telling women what they want to hear, and because it made me smile.

And because I love the trampoline scene.

And because this article reminds me of the amazing number of articles out there in Glamour, Cosmo, etc. (it's been a while since I've read this stuff, so 'etc' is the best I've got) - so the appeal must be 'inside knowledge' plus a little 'it's just as I thought, he loves me, he just needs a little training, a littel grooming' tossed in fro good measure.

You should write columns for the mags, paca. Funnier, and ultimately, more helpful. Good combo.

pacatrue said...

Thanks, Robin. I don't actually believe everything I write of course, but it's more fun this way.

pjd said...

paca, you nailed it every time. I didn't read the full article (why bother when it doesn't include your color commentary). My quick responses:

#1. You SO nailed this one.

#2. It could also mean he's closet gay and really likes your brother. Men don't gush about liking other men.

#3. This is another "it depends on the guy." For some, it's just a way of remarking on endearing qualities. For others, it's a subtle form of controlling abuse. Be careful out there.

#4. "Men love the chase"? WTF kind of generalization stereotype is that? Personally, I love the spoils of the hunt far more than the chase. In fact, I wouldn't mind if the prey wandered into my lair. Forget the frickin' chase. Oh, and if you stop calling me? I think you don't want to talk to me any more, so I move on.

#5 and 6. Again, you nailed it.

#7. No, "bring some things to make you feel more comfortable" is guy speak for "bring a friend, or two, because I know how comfortable you are with your girl friends."

#8. It means you're living in a romantic comedy. Either that, or he's lying about the basketball game.

#9. ROFL on project runway.

#10. Nailed it again.

I laughed all the way through your commentary, paca. Part because it's funny and part because you speak Truth.

SammyJankis said...

Woohoo! I've been quoted!!!

Courtney said...

all i can say brother is that u rock and brought lots of smiles and chuckles to me just know! and thats impressive after baking since 5:30am this morning!!!

u so rock paca!!!!!!!

freddie said...

Ah, man talk has finally been explained to me. NOW ya tell me!

pacatrue said...

I'm glad I could help out, Freddie.

pjd, I think you got #8 down better than myself.

Robin S. said...


Canyou start a 'man talk' column here? Say monthly?

It would be so damn good!!

Kiersten said...

Pacatrue, I was laboring under the delusion that you were a woman. (This gender confusion happens to me a lot on EE.)

This has permanently cleared that up.

And it was a riot.

ChrisEldin said...

These are hysterical! I especially loved number 8 because it took me off guard completely!
Yay to Robin's idea of you writing for women's magazines! She did say that, didn't she? Or did I read too much into her comment...

Robin S. said...

Yep- paca doin' a man talk column. That's what we need!!

sylvia said...

I'll take your translation over that yahoo's version any day!

Although I gotta tell you - any guy who phones me to tell me what he just watched on television? *yawn* He can find someone else to phone until he finds some real conversation, kthx.

Funny, though, I wouldn't be that bitchy about it if it were a book ... as long as he didn't try to recite the plot at me. :)