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Column: Women's weight

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The voice of The Love of My Life came out of the bathroom one morning last weekend. At least, I think it was her voice, and not Lady Kenmore the Dryer. As you may or may not know, appliances and I communicate with one another, so sometimes I'm not sure who it is that's speaking, or whom I'm answering. They usually don't speak out loud, but it's hard for me to tell the difference.

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The voice said: "Come in here, I want to show you something."

Come in here, I want to show you something?

I didn't answer, just got very quiet, and began running through the possible scenarios of what she was going to show me so that I might not blow yet another opportunity to verify my touchy-feely side to the opposite sex. Honest, I really try. But I feel like a blind man pinch-hitting in the majors when I try to communicate with them; "them," of course, including The Love of My Life.

"I know you're out there! Just come here."

The Voice seemed reasonable, not angry, not upset. This was going to be bad. Any time a member of the opposite race uses The Voice that isn't a voice; they're up to something. I needed to prepare myself.

"I can hear you trying to open the front door. I'm in the bathroom, silly."

Silly me, I replied, of course you are.

Rats. There goes fleeing as an alternative. So think! Risk equals probability times consequence. What might she show me? I doubt it's my birthday present, that's several months away. Did she get her hair cut, and I missed it? Did she get some new clothes and I should ready a compliment so it seems heartfelt and sincere? Risk. Probability. Consequence. Think. Dead man walking, that's what I think.

Gasp! Did she buy a bikini bathing suit and she wants me to see it? I thought back to a friend some years back who, upon coming back from a long day's work, was met by his 50-year-old wife at the door in her new bikini, who said: "What do you think? Do I look fat in this?"

Mankind has invented antibiotics, walked on the moon, and elected a black man as president, but nothing in our DNA prepares us to properly respond to this kind of emergency situation. I told him that he should have just fainted right there in the doorway, and refused to come out of a fake coma until she took that off and looked like he expected her to look.

So what did you say, I asked him?

Did you say: "Honey, you make January worth living through in that." Or, "Honey, you look just as good as you did in high school." Or, "Honey, you're a sight for sore eyes in that bikini."

Um, no, he replied. I told her: No, you don't.

Oh no. You didn't. Women don't want answers to their questions. That's not how it works. They consider questions preliminary to in-depth discussions about other subject matter. Think of it like this: They're an African bushman digging a deep pit for an animal trap. That's how women look at questions about their hair, their weight, their new clothing--everything. Deep pits. Deep pits.

Deep pits. Something in the bathroom. Man up, here, brain. Or woman up. Whatever. Get ready with something.

So, ready or not, here I come. I marched into the bathroom like a man to the firing squad, and saw her standing on the weight scale, gazing down at it.

This was going to be very bad. I immediately began to add up my IRA's and my 401K plans. Would they get me to Mexico, or not. Maybe even South America. Peru. I've heard you can still get lost in Peru.

What's up, I said, cool as a cucumber.

Ohhhhhhhn oooooooo. What did I say that for? I'm a dead man.

"Look at this," she said as she pointed down at the scale's dial.

I stammered out: "I didn't mean what was up. I meant what was going down. You might have thought I thought that you thought that your, you know, what you weigh, was up but I didn't mean that. Really." A drop of cold sweat slid down my nose.

Then I said, when she didn't respond: I've been meaning to fix that thing, looking for a way to explain why it was saying she was heavier that she was.

"Look!" she said. "I'm a pound lighter."

Wow, I replied, so you are, as I went through the motions of looking at The Dial Men Never Look At, but I didn't focus my eyes lest I be struck blind.

That's great.

What's for breakfast?

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