1. I like that red shirt.
Translation: Throw out all the shirts that don’t look like that one. Although I may not often express preferences, when I do, they are subtle and only someone as attuned to me as you are truly understands what I mean. And red is the color of passion, which I associate with only you.
2. Sure, let’s just stay home.
Translation: If we cancel this sitter, we will really be sinking the last nail into our coffin as middle-aged parents who do nothing fun ever. I could obviously suck up being tired and rally, why can’t you?
3. The sitter is so great with the kids.
Translation: Did you notice her breasts? I did. Did you notice me noticing them? Are you ever going to make any effort with your appearance again? When I travel for work, women hit on me nonstop. Sometimes they give me their panties.
4. Where did your blue shirt go?
Translation: I am just making sure you got rid of that piece of detritus that I previously implied looked like a Swiffer cloth on you and highlighted that your breasts are not as appealing as the babysitter’s.
5. No, for real, where did all your other shirts go?
Translation: I appreciate that you recalled my admittedly coy remark that I liked your red shirt, which obviously indicated that I am repelled by the rest of your wardrobe. You get me, girl.
6. What the hell is this credit card bill about?
Translation: Sweetheart, I know you bought all of these clothes to look good for me, and I value your commitment to the marriage. I have stopped visualizing the babysitter’s breasts when we have intercourse.
7. I wish we didn’t end up going out last night. I’m beat.
Translation: Not as beat as I’d feel if you had taken me at my word and cancelled the well-endowed sitter who allowed us to feel, for a fleeting evening, like the couple we were before kids. I felt we had a magical connection, especially when we were discussing if Madison has more of your mom’s stubbornness or your dad’s temper, and when you asked to share dessert and then ate the whole thing yourself.
8. Why do you keep mentioning the sitter’s boobs? She’s like 17.
Translation: Just a test. We both know she’s 19 and a sophomore and having issues with figuring out her major and dealing with her pothead boyfriend. I listen when she talks to you, although I pretend to play Xbox.
9. I don’t know, what are YOU thinking about?
Translation: I’m too shy to take the reins of this conversation. Please help me by steering the topic toward my insecurity about growing apart at this critical juncture of our marriage, when we are parenting two small children and seem to have not much to say to one another. I must somehow show you that I am both in this to win it and also completely open to anything you think might improve our romantic connection. But tragically, I am unable to verbally express my own feelings without your gentle guidance, likely because my mother was unemotional and self-absorbed and unable to teach me how to truly connect with an intimate partner.
10. What the hell are you talking about?
Translation: An open ended question! Conclusive proof that, all along, I’ve been reading those relationship self-help books that you left on my night table. Let’s settle in for a long, romantic talk. I know how much you’re yearning to connect to me on an emotional, vulnerable level, and I want to meet you where you’re at. God, I love you.