Alex and I are rounding the corner on our second year of marriage and, as expected, all sorts of deep-seated issues are starting to manifest. I accept zero responsibility for these problems because I’m pretty sure they were already lying dormant inside of Alex, just waiting to manifest.
The most persistent of these problems has a name: Male Pattern Blindness
Confession: as the youngest in a family of seven, I have been guilty MANY times of not actually looking for an item before giving up and declaring it doesn’t exist. But that’s chump change compared to Alex’s new and ever-increasing inability to locate physical objects that are right in front of his face.
I wasn’t sure how this worked until I saw it in action last night. Normally, I’m in the other room when I hear some banging cabinets and exasperated sighs. “Where’s the naproxen? It’s not where we usually keep it.”
Where Alex thinks “we usually keep it”: A location where it was seen, 7 months ago, on a single occasion.
Where we actually “usually keep it”: In a medicine bin. Where all the medicine is. On a shelf about six inches from where he thinks we usually keep it.
Pause: I’ve had a twitter account since 2013 so I know I’m about to get in huge trouble for stereotyping genders and I’ve also heard of Reddit, which means I’ll be trashed in Men’s Rights forums, but I present for you The Curious Incident of The Mug in The Kitchen:
When: Last night.
Where: The kitchen
What: Alex wanted to split a beer, but Zola wanted us to take her to the dog park.
Why: I suggested we just take the beer to the dog park, but Alex—a law-abiding citizen—was uncomfortable with the idea, so I suggested we pour it in his camping beer mug.
ENTER THE SEARCH FOR THE BEER MUG.
He gave me that look I love, the one that says “you’re a genius, and this is why I married you,” but it was immediately replaced by intense confusion and bewilderment as he swept his arms to the side, turned 360 degrees, and said “but where’s the mug?”
I’d never actually witnessed it with my own eyes– this moment of intense searching– so I basically tripped over every piece of furniture in the living room to get to him so I could loudly and repeatedly point out that he didn’t actually *look* for the mug before declaring it missing.
Questions: Did he think we were living in an enchanted two-bedroom apartment where all you had to do was state your wishes aloud and faerie magic would make it appear? And if so, am I the Beauty or the Beast in this scenario?
With nothing to say (because he knows I’m right in all things, but specifically this thing) he decided to make a show of searching for the mug– which consisted of opening the dishwasher and peering inside.
More Questions: Does he think we recently used the camping mug and therefore it had just been washed? Does he think the dishwasher is where dishes are kept? Does he think the dishwasher is the appliance equivalent of a stork, being the magical and inexplicable source of clean dishes? More importantly, does he think someone in this house is actually washing dishes?
Only after I pulled out my notes app and started dictating a narrative of this bewildering situation did it finally occur to him to look inside the cabinet, where—you guessed it—the mug was waiting.
I feel like I’ve seen behind the curtain and all the mystery in our relationship has faded. Here I thought there might actually be something terribly wrong with Alex (for which I could become a heroic Cover-of-People-Magazine sort of supportive wife), but no. His eyes are fine. His brain is fine. This is clearly a symptom of a much deeper issue: He actually thinks I’m capable of filling in the gaps in his own reasoning. Poor guy.
Do you know someone who suffers from Male Pattern Blindness? How has the mystery faded from YOUR relationship?
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