Official Women's Guide to Manspeak

Want to avoid misunderstandings? Understand Manspeak.

One out of two marriages end in divorce. Why? I don't know. Ask Tom Cruise. Ask Jim Carrey - for the love of God, ask Al and Tipper Gore. They'll all probably say there was some sort of communication breakdown -- which often translates into the man dating someone half his age, losing half his income, and acting like a half-wit.

It really all boils down to saying what we mean, and being understood. How many times have we told our significant other, "That's not what I meant," "I never said that," "You're misinterpreting my remarks," or even "Do you actually expect me to believe that this pair of panties, half my size and stuffed into the glove compartment, is supposed to be a gift for me?"

In an effort to do my part to improve male-female communication, I've begun writing the Official Women's Guide to Manspeak, which provides women with actual phrases that men most frequently use -- and then translates them into what men really mean by them. This guide is based on interviews with thousands of divorced men, plus one very long, agonizing conversation with Roseanne Barr. If I can save just one relationship with my guide, well, then, that's a pretty poor record, but it's a start. Here are some sample entries:

"I'm sorry." I'm not sorry, but I want sex tonight.

"Sweetheart, do we have anything planned for the weekend?" I've made plans to spend the entire weekend drinking and having belching contests with my old fraternity buddies, and just wanted to make sure that you hadn't committed us to yet another agonizingly dull function.

"What do you feel like for dinner tonight?" What do you plan to cook for dinner tonight and how fast can you set it in front of me while I watch the sports channel?

"Do you need some help with the housecleaning?" After four straight hours playing video games, I thought I'd poke my head out and ask this at the exact moment I knew you were finished with the cleaning.

"I washed the dishes." Is it sex yet?

"Did you just hear something?" While I continue sleeping, could you go downstairs and check whether or not an escaped felon has broken in? If so, please disarm him and have him arrested, without waking me.

"Of course I'm listening to you." Wow, that girl's not wearing a bra!

"I'm looking for a committed, long-term relationship." I'll say anything I think you need to hear, including this, to get you to take your clothes off.

"Yes, I'd love to go see 'Sex and the City 2' with you." Assuming, that is, that 'The A Team,' 'Killers,' and 'Iron Man 2' are sold out.

"No, that's a great look for you, really." Especially if we're going to a costume party and you're supposed to be a house being tented for termites.

"You and your mom look amazingly alike." Oh, God, you're going to end up looking like your mom!

"You think I'm attracted to her? That woman doesn't have one-tenth your class or depth." I would chew off my foot to be with her for one night.

"Your casserole is so unusual and interesting--I have never tasted anything like it." I bet if Fido hadn't eaten for two weeks and I offered this to him, he'd say, "Pass."

"Your sensitivity is one of the things I love most about you." What is it, your time of the month again?

"If I was given the choice between a romantic weekend with you, or with Scarlett Johansson, I would choose you." Yeah, right. Anyway, now can we have sex?

"I really want to get into shape this year." My friend at work told me about this new health club that has a co-ed jacuzzi.

"Do you think this milk is still good?" Could you taste this disgusting, curdled mess so that I won't have to?

"I run my own business." I approach cars stopped at red lights, squeegee their windows and demand tips.

"After we make love, I just want to hold you." The sooner you fall asleep, the sooner I can prepare that frozen pizza and watch TV wrestling.

"Pleased to meet you--my name is Brad Swift." Pleased to meet you -- my name is Shmuel Sapperstein.

"I respect your wanting to remain a virgin until you marry. It shows you have morals and self-control. It'll also make sex more sacred and meaningful when it happens." Check, please!

"I don't think it's either of our faults--we just don't seem to have the right chemistry together." I met a woman with much larger breasts than yours.

"I'm not really in the mood for sex tonight." April Fools!