Friday, July 5, 2013

Are You Listening?

By: George Lee Cunningham

Virtually every girltalk070513married woman I have ever met has the same complaint about her husband. He just doesn’t listen.

I am no exception to this rule. As a matter of fact, I may be the poster child for this rule, or so my wife claims.

There are a lot of things men can say about not listening to their wives – most of which will get them in trouble quicker than a lightning bolt can fry a pine tree. And because we are not nearly as stupid as we sometimes seem, most men don’t actually say these things to their wives.  They just think these thoughts – or share them with other men. Thoughts like:

Well, women feel a need to talk, whether there is anything to say or not, so you have to tune them out or you are in this endless loop of female trivia.

Or, I am aware that she is talking, and I am listening, but I’m not really paying attention – kind of like when you’re squeezing the tomatoes in the produce section while the supermarket sound system is playing the Living Strings version of “Some Enchanted Evening.” You hear it, but it’s just background noise.

Or, if is all that important, I am sure she will tell me again. And again. And again.

Now I personally would never say or think any of these things, but I have heard men make these kinds of comments to other men.

Women, on the other hand, claim that men are self-absorbed twits, who are interested only in their own selfish pursuits, playing with their toys, and bragging to one another about how great they are. The only time they are really interested in what a woman has to say is when they want something from her.

Men who hear this grievance, and most married men have at one time or another, are always a little mystified.

They don’t necessarily deny it. But they are left wondering, “what, exactly is her point?”

George and his wife, Carmela, are writing a book on the history of the Port of Long Beach. You can reach George at



  1. Unfortunately, the First Amendment does not apply equally to husbands and wives.

  2. Larry LaRue says:

    I would agree with you, but my wife might read it and then we’ both be in trouble.

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