Good day to you, saints! I ain’t gwine keep ya long today. There is just a quick observation I have made that I wanted to share with you. Perhaps you have noticed it to.
This is an exercise for both men and women: Close your mind’s eye if you would, and imagine a might grizzly bear sniffing for berries and shrubs. Is he making the most horrific sounds…like he’s farting through his nose? Good. That’s a healthy grizzly bear. Now, if you’re a man imagining this, what you may not know is this is the sound your wife hears when she thinks you are talking absolute nonsense. No, honestly.
I repeat: A male mate who is making no sense to his female spouse sounds like a wounded galactic beast clinging to the last vestiges of life.
You are getting offended, eh? Just wait.
I had the pleasure of having coffee at MX5’s house about a month or more ago, and on this rare occasion, FX5 happened to come home early. Just 60 days ago, Bill Cosby was still a hot topic that was being heavily debated around not just this nation, but the world. A cadre of Black men came gallantly to Mr. Cosby’s defense – not necessarily for his sake, but for the sake of preserving the virtuous image of Black manhood – and FX5 seemed to be one of them.
“Why is it that every time the culture or the government wants to take a Black man down, they use sex?” he wondered aloud. “They did the same thing with MLK. They have done it scores of our national leaders.” He went on to ask rhetorically. “They didn’t have nothing else to take Bill Cosby down with?”
MX5 responded, saying “I agree, but perhaps the answer is for Black men is to stop doing these things – like drugging and raping women or having affairs on their wives – and then they wouldn’t have to use sex as a weapon against them.”
As the conversation raged on, I found myself a mere spectator. I could not get a word in edgewise between husband and wife. Finding himself on the ropes in the face of MX5’s dazzling mental dexterity, FX5 conceded a few of her points, revised the wording of some of his statements, but stood by his initial premise. This did not go down well with MX5, who to my amazed me with what she did next.
I was gobsmacked. What was I seeing? What was I hearing?! I was seeing myself, that’s what. I was seeing myself (and every other Black married woman, apparently) in MX5. This was something other people did? Surely, this could not be so. As I typically do when I doubt I’ve interpreted something correctly, I ask Marshall his thoughts.
“Babe…I KNOW when I think you are being insensitive/unwitty/regressive I make this weird noise while imitating you.”
“Oh, you mean the one where you make me sound like the teacher in a Peanuts cartoon?” Marshall replied with a scoff.
“Yes! That one! Only today…I saw MX5 do it to FX5,” I said pensively. “He doesn’t even sound like that.”
“That’s just something you Black women do,” Marshall said flatly. “My mom does it. My aunt Wilma does it. You all do it.”
Unfortunately, I don’t spend enough time with my white female married friends outside of the virtual world to refute his assertion, but somehow I doubt that’s true. Instead, I thought back to all the instances where I’ve seen this behavior and have come to realize it’s an actual thing…a veritable female tic. Ironically, the Cosby Show provided one such example.
Do you recall the episode where Bill had prepared a bar-b-que for the family, but all his kids where fighting with their spouses? It was the episode where Lisa Bonet (aka Denise Huxtable) was wearing that odd yellow jump suit that made her look like a hungry banana. Anyhow, Elvin had said something sexist and Sandra called him out on it immediately. Martin (Denise onscreen husband) didn’t give a reply when he asked about his feelings about what Elvin had said. Instead, he laughed and walked out of the room. As the episode progressed, Denise made a mockery of Martin’s visceral response by contorting her face and making her imitation sound like something out of a Willy Wonka nightmare.
Oh Gawd. Maybe Marshall was right!
Now if you’re a woman, pause and think about the last time your husband/partner said something you consider dumb. When you regurgitated his words back to him (and we always do), what did you voice sound like?
I already know; A wounded wookiee.
I’m sure there are many reasons women do this, and I’m sure some of it is evolutionary. I think a part of it has to do with the mysterious aura of your spouse dissipating over time. I the beginning, when the love was fresh and you guys are just getting to know each other, the dude still held some element of danger. He wasn’t completely known to you, right? So even when he said something you thought was off, you may have privately rolled your eyes passive-aggressively. But 10, 15, 35 years down the line, this is a guy who’ve nursed through fevers, coached through awkward interactions, sat up waiting for to come home until dawn and in some cases, had to bail out of jail. All that passive aggression morphs into full on aggressive aggression when the mystique is gone! And that gentlemen, is why you sound like a hurt Megatherium to your woman. But take heart fellas. We only hear this sound when we think you are being willfully obtuse and because we love you.
M.O.M. Squad of all ages and races, have you noticed this behavior? Are Black women the only ones guilty of it. Are you going to pause the next time you find yourself to make these grunting noises? Are husbands going to exclaim “See! You’re doing it!” the next time your wife imitates you? Discuss! ↓