Skip to main content

That's Not What I Said!

Jim is an accomplished writer with many great literary achievements, most of which he simply made up.


Into the briars

The conversation has barely begun and I'm already on defense. Was it something I said?

Has this happened to you? Be careful where you say, you're already tangled in the briar patch.

Back to the melee unfolding. The conversation is at the point where she is telling me what I meant when I said 'that'.

What appears to be a non-confrontational reply, carelessly uttered, is being re-written. It has metamorphized into something grotesque, I no longer recognize. Like a zombie horror scene, my words are being killed before my eyes - only to come lurching back to 'life' in some weirdly mangled way. Too late I realize no comment is safe. Sincere flattery, innocent comments, expressions of affection, words naively uttered without malice are being weaponized.

"Wait," I protest. "That's not what I said." Meanwhile I can hear a warning in the background...

"Danger Will Robinson..."

If I actually had an alarm like that, it would be going off now.

She's doing it again.

She interrupts my conversation like a carjacker. Something I say will be hijacked and re-interpreted to mean whatever she thinks I meant it to say. At this point rational communication has come to a grinding halt.

Like a zombie horror scene, my words are being killed before my eyes - only to come lurching back to 'life' in some weirdly mangled way.

The clueless male

I knew I was in for trouble when she remarked this morning, "I woke up at 2 AM and couldn't go back to sleep."

Let me interpret for you. That means she has had five hours to dissect everything I ever said in the past ten years and filter it through 'the estrogen layer'. For the naive male, this is a topsy-turvy, secret subconscious world that exists inside every female mind, sporadically erupting to the surface with the destructive force of a volcano. I am speaking of that subterranean monster that lurks beneath while we men sit daintily on our assumptions; while we blissfully dangle our toes in clueless leisure, unaware of the fate to befall us.

Scroll to Continue

This is the only explanation I have of that phenomenon of the female mind --shudder-- which inverts, distorts and contorts all male words and behavior; woven into a tapestry of inference, accusation and suspicion with sinister undertones.

Her sullen thoughts, whatever her mother said, what all the other woman have been saying, and the past six months of whatever she's read on Facebook is coming at you. That list of things you haven't done, those momentary lapses of judgement, the less than judicious choice of words, the anniversaries forgotten …brace yourself!

Yes, there is a shadowy, murky place in the female mind we call the estrogen layer, a place where anything said can be distorted to mean whatever she chooses it to mean!

This is subconsciously why men run off to the golf course, or spend inordinate amounts of time in the woods 'hunting', or traipse off to unknown places to 'fish'; we are desperately pushing the reset button while we attempt to retrieve our sanity.

I have learned little I admit but I suspect the better strategy is to feign ignorance; throw yourself at the mercy of the court. And grovel. Groveling is always good.

When all else fails...

  • Program your Echo Dot or AI device to set off an alarm whenever she repeats any line from a recent soap opera. - this happens more often than you think.
  • Keep a spreadsheet to track your offenses; any offence you've been bludgeoned for more than twice should be checked off the list and automatically become off limits under the 'double-jeopardy' clause. -incidentally the same law for criminals DOES NOT necessarily apply to husbands.
  • Throw a flag. Call 'unnecessary roughness'. -again this only may apply to violent contact sports but it's worth a try.
  • Shout 'Sale' loudly and often. - she won't really fall for it but it may possibly distract her long enough for you to climb out a window to escape.
  • Interrupt the prosecution to go play golf with your buddies. -she's already mad at you, right?!!
  • Program her phone to ring when the noise exceeds a certain decibel level and hand it to her. "It's your mother," you say.
  • You could try 'hypnosis' on her but most likely this will only infuriate her more.
  • Curl up on the floor in the fetal position and babble incoherently. -my favorite ploy however this will only work so many times before she catches on!
  • Fake a heart attack. -take this off the list if she recently bought a defibrillator on Amazon, she will simply resuscitate you to resume her tirade!
  • Hastily interject a quote from Dr. Phil -it doesn't have to be an actual quote, make one up on the fly. While she is looking it up, crawl away on your hands and knees.

Above all else, do not run up the white flag before you have been sufficiently punished. I have discovered this will only prolong the outburst.


Please disregard anything read here as sane or usable advice. If the writer actually knew what he was talking about, you wouldn't be reading about him here. The writer claims no responsibility for any consequences should you ignorantly attempt to engage in conversations with persons of the other side of the gene pool. Discontinue use immediately if arguments or prolonged states of confusion follow.

© 2020 Jim Henderson


Tamara Wilhite from Fort Worth, Texas on July 08, 2020:

A classic example of this is Dr. Jordan Peterson vs Cathy Newman. He'd say something, and she'd warp it with a "so what you're saying" or "so what you're really saying is" followed by something very different.

Jim Henderson (author) from Hattiesburg, Mississippi on April 24, 2020:

Thank you so much! I'm not sure if you're being honest but keep it up…I need all the sympathy I can get! Seriously, thanks!!

Marcy Bialeschki from Cerro Gordo, IL on April 24, 2020:

Busting up laughing!!! You are such a hilarious comedy writer!! I love the "When all else fails and the Disclaimer." Nice touch!!!

Related Articles