Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Look

I love The Walking Dead and so does Mrs PM. We were watching the exciting and disturbing climax of series six on Monday night and when it finished, my beloved said:

“What are we going to do without The Walking Dead?”

“Don’t worry,” I said. “There’s a spin off starting next week.”

“Really?” she said, looking very excited.

“Yes,” I continued. “It looks at the issue from another angle. Have you seen the Hitchcock film called The Birds?”

“Yes,” she said.

I now had her full attention.

“Well, it’s a variation on that theme. Instead of people dying and coming back to life, the problem is all about birds. It’s a post-apocalyptic drama about people dealing with Zombie birds.”

“Wow,” she said.

“It starts next week. It’s called The Squawking Dead!”

“OH PULEEEEAASEEE!” she shouted.

I started laughing as, once again, I had proved that there is no such thing as a lying face and a lying voice, the apparent features she uses to detect whether I am fibbing to her. It’s a rare thing to catch her out and when I do, I don’t let her forget it (see here for more examples where I have failed misreably).

“There is no such thing as a lying voice or a lying face,” I declared triumphantly.

And then she responded with The Look!

Most men know what The Look is. It is the expression on a woman’s face that tells her man, without words I might add, that he has stepped over the line and has lost so many Brownie Points that he is bankrupt.

The Look has several intensities depending on the nature and seriousness of the crime committed. On a scale of 1 to 10, this was about a 2 out of 10 – mild irritation. Mrs PM was disappointed that The Walking Dead had finished and irritated at the fact that I had exploited her momentary weakness and struck a comedy blow.

Really, she was pissed off because I had caught her totally unawares!

In case you don't know what I am talking about, here are some stock images of The Look!

2 out of 10 - You might just escape unscathed

4 out of 10 - Be warned
6 out of 10 - Now you are in trouble!

8 out of 10 - Lock yourself in the cupboard and pray
10 out of 10 - Run for the hills 
I have never achieved a 10 out of 10 (or at least I don’t think so).To be honest if I were to reach that lofty pinnacle, I would probably be out of the house and down the road when the eruption took place.
Sometimes, I see The Look in other women, particularly in social situations, when their oblivious husbands/partners have overstepped their bounds. Usually this involves showing off, saying something that was meant to be kept a secret or basically being an arse in front of her and friends, resulting in, in her eyes, ritual humiliation.
It’s quite funny, really, because the man will continue acting the dick, or mouthing off and she will smile as if she is enjoying his antics. He will be oblivious to her feelings and continue to entertain his friends. She will smile – but not with her eyes. 
And then, she will wait until there is a lull and her beloved man looks at her. That is when she will strike with The Look and he will immediately know that he is in trouble.
I’ve seen it many times and it can go one of two ways.
If he notices The Look, he will stop abruptly and change the subject and spend the rest of the evening trying to rectify the situation, cuddling his woman, telling people openly how much he loves her etc. etc. 
It won’t work. 
Women have long deep memories and the moment she gets him on his own he will feel the full force of her wrath. The 4 out of 10 look of annoyance will escalate, potentially, to a 6 out of 10 look – if he’s lucky.
Worse, if he fails to notice The Look and continues down to the next level of Hell, then woe betide him when they get home. 
I have seen both situations.
Worse, I have BEEN in both situations. 
In my defence, I thought I was being clever and funny – when in reality I was almost certainly being a dick.
However, there is one situation that all men struggle with. And I will bet that it has happened to each and every male reader with a significant other (don’t deny it, guys! You know I am telling the truth). The situation to which I refer is when you arrive home and get The Look as soon as you see your lovely lady.
This is the worst situation of all. At least when you are a dick in front of your friends, you have an idea about why you are in trouble - and you have no idea why
You may try to delay the inevitable by saying “Hi beautiful” or another similarly shallow attempt at making things right. You may panic, walk straight out of the door and run to the nearest pub to get drunk.  At least when the inevitable tempest occurs, you will have an idea about what you did wrong.
“What have I done now?” is the usual response but that won’t help either. 
Women are irrational beings and will say:
“Well if you don’t know, I am not going to tell you,” and then walk away leaving the environment in the house frostier than a snowman’s underpants.
Thankfully, Mrs PM is the kind of woman who wears her heart on her sleeve and she will tell me in no uncertain terms the exact reason why I am a dick and what I did to incur her wrath. Mostly, it will be something insignificant and through an insincere cloud of apology I will do my best to rectify the situation even if I am deeply puzzled about why I am in the wrong.
Tact is my middle name – at least until Mrs PM reads this post.
By the way, I also tried to crack the same joke about The Walking Dead to my eldest lad.
Before I had even begun to describe The Squawking Dead he simply said:
“This is going to be a crap joke, isn’t it?”
Maybe that says something about the difference between men and women.


joeh said...

First of all, the joke, given how it was delivered, was a good one.

Next you have covered the look(s) perfectly. You are spot on. The sad thing is men do not often know when they are being dicks. We are perfectly fine in an all testosterone environment.

Finally I have seen the #8 #9 and #10 looks many times from #2 ex. #3 does not give me the look, either I have stopped being a dick,or #2 was a bitch...probably much more bitch than dick.

Excellent post.

River said...

I never managed to learn 'The Look'. I did have a particular tone of voice that stopped the kids doing whatever they were doing and I've managed a "stare" that stopped kids whinging at the checkout, but that's as good as I got.
I was never able to tell when anyone was lying to me.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Joeh,

Glad you like the joke.


You are right about the testosterone factor, which of course applies to most situations no matter how old you are.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

"The Stare" is similar to "The Look" - perhaps a 1 out of 10.

Mrs PM can only tell when I am lying - apparently.




JahTeh said...

You forgot the "Uber Look", the one where the eyes are about to shoot laser light straight through you.
The boys knew this one very well and I could stop trouble between them from one end of a train carriage to the other.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi JT,

The "Uber Look"? Oh my God - to quote "Spinal Tap" - "This one goes to 11".