Judge John Hodgman on Getting Your Wife’s Attention

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Steve writes: When my wife, Nancy, is focused on something, she has trouble registering what I’m saying to her. I get it, but I ask that if she hears me speaking, she either shift focus to me or not wait until I’m done to say “What?” After all, when Lincoln was practicing the Gettysburg Address, Mary didn’t wait until he was done to say, “Sorry, Abe, what?”

I suggest you ask yourself something most husbands never do: Are you boring? I’m sure you have some great thoughts, but you can’t be interesting all of the time, no matter what culture has trained us both to believe. Unless you’re actually delivering the Gettysburg Address, I’m not going to order Nancy to drop everything whenever your mouth-sounds start. Instead, if it’s important/not boring, gently get her attention. Maybe try asking her: “Is this a good time for me to start talking about my Abe and Mary Lincoln fan fiction?”


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