SOMETIMES as men we have the habit of tuning our women out or nodding and smiling to avoid the hurricane we know is brewing right beneath the surface. I found out not too long ago that sometimes that smile, soft voice and a few simple words are not necessarily a sign that everything is OK — it really doesn't mean you can relax and turn the volume back up on that BPL game. It actually means that you should probably call up a bredren and make an escape plan as quickly as possible because a category five Hurricane Wifey is on the way.
So here are the top 10 words or phrases that women use along with their actual meanings. They are universal, which means if you're dating or married to a non-Jamaican woman, they still apply.
1. "We need to talk". If you're not standing directly in front of her then I suggest you make a quick stop at a bar or a "safe place" and do the following: 1. Call your closest bredren whose woman is friends with her and see what they know. 2. Retrace your steps, words, actions or non-actions and see where there are alarm bells. 3. Check your calendar for dates. Is it her birthday? Your anniversary? (And no, you don't have to be married, they have anniversaries for everything — first date, kiss, time she drove your car blah, blah.) Whatever it is, have a shot of something strong before going home because it's about to go down.
2) "Fine". Nothing is fine. In fact, it's bad. It usually comes at the end of an argument or if you have disagreed with something she said or suggested. It's the beginning of the end.
3) "Am I not pretty enough?" The only response to this is "What? Babe you're gorgeous!" Do not ask what she's talking about or if it's "that time of the month." Just continue to tell her how hot she is and look her directly in the eyes when saying it. You should also show some type of affection like a hug or kiss or both after or while saying this.
4) "Whatever". Oh boy! This doesn't mean she doesn't care, it means she's just over your crap and probably is plotting her next steps. You should be worried or at minimum be highly concerned. Hide your favourite things (Xbox, jeans, shirts, cellphone) if she's at your house or has a key. Walk slowly though, and don't be obvious. She can smell fear.
5) "I need my space". If she says this then the problem is bigger than you imagined. Basically your relationship is over. They NEVER need space. In fact, she's probably found someone else. It's nothing like when we say we need space. So either decide you're going to fight to keep her or know that you're back to being single.
6) "Nothing". This translates to danger, because actually everything is wrong. It will get "wronger" if you decide to take it at face value and say "OK" and walk away. So really it means that she doesn't feel like you're listening and is going to be in a bad mood and your day or days will be ruined until you sit and listen to her bring up stuff from years before, other relationships, and all you've done wrong. Be prepared to spend hours. They sometimes combine this with "Fine!" It means the situation is a Code Red.
7) "Go right ahead" or "No problem". If you hear either of these after telling her you're about to head out to Fiction, Quad, Taboo, or any location that has music, alcohol or other women without taking her, then know that you go at your own risk. Because though it sounds like she's giving you the go ahead, she isn't. She wants you to say either "why don't you come" or "I'll stay home with you". Again, hide your favourite things if she's at your house or has a key.
8) "I need a few more minutes". There's no such thing. At minimum it's half an hour. If she's getting dressed or you're going to pick her up, make a mental note of this. If she's there with you, don't get dressed until you see her start to put her clothes on and don't keep asking if she'll soon be ready. It's safer for everyone that way. This applies to your mother as well.
9) "Forget it". Just laugh silently to yourself when you hear this one. She doesn't want you to forget it, she won't ever let you forget it, and if you don't remember it, then you might as well torture yourself because she will do it by reminding you over and over. You will mainly hear this after an argument or if she asked you to do something and you still haven't done it. Suggestion: Do it right after the argument if you can because if she has to do it or find someone else to do it, it gets worse and she might "need space".
10) "Do you want to...?" This is not really a question. This means this is something she wants to do but is using reverse psychology. Choose your battles wisely, there will be more of these. Usually it's nothing related to sports or entertainment we know or like. It's probably a chick flick, a play, a double date with some of her friends you don't like, a baby shower, a wedding, or badminton finals at Hope Gardens. You will have to say "Yes, let's go" or "That sounds great!" at least once or twice a year.
Follow Asafa on Twitter @officialasafa, visit his website at iamasafa.com or catch him at facebook.com/asafapowell. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.