By Al Greene
There are certain questions that should never be asked. These are questions that may or may not have an answer but in the scheme of things, have no business being thrown out there in the first place.
There was the time, for example, when we were going out and she was standing by the door, coat on, hat on, hand on the door handle.
I asked, “Are you ready?”
It should never have been asked.
“No,” she said, “I’m not ready. I’ve got my coat on, my hat on, my hand on the door handle because I am just about to start vacuuming.”
Now, knowing how she loves vacuuming, that response shouldn’t have surprised me. I quickly figured out that she had secretly applied to the Sarcasm Hall of Fame. Besides, we were running late, so I decided to let the matter drop before I got into serious trouble.
Which took place not long after that.
There is one question that a man should never ask a woman.
It all started out innocently enough.
She was on the computer, shopping.
“I’m looking for makeup,” she volunteered. “They stopped making the kind I use. It’s really hard to find.”
I wasn’t even thinking about the question.
“It’s like $60,” she said, as she tapped away at the screen, on a quest no man could hope to understand.
“What makes it good,” she kept going, “is that you put it on and it makes you look like you don’t have makeup on.”
It was at that moment in time that something in the back of my mind told me I should leave the house and go inspect the rust on my car. Something in the dark recesses of my psyche was screaming at me to keep my mouth shut.
“Don’t say it,” I implored my brain. But before what little sense I had could register, the words came tumbling out of my mouth.
“Why do you have to put makeup on to make it look like you don’t have makeup on?”
Do you think that I or any man could stop after just one question? Of course not.
Then came the words that would shake the universe to its core.
“I mean,” I offered, “if you don’t want to look like you have makeup on, why don’t you just not put on makeup?”
The gods of logic gave out a cheer. “Way to go, Al,” I heard them shout.
Aristotle, Socrates and Descartes opened the door to Philosopher Heaven just so I could waltz right in. The universe, for one brief moment, had overcome its instability and entered what used to be called nirvana. The Time of Flux was banished.
Which lasted for the amount of time it took her to stop staring at the computer, take a breath and enlighten me.
“Do you know,” she began, “that most of your female colleagues wear makeup and you don’t even know?“
She had me there.
But now being a member of the Philosophy Hall of Fame, I couldn’t let it go. Better I should have been in the Common Sense Hall of Fame.
“What am I,” I logically countered, “The Makeup Police?”
“Yeesh,” she explained, as her eyes rolled slowly in her head.
Which is why the women reading this will think it makes perfect sense while the men will be scratching their heads, but acknowledging that I have upheld our end of things.
Which is how things stood right up until the next minute.
“I’m looking for mascara,” she said.
I learned my lesson.
The rust on my car wasn’t so bad.
Al Greene is learning which questions not to ask.