Don’t Ask

"Would you hurry up and develop social anxiety already?"

“Would you hurry up and develop social anxiety already?”

I have a question.

But you wouldn’t know it. That’s because my adult male brain has apparently decided to replace the emotions associated with “asking a stranger a question” with those of “balancing on the antenna of the Empire State Building.”

I’m not talking about cliche questions that men have trouble asking, like “Where is the carburetor?” or “What is the carburetor?”

I’m talking about simple inquiries that even the most cold-hearted Scrinch (equal parts Scrooge and Grinch) would be happy to answer, like “Do you have the time?” or “Hello?”

Allow me to finger paint you a scenario. The other day, Wife and I were in the meat aisle of the grocery store looking for ground sirloin, because I was planning on making sirloin burgers, and you need ground sirloin to make sirloin burgers. [takes deep breath]

Since this particular grocery store did not appear to carry ground sirloin, I was about to settle for making my sirloin burgers out of mashed up hot dogs, when Wife dropped the Q Bomb. “Why don’t you just ask someone?”

While my nervous system attempted to reboot, Wife approached one of the butchers and assumed the identity of Dr. Wife, Question Woman.

And just as twin Apple symbols appeared behind my retinas and my vision returned, the butcher reappeared with two pounds of freshly ground sirloin. Because, I guess, butchers are really good at turning meat into smaller meat.

Now, who would like a sirloin burger? (Progress!)


23 thoughts on “Don’t Ask

  1. There are so many things in life that we all have to worry about. The fact that men worry about such foolish things drives me nuts.


    Apparently, no matter how loudly I shout, my husband can’t hear me.


  2. Such a familiar scenerio in my home also. I have learned a trick when we are traveling and lost. I simply tell him I need to make a pit stop and while inside the market ask directions. When I return to the car I say “let’s try this way” etc. He still has not caught on after 19 years. 🙂


  3. First of all – if you’re going to be tossing around words like ‘sirloin burger’, then you best be pulling up in your food truck outside my office at lunch time. Just sayin’. And btw, the question choke-up is not exclusive to the dude half of the population – although most women would NEVER admit it. I have wasted money, time, and all sorts of dignity just because I’m too whatever to ASK. Which, ironically, I assume would make me look dumber than not asking…


  4. It happens. My guy won’t ask for directions or pick out where we are going to eat. It gets a little scary when the gas gauge is on E and I refuse to say anything. Man this made me laugh!


  5. My husband yells (maybe “yell” is a strong word… chides, maybe?) at me for asking questions all the time even though he secretly wants the answer too. However, we both hate talking on the phone and if we ever order food the person who doesn’t make the call has to pay (when we can’t order online, which does still happen, strangely enough).


  6. I don’t mind asking people questions, especially if they are employees. However, small talk with strangers is very, very difficult for me to pull off. Schmoozing at a party is as frightening as being a professional javelin catcher.


  7. The avoidance of questions is in our DNA, I think. The amount of times I’ve gone round in circles walking around London because I won’t let myself give in to the INDIGNITY that is asking someone for help


    • I’m imagining an infinite feedback loop in which you need help but are too afraid to ask and I am too afraid to ask you if you need help.



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