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Clueless men and the women who love them
If it werent for men, the world would be full of spider cups. And without women, the world would be all buffets and starving children. - photo by Erin Stewart
Oh, men. You kill me. Most of the time I think men genuinely have their stuff together and are making a real effort to understand women. Men are helping more with babies. Then are bringing home the bacon and then trading it in for turkey bacon because they understand the risks of heart disease.

But there are also times when men show some of the characteristics of the TV depictions of clueless husbands bungling along next to their type-A wives.

And then, you get a guy like Gil Solano, who took the Internet by storm this week with a selfie he took with his wife in labor behind him.

His ear-to-ear grin is hilariously juxtaposed with the grimace of his wife bearing down in her hospital bed to deliver their baby. If I had to project what his wife was thinking in this moment, it would have to be something along the lines of, Are you freaking kidding me, Gil? Do you not see whats happening here? That's it, no baby until you get it together."

The only thing I could think when I saw this awesome photo was, Wow. He just really doesnt get it. But he looks superhappy.

This photo made me think about all the times I look at my husband and think the same things: Are you freaking kidding me? followed by, Wow, he just really doesnt get it.

So in honor of Gil Solano and his clueless selfie, here are some times that came to mind of when husbands just really dont get what their wives may be going through in the background of their lives or selfies, whichever the case may be.

When Ive had a day too. It might not have been exciting compared with the supersuccessful board meeting he starts talking about the minute he walks through the door, but my stay-at-home-mom day is still important to my kids and to me.

So honey, dont nod absent-mindedly while staring at your phone while I tell you our daughter spent less than 45 minutes in the Wal-Mart bathroom today thanks to the glory that is Miralax. That is epic news. Epic. Please respond appropriately. Streamers and confetti may be asking too much, but at least look up from your phone long enough so I know you value my day as much as yours.

When the children need something. Women somehow have the ingrained notion that we should serve other people first and then worry about ourselves. Men seem to lack this particular gene and sometimes the convenient ability not to hear a child asking for help repeatedly from 2 feet away. Strange.

Nowhere is the difference between men and women in this area more stark than in a buffet line. Whether its at a church function, a restaurant or Sunday dinner at Moms, there are two distinct approaches that usually divide along gender lines. I, for example, take the first approach, where I get my child a plate, ask her what she wants, get her a drink and a fork and find her a spot to sit. Then I return for my own food.

Then there is my husbands way of attacking a buffet. Get his food. Sit down. Halfway through his potatoes, look up at me staring at him and stop with his fork dangling in front of his lips as he says, Oh sorry, did you get the kids something?

So I guess its women and children first only if you hit an iceberg on the Titanic. But a buffet? All bets are off, baby; its every man for himself.

When I need to talk. Many of my conversations with my husband end like this:

Him: OK, so heres what you should do ...

Me: I dont want you to solve my problems; I just want to talk about them. I just want you to listen.

I realize this statement makes about as much sense to a man as the Xbox does to me. Men want to fix things. Women want empathy.

Heres the thing I dont think men realize: We already know the answer to our problem. We are seeking validation and support, not answers. We already know exactly how we are going to fix the situation, but we need an adult to tell us we are doing great, that we are strong enough and smart enough to solve the problem and that no matter what happens, we are amazing and loved and supported. Now would be a perfect time for that confetti and some streamers.

I know there are men who will read this article and call me a man-hater. But I dont hate men. I love the one Im married to more than I can say, and I love that men complement women in so many ways. And Im sure there are plenty of ways in which women look absolutely clueless to men, i.e., when I try to kill a spider by placing a plastic cup over it and waiting for my husband to get home because Im scared of it but also dont want to cause it pain.

Thats why we need each other. If it werent for men, the world would be full of spider cups. And without women, the world would be all buffets and starving children.

So to the clueless man smiling like a fool with his wife bearing their child in the background, its OK. You love your wife, and I know she loves you, even though you may pay severely for this photo for years to come. As you should, my friend. As you should.

But it will not be the last oblivious thing you do because now you have a child. You and your wife are about to embark hand in hand on your most clueless journey yet.
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