by Richard Cutler
Many people I know are concerned, alarmed or outraged as more and more
of their personal privacy is breached and entered on the great databases of
business and government. But as one who has spent the larger part of his
life in the company of females, I am here to tell you that electronic
snooping can't hold a candle to women's intuition.
And if my wife is any indication, it requires no Freedom of Information
Act. Whatever women suspect, believe or know for a fact is immediately made
clear to us -- except in cases where delaying its disclosure would give them
better leverage on a future major purchase or an evening on the town.
Intuition is defined as the ability to learn or perceive something
without the conscious use of reasoning. You can see how dangerous a faculty
this can be, especially in the wrong hands (which is where some might say it
already is). It means that women just KNOW things. They can feel it in their
bones and that's a pretty difficult thing to defense.
Women's intuition has been around for centuries, predating Political
Correctness and just honing itself and evolving to the point where researchers
have now taken note of it, given it the loftier-sounding title of Women's
Interpersonal Discernment and set about attributing it to the ladies' superior
skill in reading mood changes and interpreting body language.
We are introduced to it early on by our mothers who encourage us to
believe that they have eyes in the back of their heads and who can tell that
we haven't cleaned our rooms, washed our hands or eaten our vegetables without
Later on, in adolescence, when we assure them that we have finished our
homework or that our underwear is clean and in good repair they knowingly
admonish us to check one more time before we leave the house. And they can
instinctively tell if we've tasted or inhaled some rite of passage contraband
despite the copious use of mouthwash or the chewing of highly-fragrant gum.
Adolescence is also when we really discover girls bigtime and first
encounter this phenomenon outside our circle of family members, schoolteachers
and the lady next door. But at this stage in its development intuition is
still embryonic and is easily jammed with a little finesse, sweet talk or out-
and-out, fingers-crossed-behind-the-back falsehoods.
It is after we are married that we experience it full force and no holds
barred. Trust me. I have been the designated defendant as a son and as a
husband. Husband is tougher.
It's all a matter of viewpoint. Mothers use intuition as a tool in
turning out independent, civilized adults with broad horizons. Wives see the
resulting males as selfish brutes forever seeking greener pastures -- and use
it as a weapon.
A wife's goal is to know everything there is to know about us. If they
think we are holding something back they will instantly resort to techniques
of interrogation and deprivation which even the IRS rejected as inhumane. As
a newlywed, for example, my bride once detected a faint and unfamiliar scent
on my person and alternately gave me the third degree and cold shoulder three
times before I could get the gift-wrapped bottle of perfume out of my pocket.
There were other small glitches in the beginning as well and I don't know
if the neighborhood wives held orientation or what, but my wife's intuitional
success rate improved quickly.
She is so good at it now that she finishes my sentences for me and tells
me what I feel like eating. (Yet she won't start a conversation until all the
commercials are over.)
Whatever. I, myself, don't have a clue except for the usual feeling of
foreboding whenever one of the kids has borrowed the car or I sense the
imminent visit of an in-law.
But being intuitively impaired isn't all that bad. I don't mind my life
being an open book as long as it is confined to family and a few close
friends. At least they aren't going to share it with some telemarketer. Or
question my tax returns.