It comes down to this fellas. Make sure you always build up enough “atta boys” to cover the myriad number of “aw shits” that are certain to come your way.
First of all, let me dispel any myths that the young men out there might have. Don’t think for a minute that you are going to be the exception to this. As sure as God made little green apples, you will draw upon this friendly advice a lot sooner than you think. And secondly, understand that these rules are quite fluid and subject to change at the whim of the fairer sex. But at least this will give you some guidelines that may make married life easier.
Let’s start with atta boys. They are moments when by some act of commission on your part, your wife says something like “thank you, honey, that was sweet.” This is an atta boy moment and should be highly valued by you. Now, to be sure, she may not always verbalize it so if you have even the slightest doubt that it might have been an atta boy moment, ask! Get her to affirm it. You’ll be thankful later. Even acts of omission can be important. For example: your wife comes back from a hair salon appointment and says “she butchered me, I hate this haircut!” Say nothing. Believe me, “it doesn’t look that bad” is not a compliment and entering into this world is fraught with peril. You may not get a confirmed atta boy but I guarantee you have avoided an aw shit that could spell disaster.
There is some good news here. Fortunately, women inherently do not have high expectations for us. Well, they say that they expect nothing but the best from us, but deep down, they don’t really believe it is possible. So, some of the littlest acts of kindness and consideration can merit an atta boy. Helping carry in the groceries – definitely an atta boy. Picking up your clothes or doing your own laundry – big time atta boys. Making the coffee in the morning – can’t go wrong there. It’s amazing how the simplest things that a woman does to get through a normal day can garner atta boys whenever we do them.
Hint #1: get as many of these coveted atta boys as you possibly can on a daily basis. You”ll understand why in the next paragraph.
Now the bad news. It only takes one aw shit to wipe out all the atta boys you have built up that day. For example: you have been the model husband all day and piled up a vast number of atta boys. Later that evening you spill your beer on a newly upholstered chair. That, my friend, is a major aw shit and will wipe out all those atta boys in a heartbeat. (Note: there are no minor aw shits). Should you be so unfortunate as to have more than one aw shit in a day, you will be scratching around for atta boys for the next several days just to get back to even. Even more bad news. Atta boys do not carry over like aw shits do. If you think you can cruise through the next day with little concern, you’re wrong. Don’t wallow in how unfair this is, as it will only impede your quest for those much-needed atta boys. That’s just the way it works. And yes, William will have to learn this about Kate. This aspect of marriage applies to all levels of society.
Hint #2: don’t ever, ever get an aw shit for the same offense twice. You would need an extremely rare “you’re the best husband in the world” atta boy to overcome it. This is an uncommon occurrence and usually involves very expensive jewelry.
Well, I suppose I could go on with more examples and advice about what and what not to do, but in truth, it’s really quite dependent on each individual marriage. You will learn slowly what your wife considers an atta boy and very quickly what she considers an aw shit. Just keep this little axiom in mind: “one aw shit is too many and a hundred atta boys is not enough.”
Oh no! I hear my wife coming home and I forgot to clean up the kitchen. AW SHIT!