This past week I was walking my dog through the development where I live. The temperature was near freezing, a blustery wind was blowing, and a cold mixture of rain and sleet were mercilessly pelting me. An approaching car slowed down, and the man who was driving looked at me, gave a slight nod of his head, and extended the four fingers of the hand that was gripping the steering wheel upward.
This simple gesture by a complete stranger, got me thinking about how us men have our own sophisticated, complex, and totally secret, nonverbal language. Only another man would know that the gesture by the man in the car meant, “I feel your pain, man. I just finished walking my wife’s two Pomeranians. They’re six inches tall, do nothing but yap and poop, and were wearing orange sweaters with matching booties.” Take a look at the picture of the man in the scuba gear up above. To a woman, he seems to be giving the universally known symbol for, “Don’t worry. I’m okay.” However, another man diving nearby, would immediately rush over to assist him, knowing that the gesture means, “Help me, I have zero air left in my tank. I don’t know what went wrong. My wife told me she would make sure it was full while I was signing a life insurance policy on myself.”
I often use the secret man language, but I think over the past few years, my wife’s starting to pick up on some of the gestures, subtle head movements, and expressions. I’m sure she understands when she asks if I’m still hungry, that leaning back, and placing both hands on my distended stomach after a big meal isn’t a sign I’m full. It really means, “Hmmm….I think I still have another two or three inches of expansion here. There might just be enough room for more dessert.” She may have even figured out the well-known peace signal, we’ve all used at one time or another, has a different meaning for men. In a setting such as a club or bar, I use it for male bartenders. It actually means, “I’ll have two beers. Give me one now, and sneak me the other one as my wife is heading for the lady’s room.” I better get going. My wife asked me how I was doing, before she went to bed. I gave a thumbs up sign, but it wasn’t meant for her. It was meant for my two friends, Bill and Steve crouched out on the deck. It means, “This is going to be great. She’ll be sleeping in five minutes. I hope you brought beer, poker chips, and plenty of money.”