Where is Waldo’s Tip?
“I am not your audience,” my wife snapped. “I don’t think those jokes are funny.”
I felt vulnerable and rejected. It takes a lot of courage to get yourself out there and make a funny. She didn’t get I was doing material for her eyes only. Nobody else would get to see this. EVER! I’m too self-conscious.
“Sometimes I think you need more guy friends so you can make this kind of joke for them.”
“You think this joke I can do in front of guys? I don’t think you understand what hanging out with guys looks like.”
Early in our relationship, my wife and I started a game where we would do something weird and then ask the other person if they would date us.
My wife would contort her face, her nose, or her mouth, then ask me in a weird voice if I would date her. My answer was always yes; otherwise, I’d lose the game and, likely, my relationship.
For me, it’s more about how I dress and walk. I would pull my pants all the way past my belly bottom, wear my socks over my jeans and then walk like I’m carrying a hot potato in my pants and I would ask her if she would date me if I looked like this when she first saw me. She is allowed to say no and not lose. That’s, unfortunately for me, the power dynamic of our relationship.
The last time I did it, I wasn’t planning on playing the game. It just happened spontaneously. I started undressing, but I was tired; I stopped after taking my pants off and I took a break to lay in bed — such is the exhaustion of parenting. Then I got up with a sudden burst of energy to ask my wife if she would date me if I looked like that.
I had a short-sleeve button-up shirt that was no longer buttoned up and the only thing left below my waist was my underwear which, honestly, was too tight on me. Thanks, Covid.
“Would you have dated me if I looked like this the first time we met?”
“Maybe. It would’ve told me you had a lot of confidence.”
“Really?” Something was telling me she wasn’t seeing it all.
I assumed my best Captain Morgan position so she could see I had inconspicuously placed the head of my bird to come out for a peek.
Why am I being coy now?
I had placed the tip of my penis outside of my underwear to complete the look. And when she finally saw it, she snapped.
“I am not your audience. I don’t think those jokes are funny.”
Sometimes it feels like I waste my best material on my wife. Like when we didn’t have kids, I would run around the house naked, or when I would do naked jumping jacks. Nothing.
There will be a time when I won’t be able to make these jokes because my oldest daughter is ready to graduate from her crib. And I can’t do that kind of joke when she can just open the door and see her Dadda acting like an idiotic chimpanzee.
It saddens me to know that one day I won’t be able to play “where’s Waldo’s tip?” with my wife.
I’m driven by an exhibitionist desire to show my wife my whole body, but that’s the extent of how awful I am. I think. I have never done a Louis C.K. or taken a dick pic.
Seriously, I haven’t.
It’s not that I hate my penis. I don’t. But I also don’t love it. It’s just there. Attached to me. Like a cross between a prune and a fig that was haphazardly sown to my body in a rush before an important meeting.
Most men make stupid jokes that make so much sense in our stupid male brain, but women will never think are funny. But where is the line between what is harmless and what is not?
I was talking to a friend of mine who I respected when a woman walked by. He wasn’t drunk and she wasn’t dressed provocatively, but that didn’t prevent him from saying, “she is just asking for it.”
It was a punch in my gut to hear those words come out of his mouth. I would have never guessed in a million years he had it in him to act like a pig.
What shocked me the most wasn’t what he said but my response to it which was, “Yeah, right!” in a tone that said that not in his wildest dreams any woman would be asking for it from a turd like him. I wanted to say more, but I didn’t. That stupid “yeah, right!” was all I was able to manage. I felt immediately ashamed.
Instead of standing up for women everywhere, I responded with a half-hearted attempt at a joke to quickly move over the situation.
When the #metoo movement gained momentum and revealed the inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct of many men, the rest of us were ready to say, “we are all not like that,” and for the most part, we are not. But if we take a minute to reflect, we can also think of times when men we know acted like pigs.
Let me tell you about my friend. He is someone who you would very likely enjoy having a drink with — if you didn’t know about his comment. He is anti-racist, spends every winter ensuring homeless people in his hometown have food and shelter, he has a daughter and he knows I have daughters, too. But none of these things prevented him from saying his obnoxious comment.
That troubled me because it showed me we are still filled with toxic beliefs about the place of women in society and their “responsibility” for all the horrible crimes committed against them. Some of these toxic beliefs are held by women, too.
I was talking to my mom about the events described in this article, “Walkouts at Guyer High school address school and district responses to sexual assault.” The high school in the city she lives in has been criticized for the way it handles allegations of sexual misconduct where a student-athlete has been accused of several rapes.
As I was talking to her, the conversation kept coming back to “where were the parents,” “these girls dress too provocatively,” or whether or not alcohol was involved. I was floored. My mom kept bringing up these points as if to say that rape was not only inevitable but also the fault of the victim.
My mom has not been a stranger to abuse. My dad physically abused her on two occasions while my sister and I were kids. She couldn’t find it in her that a crime is the sole responsibility of the perpetrator and we can’t assign fault to the victim.
So I said, “you have three granddaughters and you raised one daughter. Inevitably, every woman I have met has gone through a phase where they are trying on new things including drinking, dressing in provocative ways — which is promoted by media, rebelling against their parents in the search for their identity.”
“Do you think that is enough to say that it is okay for them to be raped?”
It is as if we are saying:
“That girl didn’t have a parent at home; it’s okay if she is raped.”
“That girl has a parent at home but lied to her parents about where she was going; it’s okay if she is raped.”
“That girl’s parents told her not to drink, but she drank anyway; it’s okay if she is raped.”
“That girl used lipstick and she is only 13; it’s okay if she is raped.”
The justification and misattribution of fault in crimes seem to happen more often in sexual crimes against women.
We would never shame a victim of a hate crime based on race, but it seems like people feel comfortable justifying crimes against women based on sexist prejudice.
If a woman is raped, someone might express how awful the crime is but will follow it with questions regarding alcohol, clothing, or locale.
Maybe I’m fooling myself by thinking that my spectrum of male idiocy is not harmful. Maybe it’s time to accept the cold reality that not even my wife wants to see my tip.
I know that I’ll never again shut up when I hear distasteful comments like the one my friend made. Because that same comment taught me the importance of speaking up against the ignorance we all seemed to be so comfortable with.