I Can’t Measure Up – By Val Enders

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Measure with measuring tapeMen and women speak different languages, and relate differently to certain situations. A case in point is how we measure things. I am the first to admit that I am, what Hubby lovingly refers to as, “Measuring impaired.” He, on the other hand, is the King of the tape measure.

In our house we have several measuring contraptions. Drawers in every room shelter at least some device for calculating how long, short, or wide something is. Rulers, meter sticks, tape measures and a host of other devices, lurk in every nook and cranny. Hubby even wears a tape measure strapped to his belt, like at any moment he’ll be called upon to solve a critical “measuring dilemma”!

I’m only good for holding the end of the tape. Occasionally, he asks me to read it and give him an accurate count.

Hubby:  “Okay how many feet is that?”

Me:  “I’d say 6 feet and a little bit”.

Hubby:  “A little bit… like what? An inch, two inches, or a quarter of an inch? Be a little more specific, okay?”

Me: “Alright, it’s about six feet and five of the big thingee marks. Plus, maybe seven of the little thingee marks after the big ones.”

Hubby: “You’ve got to be kidding me? What kind of measurement is that?”

Me:  “The more specific one you asked for. Most women wouldn’t have a problem understanding that. That’s how most of us measure.”

I proceed to tell him the dynamics of how the female mind works when it comes to measuring. For example, we’re  comfortable measuring three yards of material, string, wool, etcetra, by holding the end and stretching it out from our nose to as far as we can reach with our arm.  Do that three times, and voila, three yards. No problemo!  If we happen to need a square, round, or triangular shape described, we simply use our hands to indicate what shape and size we need it, and use the phrase “ about so”.  In a nutshell, it’s clear and concise, and universally understood by the majority of ladies. This eliminates the usage of confusing things like, metric, or imperial systems. Sometimes, when we have to measure things more accurately, we use the “little line thingee” technique, which brings us back to the situation at hand.

Hubby:  “You’re full of baloney. Nobody with half a brain measures like that.”

Me:  “Yes they do. That’s why I always tell you to build things to LOOK level not BE level. Something can be level, and still look crooked.”

Usually, if I want to yank his chain, all I have to do is mention the fact that what he’s just built is crooked. That really pushes his buttons, and sends him into a re-measuring frenzy.

Me:  “Oh by the way, “can you cut a piece of mirror for a friend of mine”?

“I guess so, but I’m afraid to ask.” “What size does she need it?”

I put my hands up to convey what size and shape I mean, adding the magical words, “just so”.  “And, add six of those little thingee lines. We had to be really accurate with this one…. it’s going in an existing frame.

I could be wrong, but right now, I think I see tears in his eyes.


What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Val EndersAuthor Val Enders resides in Spruce Grove, Alberta. She married her highschool sweetheart, Richard, and they’ve been together now for 42 years. Val doesn’t consider herself a writer by profession, rather she writes more for her own enjoyment. An accomplished artist, Val’s a member of the Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove. Visit Val’s “Journey Into Art” website at www.vals.webs.com/

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4 Responses

  1. Candace says:

    re Can’t measure up….laughed all the way through your story…..wonder how many men know what a dash,pinch or scant are when they are in the kitchen….

    • Val Enders says:

      …Not many is my guess Candace.. lol . thanks for commenting. Women do just fine without all the measuring tools.. If things don’t fit… we McGuyver something up to make it fit… hahaha Works for me!

  2. will says:

    He’s lucky he’s gets off with thingees. I have to cope with ‘thing-a-ma-bobs’, ‘doo-hickeys’, ‘whatch-ma-call-its’, and the dreaded, ‘you know…’ When Crazy Lady gets to describing things, from household items, to things of a more intimate nature, it’s a linguistic world that’s unknown, and beyond understanding to men, and that’s a good thing. The best I can hope for, is an educated guess, which may explain her mental assessment of me.

    • Val Enders says:

      You know Will, I can’t understand why the computer program called “Rosetta Stone” (which helps people learn a new language) doesn’t come up with a program called “Women Speak”? Boy, they’d sell a million of those! I guess the only ones that could write that, would be a woman… and we all know that we’re waaaaaaaaaaaay too busy for that! hahaha