Monday, July 16, 2012

In and out of the doghouse

The Free Dictionary defines the phrase "in the doghouse" as an idiom meaning "in great disfavor or trouble."

Ah, yes. We've all been there.  Some of us more than others.  A lot of times we're not even sure how we got there. But this much is for certain:  Every man since the dawn of time who has ever purported to be in a relationship with a woman has found himself in the proverbial doghouse.

To wit, I don't think the following scenario is very far-fetched:

Adam: "Um, honey.  Uhh, I'm not sure how to tell you this."
Eve: "Spit it out, Adam."
Adam: "Cain shot Abel today."
Eve: "WHAT???  YOU were supposed to be watching them!"
Adam: "Yeah, um, I, uh, dozed off under the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and, uh.... I'll just get my staff and go sleep with the animals tonight."
Eve: "Yeah you will!"
Adam (mumbling): "I want my rib back."
Eve: "What was that?!"
Adam: "Nothing, dear."

Today as I was googling "how to get out of the doghouse" (What?  Today is National Get Out Of The Doghouse Day.) I came across this article.  It's the Top 7 Ways To Get Out Of The Doghouse, from  So I thought I would go down the list, one by one, and share my thoughts on each.  You know, because I can't imagine that not being intellectually valuable.

7. Encourage A Conversation - I like that "courage" is the root word of encourage, because it takes a lot of courage for a man to do this.  Is courage the right word?  Bone's advice: Skip on to number six.

6. Make Her Laugh - Ah, yes, a Bone specialty.  If this one fails for me, I pretty much know I'm up Radiation Creek without a hazmat suit.  Bone's advice: This is probably OK for the small stuff, like running over her cat.  Accidentally, of course.  Not sure it works so well on the bigger stuff, like making out with her best friend.  (And FYI, that cat always hated me!) 

5. Buy Her Flowers - Clearly,, as well as most major holidays, is sponsored by Big Floral. Bone's advice: Flowers alone aren't going to cut it.  There will have to be a "talk" involved at some point.  You know it.  I know it.  Just try and have a ballgame going in the background on the TV when said talk occurs, and power through. 

4. Cook For Her - This, I can do.  You may even find you enjoy cooking.  In fact, many of the great chefs of our time are men:  Emeril.  Guy what's-his-name from the TGIFridays commercials.  Chef, from South Park.  Mel, from Mel's Diner on Alice.  I think my point is made.  Bone's advice:  Don't tell her what you're cooking.  That way when she asks, "What is this? Mutton?" you can just nod yes, even if it's not.

3. Listen To Her - I'm seriously beginning to wonder if AskMen actually asked any men at all for this article.  Because this sounds an awful lot like they only asked women.  Bone's advice:  See if you can just cook twice and skip this one. 

2. Leave - Oh no.  This doesn't work.  The idea, according to them, is to give her space.  It has been my experience that giving her too much space is often what got me into this situation in the first place.  Bone's advice:  Replace this one with "Pretend Nothing Is Wrong."  That's pretty much how I live my entire life anyway.  After a few days, you can even turn things around on her with a carefully placed, "Why have you been so grouchy lately?"  Women love that.

1. Say I'm Sorry - As I understand it, to put it in golf terms, this is like yelling "Fore!" after you hit a bad shot.  You raise your arm, say the magic word, and all is forgiven.  Now the article says to specify what exactly it is you're sorry about.  Well I don't know about you, but half the time, I don't have the slightest clue what I'm apologizing for anyway.  Bone's advice: Stick to two words: I'm Sorry.  Popular addendums like "I'm sorry your entire family is crazy" or "I'm sorry you can't stand for me to be happy even for one day" may seem like good ideas at first, but I have found they don't always translate so well.

There you have it.  Some of the very secrets that I have employed which have helped to keep me unmarried, lo, these many years.  May they produce even better results for you.

I can pretty much guarantee each will get you out of the doghouse, one way or the other -- either back into good graces, or perhaps more likely, out of the relationship altogether.

In closing, I would just say that I feel the doghouse has gotten a bad rap.   Therefore, I like to refer to it as the Canine Castle, or even better, hanging with Snoopy Dog. Whatever basement/garage/shed serves as your doghouse, spruce it up a bit, try and have a big screen TV out there.  Enjoy a day or two of space.

And for crying out loud, spring for some flowers, say I'm sorry, whatever you gotta do.  Because, let's be honest, no one else is gonna put up with you.

"This doghouse here is mighty small / But it's better than no house at all / So ease it on over / Drag it on over / Move over old dog 'cause a new dog's movin' in..."


  1. Bone, can we start asking you for relationship advice now?

  2. Dear Bone,

    A few weeks ago, my wife was making tampo. None of those seven steps worked. What should I do?

  3. Instead of going to that AskMen site, get around asking women. In real!

    That might just help. OR maybe not....

    Now that you are on the topic of "unmarried" can you tell why am in the same state?!!

  4. lol...*still giggling*

    I think you should start a Dear Bone advice column, I really do. And Snoop Dogg could be your sidekick. The two of you giving advice would be priceless. He could even write a song about it! But you'd be front and center in the video, of course. :D

  5. My husband’s introverted response…
    7. Encourage A Conversation – and then leave the room.
    6. Make Her Laugh – this I can do, but it sometimes is what got me in trouble
    5. Buy Her Flowers –flowers are only special if given at very far spaced occasions, like the wedding and say never
    4. Cook For Her – that might kill someone
    3. Listen To Her – yeah I do that all the time! She just goes on forever!
    2. Leave – Finally some good advise!
    1. Say I'm Sorry – sorry, I just left.

  6. For me, trying to get out makes it worse. I just wait till she gets over it. (And realizes I was right all along!)

  7. Sage - Ask away. But heed it at your own peril.

    Ed - Umm, you've stumped the panel. I'm gonna have to transfer you to troubleshooting. Please hold...

    (By the way, I had never heard of tampo. But now that I read about it, I think I'm often the one tampo'ing in my relationships. And it's quite acceptable among Filipinos!?!? Are you reading this, exes?!?!)

    Gautami - You know, you're right. Writing this has made me question the entire concept of AskMen. What do we know? If we knew, we wouldn't be asking in the first place. It really should be

    Sherri - An advice column? I dunno, maybe it would work from a "what not to do angle." :) Although Snoop would sure help my street cred. Not that it needs much help.

    Renee - Now those were good. I especially liked #7 and #5. Anyone can buy flowers every Valentine's Day. But to space them out like that, well, that sounds like my kinda guy.

    MarkD - I've tried that. But the realization part never seems to happen.

  8. Surely it would depend why you were in the doghouse? These asky men should really be more specific...

  9. lol Bone... i'm always so happy to drop by here and read your antics. you'd think with all the advice thrown around that men & women could find a way to co-exist with one another happily. luckily my husband hasn't been in the doghouse for a long while. nor have i, :) hope all is well. have a great night~

    thanks for dropping by my blog. it was great to see you there again.

  10. #'s 4 & 6. Though I understand #1 works very well--in friendships which I know isn't what you're looking for

  11. Hardy har har! Great post, Bone:)

    I think cooking is the best one. You have to be careful about the flowers, since they really represent guilt, unless it's some special occasion. She might even think you've been cheating on her...don't buy her a dress, either, that's what George Burns did the one time he strayed on Gracie:)

  12. Your poor girlfriend :)

  13. J Adamthwaite - Yes, it definitely depends. Then again, half the time we don't know why we're in the doghouse in the first place. Or at least we claim not to.

    Naquillity - Antics. Ha. That's probably a good word to use to describe me :) Good to see you around again, as well.

    Pia - Fortunately, 4 and 6 are the two I'm best at. Well, 1, but I say it so much sometimes it loses its effect.

    Actonbell - Thanks! Oh no worries about the dress. I wouldn't know where to start. I mean, other than the dress store. Or the dress department. But I get kinda weirded out walking through there anyway :)

    TC - So you're siding with management?!

  14. LOL! My vote is with "say you're sorry," as long as you sound and look sincere when saying it. :)

  15. You are officially what we Midwesterners call "a hoot."

    I have to say, though, that I don't believe in doghousing. In fact, it's a dynamic that makes me nuts. My husband's never been in the doghouse; I don't have the right to assume that stance with regards to him. Simply, I like him a lot and think he's great. Then we eat and watch a show.