Wife said something, but I wasn't listening. What should I say?

I zoned out while she told a story about something or another. When I came to, she said “OK?” I’ve placed her in suspended animation while I consult the experts of the SDMB on what to say next.

If I say “What?” she’ll know I wasn’t listening. That might cause trouble, depending on the subject matter. If I say “OK,” I can keep up the ruse, but I might accidentally sign myself up for a house chore, an unbounded horror familiar to all husbands.
So vote on what reply I should use when I unfreeze time.

“I’m really sorry, I missed that. What?”

Yeah, admit you weren’t paying attention. If you have to lie to save face, you could go for something like “Sorry - I was lost in thought about the idea of taking you to a 5 star hotel for your birthday” (or similar).

Or, “Sorry I was just staring at your magnificent tits.”

I confess that one has had a mixed response at best.

My go to is, “Whoops, I don’t have my hearing aid in”. I walk away, go into my bathroom (where I keep it when it’s not in my ear) and return.

Yes, dear.

The fact that your user name has “born to be shunned” underneath it is hilariously appropriate in light of this comment. :smiley:

“I’m sorry, I didn’t get what you just said. Could you clarify it?”

How long have you been married? You KNOW the first rule is:

Admit nothing, deny everything and make counter-accusations. :smiley:


Run that by me again, I wasn’t concentrating

You might as well answer OK.

And don’t kid yourself Chessic Sense, if the wife wants you to “volunteer” for some housework, you know you’re not getting out of it, regardless of how you answer.

I suggest jamming a Twix in your mouth and mumbling something around it.

If you really froze time, I’d jam her finger up her nose first, that might cause a good distraction.

You know, thinking about it, I think guys are very skilled at paying attention with out paying attention.

If I only had a dollar for every time I’ve had this conversation:

Her: Blah, blah, blah,

Me: Uh huh

Her: Blah, blah, blah,

Me: Uh huh

Her: Are you listening to me?

Me: Yes! Of course!

Her: What did I just say?

Me: [I then repeat the last three words she said]

Her: [Scowls at me unapprovenly]

“Do you smell burning hair?” Then immediately collapse to the floor.

“I’m sorry I was lost in thought, thinking about how lucky I am to be married to you. Could you repeat that honey?”

OK, if you like, but I think you pronounce it may/nahzh ah twah.

Why those two choices?

How about the classic ‘Oh, were you talking to me?’ or the ever-popular ‘I thought I heard something outside.’

It’s rare that I don’t pay enough attention to be able to ask some question about the context. Frankly, I think both my wife and I are pretty good about actually listening to each other.

But when I do miss something, I just back up to the last part of the conversation I was following. Or I’ll phrase it as a clarification of something. I’m terrible with names, so I can often use something like “Wait, is this the Linda from church or the Linda from work?”

I’ve been known to answer “Mmm”. That comment can potentially cover a lot of ground.

Say “What?” or outrightly admit you weren’t listening.

But here’s the important thing: Whenever she she tells a story about something or another, you must always consistently do this. This may get you into some agua caliente at first, but after a while she will come to expect it. That is the ideal state of affairs you are seeking to establish.