I had to take my wife’s wedding ring to the jewelry store this week for some repairs.

Not sure how the subject came up, but I mentioned to the young lady at the counter I’m constantly amazed how much Rachel loves the ring she told me I didn’t even need to purchase 23 years ago. Rachel is an absolute angel, and — knowing how broke I was and how much we were about to struggle financially while she finished working on her master’s degree – she probably meant what she said.

But there was no way I was going to propose to her in front of 25,000 people at halftime of a state championship football game I was covering for my newspaper without slipping an engagement ring on her finger. And, I dadgum sure wasn’t going to show up at a church two months later and promise her daddy and mama I’d take care of their only daughter without sealing the deal with a wedding band.

It was the first experience I remember with women saying one thing but actually meaning something else. That doesn’t make them bad people, but it sure confuses men because – let’s be perfectly honest – we’re not that smart.

I’m all about helping young men understand their better halves when they become husbands some day. Plus, I believe if you purchase a nice couch you should occasionally sleep on it, so here are a few other things women say. …and what you should really expect.

I’M READY: She is now ready to begin her walk from the bedroom to the door to leave the house, but go ahead and enjoy a little more of the ballgame you’re watching because you’re not going anywhere for at least 10 minutes. All doors that should be shut or locked will be checked twice. If cooking has happened in the last three days, all stove knobs will be checked. If a child is being left behind, even if that child is 19, last-minute instructions on when and how to dial 911 will be given.

Basically, “I’m ready” is the female version of football’s 2-minute warning.

THESE ARE PERFECT: I’ve heard Rachel say the words “These shoes are perfect. They are exactly what I was looking for. They fit perfectly and match every outfit I own.” But, an hour later, I’m still sitting in shoe department jail with three other guys mumbling “I thought we were done,” as Rachel tries on more shoes.

JUST ONE BITE: Never fall for this one. Go large on the popcorn at the movies or the fries at the fast food place, because no one in history has eaten just one bite of popcorn or just one French fry.

SHE’S SO PRETTY: Sorry, but I can’t really help you on this one. It doesn’t matter if she’s talking about a live person sitting across from you at a restaurant or walking past you on the street or if she means the actress or singer in a movie or on television. There is no right answer.

“Yes, she is very pretty,” will get you at least three nights sleeping on the couch. “Heck no. She’s uglier than bowling shoes,” will get you sent to sensitivity training.

Just fake a heart attack or offer her another one of your French fries or some more popcorn and hope she moves on to another subject.

WE NEED TO TALK: This means you are in trouble, and she will now tell you why and the extent of your punishment while you listen and say nothing.

Wish me luck, because I’m probably going to have this “conversation” today when my lovely wife reads this column.

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— Jack Stallard is sports editor of the Longview News-Journal. Email:; follow on Twitter @lnjsport