Right now you might be asking yourself, “What IS male pattern blindness?”

It is the inability to recognize familiar objects that are in front of you, or in close proximity. To “see” those objects the MPB family member must be accompanied by a wife/mom.

Maybe you knew it, have lived with it, but didn’t know it had a name. (I refuse to call it a “syndrome.” Instead of working on overcoming it, i.e. getting a clue,  MPB family members will form a support group, all of whom will then tell us to get over it. Oh yeah, and they might come up with 12 step program, which they’ll then misplace and ask us to find.)

So, whether you understand it or not, you might be relieved to know that I have developed a “secret” prescription or procedure for dealing (there is no cure that I’ve been able to find) with an MPB family member.

pauline baird jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, kicking ashe, project enterprise
Not just large but in front of the fridge and you can’t see it. Really?

I first became aware of MPB shortly after the hubs and I got married, but it’s only been in the last few years that I found a name for this peculiar, and sometimes frustrating, problem.

How can a man who can identify and trace a fault line on a distant mountain, or see an elk peacefully munching grass on that distant mountain, be totally unable to find a gallon of milk in the refrigerator? He trained  to be an observer (geologist) and at great expense, I might add.

Okay, I kind of get the inability to find keys. They are small and if randomly placed, can be difficult to spot. I swear, in my heyday (i.e. before I got old and tired and my brain decided to start off loading information, rather than retaining it), I could go through the house and memorize objects that I knew the hubs or the kids would want to locate later. Shoes, books, toys, and later, cell phones…

Because MPB is an affliction not limited to husbands. Yes, children (CPB) can get it, too. I think my kids thought I was magic, possibly even all wise and all knowing. Yeah, that didn’t last. But oddly enough, the MPB/CPB did.

So, I know you’re impatiently waiting to hear my prescription/procedure (and probably wondering why I have waited until now to share it with all of you.) Well, the answer is in the prescription. Read on, please.

Here’s a typical exchange:

MPB/CPB family member: Do you know where my [fill in the blank with any one of a thousand items] is?

Me: It is [fill in the blank with a thousand obvious places they could have looked–and probably did w/o seeing the object– before asking me].

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, humor, anabanana
Could you stay mad at that face? Yeah, me either.

[insert game show music here while MPB/CPB family member goes and looks for lost item and then returns empty handed]

MPB/CPB Family member: It’s not there.

Me: Are you sure?

[huffing sounds from MPB/CPB family member, sometimes accompanied by the “I can’t believe you said that” look]

Now the first thousand times this happened, I would stop what I was doing and go look. 99% of the time,the item was exactly where I said it would be. This resulted in a look of surprise from MPB/CPB family member and lots of lame excuses about why it suddenly became visible for me. I won’t repeat them here, because if live with an MPB/CPB family member, you’ve heard them.

So I began to alter the exchange thusly (and I can only share it with you now because my kids are all grown and the statute of limitations has expired on any charges said kids might bring against me. Not worried about the hubs because I don’t fear a jury of my peers.)

I think my kids thought I was magic, possibly even all wise and all knowing. Yeah, that didn't last. But oddly enough, the MPB did. Yeah, I know it's ironic.
Truth times infinity. (I didn’t say I was good at math.)


MPB/CPB family member: It’s not there.

Me: Here’s the deal. If I get up and I find it where I said it would be, then I get to kick you.

MPB/CPB family member [after pause for blinking and disbelief]: I’ll go look again.

Oddly enough, this seems to clear their vision of MPB/CPB problems, though not all of them.

You have to be prepared to follow through with the kick, if the MPB/CPB persists. I was gentle. The first time. Never had to do it more than twice. Never stopped them from asking, though. As mentioned, there is no known cure. If anything, the hubs has gotten worse as we’ve gotten older. As for the kids, I don’t know if they carried into their new homes. Not my problem.

So there you have it, the secret, and very well tested, prescription/procedure for dealing with a MPB/CPB family member. (There is a downside, if you’re wrong a lot, because the kids figured out they could sometimes bluff me by demanding a kick if they were right and I was wrong. I think I got kicked once.)

And obviously this won’t work in a place of employment, which is a pity. There are some bosses that could use a good, swift kick.

So, do you have an MPB/CPB family member in your life? Are you one? (If you are, could you explain it, because dang, it’s a gallon of milk, dude.) Feel free to share your MPB/CPB sufferings here. Because I understand. I feel your pain. And, if you try my prescription, return and report. I love comments and because I do…

Comment on any July blog post and be entered into the drawing for another $10 AnaBanana Gift Card of awesomeness. :-)

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, humor, anabanana

Btw, I am sorry for the plethora of share buttons. It’s not that I’m needy (well, I might be a bit), but mostly I’m new to Word Press and I don’t know how to get rid of the one I don’t want. Maybe its Author Plug-in Blindness?

For now I’m perilously yours,


Male Pattern Blindness=Secret to Kicking that Bad Habit

10 thoughts on “Male Pattern Blindness=Secret to Kicking that Bad Habit

  • July 10, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Lovin’ this post! I can soooo relate! But of late, my hubby has been saying my built-in tracking device is on the blink, because he’s been able to find things I’ve missed.

    • July 10, 2012 at 2:22 am

      My husband could make same case. But he isn’t blogging. LOL! If he wants to rebut, he needs to show up. (evil grin)

  • July 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I wish I’d known about the kick a long time ago! MPB/CPB is more widespread than I realized. I’ve always told my kids that they’re not likely to find anything halfway up the wall (as in STOP turning in circles with your eyes straight ahead). 🙂

    • July 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      LOL! Yeah, actually looking in the direction that items are likely to be found is key step in finding them. It’s the unexpected response that gets them, saying something they don’t expect. Suddenly they look at you and see you.

      “Did mom really just say she was going to kick me?”

      It works even better when you sound really perky and happy. LOL!

  • July 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    O.M.G. LOVE IT! I am totally going to adapt this in my household. Well…I don’t know…wait…hubby and I are BOTH known for it. LOL! Neither of us can ever find anything and we both constantly misplace stuff. I almost wish we had kids so we could at least blame it on them but in reality, we are both just morons. Great technique but…I fear I’d be getting kicked just as much as I was kicking…dang!
    Lynnette Conroy did a GREAT post on this a couple week’s ago that you might enjoy…hilarious as well! http://rantravewrite.com/2012/06/15/communicating-with-your-spouse-the-secret-decoder-ring/
    FAB post Pauline…ROLF!!

    • July 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      That is such a great blog post! I love it! LOL! And yeah, my hubs has two artificial hips, so kicking me is kind of off the table, but he gets me back in other ways. LOLOL! He can wind me up, then make me laugh. People are always asking for Jonesie stories. Since I don’t think he reads my blog, may have to start filtering them into my posts. (insert evil laugh here) He is most lucky-unlucky guy I know. His yin and yang can’t figure out how to work together and are always hosing him. Would be hilarious if I didn’t sometimes get caught in it. And it makes for good stories. LOL!

  • July 9, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Hilarious, Pauline! I have both MPB and CPB in my family. I wonder if the rememdy would be successful at my house–perhaps a modification for the little one (a tickle, instead of a kick–she hates tickling). 🙂

    • July 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      You do what works for you, Diana. LOL! I wish I’d had cell phone cameras back then, because the look the first time I deployed this was priceless. Of course my negotiating child spent more time trying to lighten the possible sentence than it took to find the item. I think that’s the kid that came up with the reciprocal kick. LOL!

  • July 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Hi, Pauline (and very familiar-looking, friendly MPB guy!) Only males can have this??? There’s no FPB? I lost things right in front of my nose for years. I seem to have grown out of it (and my size 8 jeans)–or maybe it’s just that I no longer care if I find my keys, purse, shoes–because that means I have to do the grocery shopping. And I don’t like grocery shopping. Oh, wait. Maybe it’s also that I’m so SO nearsighted and, if I’m not wearing my contacts and can’t find my glasses, I can’t find anything. Please don’t kick me! 🙂

    • July 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      See, I can’t find stuff either, but hubs doesn’t blog, so I get last word. LOLOL!

Comments are closed.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: