Fang and I are currently in the midst of one of those trying periods that occur in any long-term relationship. We’re on each other’s nerves. (Or, at least I think WE are — he’s certainly on mine.) To put it mildly, yet bluntly, I think that we’d like to punch each other in the face.
Luckily, we’re both pacifists. What we both have going for us, in addition to our basically non-violent natures, is that neither of us has had much, if any, experience with hooliganism of any kind — throwing and, more importantly, landing punches is not, thankfully, in our respective wheelhouses. Frankly, of the two of us, over the course of our lifetimes, I’ve probably been involved in more brawls than he has. Plus, I have no problem fighting dirty. Fang is, by far, the more civilized person in this relationship.
I do, however, take some small comfort in knowing that if, let’s just say, push came to shove, I would likely emerge victorious. Even though I’m taller and I may even outweigh him, he’s a man and is, therefore, physically stronger. To make up for this, to even the playing field, I would have to resort not only to the element of surprise, but to hair-pulling and eye-poking, as well. It’s not that I’m above those sorts of things, it’s a simple matter of knowing that, ultimately, such a victory would be hollow. Because, really, where do you go from there?
I imagine the answer to that question is divorce court or jail. The adrenaline rush that I’d get from taking him out would not, at the end of the day, be worth either of these things. Sadly, this is what truly stops me from acting on my more aggressive tendencies. I make no claims to being the bigger, better person, I’d simply like to remain at liberty and in my relationship — a relationship that will recover its footing. It’s done so many times before. It has, in fact, survived worse.
There are other, more subtle ways, to annoy my husband that don’t require stooping to face punching. Why use your fists when you can use your wits? To this end, I have big plans for tonight!
First, I’m going to make corned beef — a dish that he not only hates to eat, but that he hates to smell cooking. I usually, regardless of the outside temperature, open up all the windows while it’s simmering so that the smell dissipates before he gets home. Not tonight, though. Oh, no. Tonight I’m going to hermetically seal the windows if I have to. I’m going to capture the odor so that he will be attacked by the smell of cured, pink beef roiling away in a pot of boiling water the minute he opens the front door. HA! Take that, I say!
I’m going to serve him a large portion of meat and a very small potato. This way, he won’t be able to take small, delicate bites of the meat followed by a large hunk of potato — his tried and true method of masking the taste and texture of his most-hated meat product. I’ll bet you’re asking yourself, “Why does he eat it at all? Why doesn’t he just have something else?” The simple answer to that is that he is a man and, as such, cannot think along these lines. He eats what is put in front of him. It doesn’t even occur to him that he has a choice. I suspect that he’d eat antelope if I cooked it. He’d bury it in the side dish, but he’d eat it.
Instead of immediately washing the cooking pot, I am going to leave it on the stove where the fats that were rendered from the corned beef will, undoubtedly, congeal into a nice, hot, stinking mess. I’ll know I’ve won the day when I hear him gagging.
I won’t stop there, though. Oh, no. More gagging must be induced.
To this end and to add to what will surely be shaping up to be quite the idyllic domestic scene, I will drag out the nail polish AND the remover — an act that will send him scrambling. The minute anyone in a two-mile radius employs these products, Fang carries on to beat the band — “Do you have to do that NOW? Do you have to do that HERE?”
He then puts his hands over his face, jettisons out of “his” chair, and runs for cover. He looks like a toddler who, upon realizing that he is far outnumbered in a snowball fight, makes a sad attempt at hiding behind a scrawny tree for protection. Sometimes, and if I’m lucky tonight will be one of those times, he even shrieks like a toddler as he is trying to get away. It’s both ridiculous and delightful.
When you have weapons like these in your arsenal, who needs to throw a punch?
photo credit: corned beef