My husband, Fred, and I had an argument the other day. It was completely ridiculous and it played out far enough that I started fantasizing about putting crumbs on his side of the mattress so he’d go sleep on the couch.
O.K.--I lied. I actually fantasized about Testicle Gnawing Ants feasting on him while I laughed softly to myself. The crumbs, though annoying and probably itchy, wouldn’t have had the lasting effect I was going for.
It all began with the Queen Mother of all Unintentional Statements, pregnant with misunderstanding potential. I should have kept my self-deprecating thoughts to myself, but said out loud,
“I used to look a lot better in jeans.”
I wasn’t consciously looking for Fred to say anything, but as soon as I said it, I should have flashed back to the hundred comedy skits and books written about how women set-up men to fail with statements regarding their body image.
Fred is a problem-solver whose first instinct is not to offer emotional support, but to “fix”… and then wince, and hope he isn’t required for anything more. Fred actually said:
“You could look better if you wanted to.”
First “Feelings Hurt” barb: “I wasn’t expecting you to advise me on how to look better in jeans.”
WhatUtalkin’bout Block: “Why do you have to start problems like that?”
Defensive Undercut laced with attempt at humor: “I don’t know, but why can’t you speak “Girl”?”
Not in the Mood for humor Hook: “That’s STUPID!”
The exchanges to follow would be better served in giant colorful stars containing words like “KAPLOW” and “COWABUNGA” like in the old “Batman” series.
When I retold the story to a supportive girlfriend, she naturally sided with me.
Supportive Friend Adjective for Fred: Pig
All those hurt feelings stirred up such a low-pressure dissention cloud that birds stopped chirping and furry animals sulked under bushes and furniture. But, after a good 48 hours, I’m happy to report I have forgiven Fred. He’s right, if I wanted to look better in my jeans, I would.
Now, do you think I should go on a diet?