I really wanted to make some artwork today featuring couples in trouble. Which I guess means I felt like drawing pictures of me and FB fighting.
Please note: those bits of blue confetti coming off of me are tears. They were probably caused by
a) a pretty leaf floating down the river
b) something unfreakingbelievably stupid said by FB
c) realizing I am not as thin as gorgous as ________________ (choose celebrity hottie of your choice).
d) a sudden surge in progesterone
When I didn't like FB for any of the above reasons, here is how I handled it:
That's right, reader. I sidled over nudged him in any convenient region of his torso. Sometimes it was knuckle nudge and other times I flat out poked him in the belly. The entire geography of our discontent, you see right here.
The result was uniformly bad:
FB did nothing. He might look at me as if I were a zoo animal, but he would do and say nothing.
FB hated my behavior (well, duh) not because I was causing him bodily harm, but because he knew only that I was displeased and that the cause of the displeasure was 100% likely to be him (or progesterone) (which, same thing) and he did not know what to do. Except break up with me, which to his credit, he left to me.
After many many many many months of dating, grew weary of poking him (... stop that.... don't be so gross). I decided that since I was already half brimming over with hatred for him on a regular basis, I'd just explain myself. So one day for no reason in particular, I popped him in the belly and said, "Do you know what that means?"
FB, visibily nervous, said, "No."
"It means I am not feeling appreciated or some similar emotion. When I knuckle you in the chest, or poke your belly, or elbow your liver, I would like some attention. And appreciation. Actually, gratuitous, unearned obsequious sucking up is what I require. If you would like to improve the quality of our relationship by at least 9.323443%, you will remember what I have said the next time I headbutt you in the spleen. All clear?"
Long, long pause.
"Can't we just break up?"
FB sighed. I never quite got to where I could read his mind, but he was probably saying the second half of some prayer in Latin about how Jesus understands how very reasonable and just it would be to beat the crap out of your unbearable girlfriend but that with continual spiritual refinement and the help of all the angels and saints, pure violence can be avoided. Plus forbearance gets you extra shiney shoes in heaven.
FB said, "Noted. On all counts. Will you stop talking now?"
I said, "Yes. I love you a very tiny little bit. So little that I am not sure it even counts."
FB, said, "Back atcha, bitch."
And then we joined hands, pleased with each other and the conversation, and dashed off to wherever it was we were going, and all was well.
Until it wasn't. I am sure some weeks elapsed. It might have been a beautiful snowflake or a dip in estrogen. It might have been him rhapsodizing about Ann Coulter and then criticizing me for not being as hateful and grotesque as he thinks any girlfriend of a person of his narrow-minded, narcissistic, hypocrisy rightly should be. I don't remember.
But I poked him.
Because I had explained myself so clearly on this subject, FB reacted instantly.
He stepped off the sidewalk and directly into the bakery and presented me with a cupcake and said, "I am APPRECIATING YOU. This cupcake is evidence of my esteem and gratitude for your perfecty-perfectness."
FB and I did not make it, for excellent reasons. However, me telling him what I wanted improved our relationship at least 49.253453% - not because what I wanted was reasonable or rational but because he was willing to give me what I asked for just because I asked for it.*
I am reminded of the day of the appreciation cupcake because two blogger girls** I know (in the computer kind of know) are suffering mild to moderate or even severe distress, some part of which is man-distress.
Britt, you could always draw him some pictures. FB always liked mine. (He was crazy. Sort of like... me).
* plus I never asked him for a pony or a tennis bracelet. I wanted stuff that was easy to produce. (Cupcake or a simple "I appreciate you" worked really well for me).
**Other blogger girl, I'll leave you alone with the links for now. You are re-organizing. When you are ready, I'll link you like it's 1999.