Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Couples in trouble

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?"

Poke repeated.

"Fuck you"

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.


Woodrow said...

A pretty leaf floating down a river? For reals? Oh my.

123Valerie said...

I'd be happy being called "cupcake." I don't have much of a sweet tooth, though.

Maybe an appreciative bagel would work.

Ain't love grand?

P said...

It's unthinkable to me that FB didn't appreciate you. How could he not, considering the fact that you make such nice mittens? And have such nice boobs? (They look nice in the picture, at least. I have boob envy.)

utenzi said...

Poor FB. You're high maintenance, Nina. Of course those red circles in your drawing seem to indicate you're going to get plenty of attention anyway. ;-)

em said...

Hahaha. . .love the boobies there, Nina. And I, too, think a cupcake and an "I appreciate you" are simple but perfectly wonderful gestures.

My husband actually bought me a reese's peanut butter cup the other day, just out of the blue, for no reason. It was very odd.

Avitable said...

I love the art!

And sometimes you can only tell them what you want them to do for so long.

susan said...

RE: potential cause c) -- recall that you are smarter than ___________ (celebrity hottie of your choice), and that is something that lasts, and is more important, and is real (i.e. not enhanced by plastic surgery and lighting and airbrushing etc.), and is ultimately more rewarding.

Great illustrations, though.

The Horny Bitch said...

I dunno if it's the drawing, the illustration or your story that made me kept on reading. Do it more will u?

country roads said...

People have to talk. And pay attention. I don't know how people don't.

Nina said...

Woodrow, well, not really. Well maybe but it wouldn't drive me to poke FB in the ribs and demand attention. More likely I would point out the pretty leaf and he'd think that was not worth stopping to look at and then I'd be all like, "what is wrong with you?"and then he'd be all like "what is wrong with YOU? It's a LEAF!" So you see, well... you see.

Valerie - he did call me cupcake sometimes. He also called me 'kitten' and sometimes 'luminous beacon of hope and joy' - he really knew how to pour it on when I jabbed him in the ribs.

P, he did appreciate me. Mostly. He was a boob addict so he felt he had to behave.

Utenzi, do not pity FB. He was similarly spoiled. Plus, our main method of communication was sarcasm and silliness. He liked my annoyingness (mostly).

Em, boobs are good. Candy from husband for no reason is... awesome.

Avitable, thank you for appreciating my drawings. I am no artist, as you can see. I just try to convey the ... feelings... of the moment.

Susan, thank you for stopping by and commenting. And yes, I agree. I'd still rather be myself than someone else.

HB - Hi! Glad you like my drawings. I like making them but I wish I were a better at it. Perhaps with more practice.

Country Roads, Yes. Absolutely. The downfall of FB and me was that we did not know how to really talk to each other.

utenzi said...

'luminous beacon of hope and joy'

I love that, Nina. I'll have to use that on my girlfriend also. FB had a way with words!

Maggie said...

Remember that boyfriend with whom I went to Italy? I often feel that I do not love him enough, because he is incredibly sweet and kind and attentive to me, and I continue to only be enjoying it for the "right now." Regardless of my advice to you, Nina, about relationships not having to be high-pressure and all leading to marriage, I occasionally get deep bouts of guilt about not wanting to marry him. During these bouts of guilt, I tell him that I am a terrible girlfriend and that I do not deserve him.

He, wise wise man that he is, does not touch these comments, not even with a proverbial 10-foot pole.

I sent him this post. Now he loves you too. Wait until he hears about the mittens!