Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Kamikaze love

"As one who recently put a relationship in the opposite sex in quite possibly insurmountable jeopardy because of his love for edgy jokes, I'm on your side."
It fairly boggles the mind to speculate what kind of edgy jokes a bible college student might make, but Ken’s response to my last post got me thinking about an old girlfriend of mine. We dated for about 16 months at the end of my university career. At the time, I was something less than the perfect boyfriend, I admit. I was unemployed, starving, and gripped by a vicious quarter-life crisis. And yet, through it all, she stuck by me with a loyalty that was all the more admirable in light of the fact that she clearly hated my guts.

Perhaps the hate kept her going. I’d resolve to break up with her, and then she would show up with a carload of groceries. Seemingly an act of charity – even love – to the casual observer, we both knew it was a calculated act of naked aggression designed to trap me with her for at least another few weeks until the food was all eaten and I could again begin to consider breaking up with her with a clear conscience. Besides, she wouldn’t have to hear me talk while I ate, and she hated when I talked. She was, to quote the late, great Undeclared, not my girlfriend. She was my girl enemy. She was obviously dead-set on simply gritting her teeth and staying with me as long as it took to make sure I went to my grave a miserable, beaten man, for hate's sake spitting her last breath at me.

And yet, even in the company of a woman who clearly hated fun, I managed to spite her by enjoying myself.

I fondly recall our trip to the sporting goods section of Canadian Tire. My housemate Jon (who she quite liked, actually) was given to fits of boisterous laughter, usually provoked by childish activity. For example, I once watched far too much Tom Green and then put vinegar in my eyes to make him laugh. I was instantly in so much pain I couldn’t even scream. I just instantly curled up in the fetal position in utter agony, like a salted slug. But by god, did he laugh his merry guts out. Still, it would have been easier to just say the word “jizz”, as he seemed to have some bad wiring in his head that made him cackle with merriment upon hearing it. Jon wasn’t with us at Canadian Tire, but it was with his laughter echoing in my head that I looked at the hockey equipment.

I put on a helmet and gloves. Then I turned, standing knock-kneed, and looked at my girlfriend with a wide, vacant grin. I let a little drool escape. “Mnnnaaaa!” I said, smashing the back of a gloved hand into my own face. “Gnnuuuuh!”

She turned tight-lipped with anger. She turned and stalked off without a word.

I couldn’t find her anywhere in the store for the next 15 minutes, until I climbed a large ladder to look for her, which embarrassed her even further. Lord, how she made me suffer later. But did Jon laugh when I told him the story? No. He roared.

Sometimes, as a man, you do things knowing full well that they will get you in terrible trouble with a girlfriend or wife, and it’s well worth it as long as you know you’ll at least get a story out of it that amuses your friends. When you do the mental calculus, you find it’s a fair trade-off. And the math just gets easier if you and your lady don’t even like each other that much anyway.


Anonymous Kendal said...

I'm still a wee child [for another month or so anyway] so shop excursions are sometimes with my mother and brother. Last week at Big W we got yelled at like seven year olds for taking display mops and fighting with them. But then we got chocolate candy! So the moral to the story is, if you embarass yourself and or others in public, you get chocolate. And isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about?

9/21/2005 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

My comments seem to have become central to your posting.

But the jokes were about abortion and dead babies in general. And the worst of it all was that what started my cascade of dead-baby jokes was recounting of a speech I did in Public Speaking about "gay abortion"; I'd have gotten away with it if I hadn't been trying to amuse my friends.

9/21/2005 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Horsey said...

Comedy fucking gold. Sheer genius. I laughed and laughed until my soiled pants were clean.

And then I cried, because every word you said was true.

9/22/2005 01:22:00 PM  

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