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1. Let’s start with this, since the most recent incident was
no more than five minutes ago: When the phone rings and it’s someone I don’t want
to talk to, and I wave my hands and whisper, “I’m not here,” as all people do
when they’re busy or tired or watching Iron Chefs duke it out with asparagus,
my wife gets flustered as if these gestures are indecipherable alien language,
and says, “Uh, wait, just a second — what?” Then, instead of making up some quick
cover, like maybe our 4-year-old son was asking her something, she suddenly hands
me the phone. Why? I have a theory, which leads us to No. 2:
2. Despite claims of love and 10 years together, this woman will
not bear false witness on my behalf. How can you trust a person like that? Who
knows when there will be some situation in the future where I am hiding from the
mob or the ATF and desperately need her to say I’m out of the country or any place
but hiding in the closet? Which is what she’ll say because she cannot lie. She’s
deranged, I think, with a kind of mild autism such that her brain simply cannot
comply with that request. Instead, she freezes, like a robot with conflicting
instructions. Someday, this will get us both killed.
3. Never warns me when we’re going to a “shoes off” house. At
least five times this year I ended up with my toe sticking out of a stinky sock
at some damn hippie cocktail party.
4. Has friends with “shoes off” households.
5. Watches America’s Top Model without really caring who
wins. What other possible satisfaction could she derive from the show other than
the thin veil of competition? Even she doesn’t know. She doesn’t care about the
fashion; is indifferent to the bitchy queen hosts; seems unmoved by the minidrama
cat fights. Nor is she a lesbian. We are both confused, but only I bother seeking
an explanation.
6. Seems to enjoy the Gastineau Girls. Then she walks
around the house giggling until I am forced to ask her why, at which point she
tells me all about the Gastineau Girls. This is how I am forced to have
my soul stolen by the goddamn Gastineau Girls without even watching the
fucking thing.
7. She makes me great scrambled eggs. How is this a problem?
Here’s how: Her superb scrambled eggs are achieved with very low heat and a slow
cooking stroke. She stands in the kitchen, gazing at the pan, stirring slowly,
saying nothing for up to 15 minutes. That’s 14 minutes longer than I can stand
to stir eggs, which reveals the ulterior motive at work here: Her scrambled eggs
are really a clever demonstration that she possesses infinite patience and I do
not. It is her way of attacking my spiritual essence, a little psychological QED.
Each perfectly buttery bite is a claim to spiritual superiority, proof that she’s
more Zen than I am. I cook everything on high heat, and it makes for dry eggs.
She accepts the proper energy flow of the universe and makes great eggs. This
I envy, and she knows it, and that’s why she makes me eat it every morning.
8. She was not at all annoyed when I mentioned I planned to write
a list of ways she annoyed me this year and publish it for all of Los Angeles
to see. “Sounds funny,” she said, the way you might say a greeting card is funny,
without actually giving the impression that she found it either funny or offensive
or boring. In fact, she is generally unbaitable, ever more so this year, and I
find that especially annoying.
9. This year she decided to start reminding me that her boobs
will someday sag. She’s currently all post-pregnancy big and bouncy, which, I’m
not ashamed to admit, I enjoy. Instead of letting me spend carefree time with
them, however, she likes to remind me every time I get close that, one day, sure
enough as the sun sets each day, they will be gone. Imagine if every time you
petted your favorite furry dog, someone walked up and said, “Enjoy it now, buddy,
because that dog will be dead soon.”