by Viki Reed
The Knock-Down, Drag-Out Fight.
Only your soul-mate knows exactly where you live; and they'll be glad to hunt you down, drag you out and beat the crap out of you. The good news is that it would be completely unnatural not to want to kill someone you have to live with for the rest of your life. You can laugh in a few years about how you were so mad your pants came-off; for now appreciate what happens between the knock - down - drag - out and 'I love you'. It is the meat of life; bloody and quick to rot.
I Am Woman, Hear Me Bitch
It's the fight that has nothing to do with men, yet leaves the assaulted in a position representing all similarly wronged men. Hormones brewed with resentments. These arguments are unwinnable. Be diplomatic and sympathetic. Is it that time of the month? Probably. There's no reasoning with the vitriol of a menstruating woman. Refer to page 54 of your Manly Manual and remember IT'S NOT WORTH IT.
Is she saying things like:
- "Everything is all wrong"
- "Nothing fits me anymore"
- "I hate our furniture."
- "You hate me"
- "Tell me what you were gonna say! Come on!"
It's not you.
Regrettable time-suckers, that resemble road-rage.
It was not Paul Newman's voice on that commercial! It's Argentina, you moron - you really are a moron, you know that? I'm sorry I ate your freaking pizza. Why do you keep putting things in my drawer? I don't ask for much, but would you leave my hand-towel alone?! What is all this crap on the floor? I can't believe you dropped all that food. You know, lighters aren't cheap! I didn't know you taped Twin Peaks on that tape! That was the wrong shirt?! I know what I'm doing, back-off. You shouldn't have bought that. I don't know why you keep losing your keys. What do you mean "bad breath"? What do you mean you don't care?
Letting It Go
There are some things your partner will never change, most notably the inability to recognize that fact. Don't fight your partner's behavior, paddle outside of the rip-tide; acceptance will take you back to shore. Does she always cook for ten when there's only two of you? Does she always think she knows everything? Does he drip toothpaste and saliva down the wall because he doesn't rinse his toothbrush... Every day? Does he always leave unidentifiable skids in his shorts? Visualize yourself sitting in the bedroom alone, watching Sports News (or Lifetime TV if you're a woman), you can hear her/him ignoring you from the other room. Ask yourself, was it worth it? Freeze the extra food and she'll look the other way when doing laundry.
It's Not Working Until Something's Broken
Eliminating disputes inspired by reproductive facilities, boredom, or intractable personality quirks, there's still the 'clash - of - the - appliance - breaking - titans - fight'.
By the time you're near 30 and married, you've got hundreds of sensitive buttons and ten angry fingers working against you. Inevitably, everyone hits the wall. You refine your appliance-hurling skills and redefine self-realization. During my first marriage, I kicked a car-door. Every time a valet had to crawl into my `78 Toyota Corolla through the passenger side, I realized all by myself how much of an idiot I was. Pushing my husband too far, he punched a mirror; he soon realized that our landlord now knew what idiots we both were. At the climax of one vicious fight I slammed my rotating fan on the kitchen counter, I realized that all of my guests would think, "What kind of mental patient has a fan shaped like a turnip? Does this sound familiar?: "I broke the alarm clock. Now I gotta buy another one. THAT'LL show her." Think ahead and save your energy for 'make-up sex'.
Make-Up Sex, How It Works
There's always that moment of 'uncle'.
Your fight's gotten so bad, that you start to imagine a future without them. As you're screaming at them the future becomes clearer: freedom, famous lovers, you'll lose weight, live in a better apartment with the furniture arranged your way, driving in silence... UNCLE! The power to walk away should only be used in a life threatening situation. There's no where to put that roiling emotion except inside your partner. In a panic you rush each-other and do coitus like you're exchanging skin. Wait for the right moment, as converting rage into lust depends on both of you getting repetitive. When you feel like a runaway car with flat tires, you've arrived at this point. Wait until she stops saying, '... and THEN...' or slaps you. This is the time to initiate make-up noogie. Blood pressure is still throbbing, you're clinging to strong feelings, and you haven't had time to recount all the nasty things your partner just said about you.
You're Better Than They Are
This is where you are when you've gotten too old and tired to fight, like 35. You're at the mall and you spot a young couple. They tell you everything about themselves with their body language. A mutual feeling of marital expertise warms you and your spouse. Like someone coming back from Viet Nam, you know that little things are minute and the big deals are real. You've been where they are. She's walking ahead of him, with a furious stride. He tries to talk to her with his chin and shoulders down, she answers him without turning around. They're fighting. You look your honey who's nodding and smiling. There's only one word for that moment: