Vows to my Lover (or "what kind of crazy person breaks up over toilet paper?")
As I spend more and more time with my lover, I realize just how scarred and battered men become from the fallout of past relationships. No, the damage isn't done in those last months or years as the connection between man and woman begins to crumble, when animosity rises and the sole purpose for each person's existence becomes finding the big red buttons on the other marked "DON'T PUSH ME", and then pushing them. Oh no, the abuse is heaped upon the male at the time he leasts expects it, is least prepared for it, and is least able to mount an adequate defense. It happens in the throes of deep love. That's just wrong. It's sick. It has led to even more bafflement on my part towards the pee squatters of this species, if that's even possible. In fact, it has spurred me on to sit down and pen my vows of commitment to my love, to swear upon my mother's grave (sorry Mom, I know you're not dead yet, but it's the thought that counts) and promise unto all eternity never, ever to be a raging nit.
come hither - back off
I vow, my love, to always listen to my inner butch. I vow that when you buy me a cordless drill for my birthday, I will enjoy it far, far more than a silly, useless string of pearls or perfume. Chocolates - well, that's another story. If I had to choose between chocolates and drills, my brain may well short out. So avoid the chocolate gifts and stick with the drill. Problem solved.
And speaking of shorted out brains, I vow never, ever to dither, to drag you through the endless self-debate to try and figure out what, exactly, I'm thinking and, based on that thought, what it makes me feel like doing. I will never go back and forth saying, "You know, this would probably be a good day to go grocery shopping. Then again, we could always stay here and have a barbeque. But really, I should probably stick to my diet, so barbequing is out. Although, if we were to barbeque, you'd really need to start preparing the grill and getting the burgers ready now. But we also need more toilet paper and mustard, so we probably should go to the store. Get your keys, we'll go - no, wait..." and so on into perpetuity while you scramble back and forth and back again with keys in one hand and charcoal in the other. If I am undecided, I will walk to the couch, pick up the remote, and watch nature programs on PBS until I've actually made up my damn mind before saying anything to you.
I will never make you drive me anywhere that involves the purchase of clothes, linen, housewares, or bathroom accessories. If we need a fucking plunger, I will catch a bus and get a fucking plunger. This is not a key moment in the development of our love - it's a tool to unbung the toilet. And what the hell are you, some kind of permanently indentured gypsy cab? If I need to go do some tedious, unpleasant shopping, I'll just damn well do it myself. And as for shopping in general, you are safe in the knowledge that I loathe it, and wouldn't even wish to share it with my worst enemy, let alone you. Window shopping is the work of Satan. If I want to stare at things that look pretty that I'll never buy, I'll go to a bloody art gallery. At least the sculptures won't have "Nike" emblazoned on their sides. And what's more, I can pick out my own clothes, and don't need your opinion on deciding whether I should get these shoes in brown or black.
Oh, and clothes - what the hell is with the dressing of one's mate like they're a fucking toddler? If that's what you want to wear, I'll keep my fucking hands and mouth out of it. I mean, you didn't say a word when a previous mate went out in public in that horrifically trendy pseudo-seventies striped polyester wrap dress, now did you? Why not? Because you valued your life, that's why! Because if you had done that to any other woman who has been in your life before now, she would have ripped your fucking head off!
I will never make you decide what colour paint needs to go on the wall, what fabric should be chosen for the curtains, or whether the coffee table should be moved to the left or the right. It's paint, for fuck's sake, not a bonding session. Does it really matter if we go with "heather grey" or "cloud white"? I will never tell you what you're going to do with your day by providing you with a list of "manly" tasks you simply must complete by dusk, such as screwing in lightbulbs, hanging shelves, cleaning eavestroughs, or building an addition to a house (or a whole house, in the case of not having one at all). If through some bizarre freak of nature I actually begin to experience some kind of nesting instinct, I will pick up that cordless drill you got me for my birthday and I will drill that nest into oblivion myself. I will also never throw a tantrum because you left me out of an oh-so-deeply-important-and-vital-in-sharing decision by buying a new sofa you liked on your own, or an enormous recliner with levers and knobs and a cup holder and even a built-in heating massager. I don't care that it's a monstrosity - you liked it. And it's your home too. It's not like you're just a boarder I've graciously allowed to grace his presence in my abode. "No, stop, don't put that cup on the Syrian mosaic table! It'll leave a mark!" So, what - I got a Syrian mosaic table in order - not to use it? Uh, I don't think so.
I vow to respect the fact that what men perceive as "complete", a woman may have a different opinion about, but that said opinion should get filed under C for "crap that doesn't really matter." So you left a pair of underwear on the floor, the pillow sham is slightly crooked (HA! Like we'd have pillow shams - what a thorough waste of fabric and time those are), the toilet wasn't sterilized to hospital standards, and you dusted only in the places that people can see because "the others don't matter." The others don't matter. Hey, if I can't see 'em, then they can collect all the dust they want. I'll consider those surfaces a poor man's air filtration system.
I will never nag, never boss, and I will never, ever say, "You're going out wearing that?" You can leave the toilet seat up because I have arms and can put it down myself without suffering some kind of massive cerebral aneurism. You can watch baseball all day because, hell, it gives me some time to myself to do the things I enjoy that you loathe.
We are not joined at the hip, we do not complete each other's sentences, and we will not, ever, choose not to go out with friends because our mate doesn't like them. I don't care that Norman has a hamster fetish and keeps wiping his nose with his hands. If Marty wants to make Helen Keller jokes, so be it. Veronica is drop dead gorgeous? Great - we can discuss her assets together and get mutually excited. If my flamboyantly gay friend Jeff keeps asking you whether you've yet to explore the dark side of your anus, I'll keep him in the garage. If Rob keeps trying out his Kung Fu moves in the direction of your head, I'll be the first to slap him upside the head myself. The last time I checked, we were the ones in a relationship - not our family members, our friends, our grocers, our personal psychics, or our second-grade math teachers.
When I say "I love you," you will not be relegated to the couch for not saying "I love you" back. Using the idea of love to manipulate you into saying what I want to hear is just whack, man. If I want to hear you say "I love you," I'll walk up to you, tap you on the shoulder, and say, "Hey. You. I want you to tell me that you love me." How hard is that?
So sayeth I, so shall it be done. And you can put money on that.
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