This column is a tad risqué. It is intended for mature audiences, (though the story is about two immature people). It involves euphemisms for behaviours that, while entirely natural between two consenting adults, are not typically explored in the Advertiser.
But it’s been a rough month for us, and for many people in our communities, and we could all use a laugh. Sometimes, it’s the little things that amuse me (the Carpenter would like to declare the “little” reference is not a euphemism for anything that follows). Please proceed with caution.
In this space I portray a happy home and my sincere affection for my spouse, the Carpenter. It’s all true. Every word. But we’re far from perfect and I want to be honest about that too. We hit rough patches. We have dry spells. Miscommunication happens. In some ways we have grown apart. I think that’s normal. Change happens. It’s the evolution of two souls in one relationship with two careers, two kids and very different perspectives and coping mechanisms. But the goal remains to go forward together. We have no idea how long the road ahead will be and we are well aware (and frequently reminded) that marriage is more an endurance run than a sprint.
It’s the little things that keep a romantic relationship alive, like ordering Chinese food take-out on Sunday night because we’re both too tired to cook and trying to avoid being swallowed in the quick-sand of anxiety at the thought of the work week ahead. We’ve named it “Sunday-itis.”
It’s just life. Everyday stress. Chinese food won’t fix it, we know that. But sometimes we need fried rice, beef in black bean sauce and an egg roll just because we do. Logic has nothing to do with it. Besides, it makes a great leftover lunch on Monday. Also, Chinese food dinners come with a treat that immediately lights a spark in us both. I bet you don’t get as excited over a fortune cookie as the Carpenter and I do. You should.
After heaping platefuls of stir-fried awesomeness, and my post-traumatic over-eating mantra “I’m going to suffer for this,” the Carpenter and I are bloated happy campers. Totally worth it. We stack our dirty dishes, match the lids to the containers for leftovers and stack them in the fridge. And then we reach for the fun: the fortune cookie. It’s all about this moment.
There is no science to this, but there are rules. Each of us must pick our own fortune cookie without touching any other. We must pull the paper fortune message out and eat the entire cookie without reading the message. Then we take turns reading our fortune out loud. The goal is not to laugh or show any emotion. Just read the words.
The Carpenter’s fortune reads, “You are solid and dependable.” He cracks up in laughter. My turn. “It is quality rather than quantity that matters. Do a good job.” Now we are both hysterical, tears streaming down our faces, slapping the table, holding our guts.
Why? Because the other rule is to add the words “in bed” to the fortune. Because we are juveniles. Because you have to laugh to stay friends and be friends to remain lovers. And that is the fortune we both want.
Writing has been my passion since I learned how to hold a pencil (which I still cannot do properly). Despite my father’s insistence that I would starve to death in this career, I remain well fed and eager to write more. They say you should do what you love: I love to write.