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Best Behavior

by eric at 10:46 AM on February 18, 2002

I was in the parking lot of Universal Studios in Florida when I realized I'm just as two-faced as any woman.

I should explain: what I'm referring to is the ability of every woman in my life, from my Mom on down, to be pissed as hell at me, ready to eviscerate me using nothing more than a ragged-edged pinky nail because I did A or didn't agree with their opinion of B, yet when a third party enters the picture, whether live or on the phone, said irate female suddenly become the poster child of syrupy sweetness.

Last week, the Wife and I were on vacation in Florida with our friend Joe. He happens to own a house down there, so we stayed with him for free, yet forced him to do our bidding, such as attending theme parks. I've never been on vacation with a friend of mine, but I found it kept the Wife and me both on our best behavior. I didn't know how much until we were in that lot.

I can't remember what she said or did but it instantly got my hackles up, and I started to raise my voice. It was time for a verbal racking over the coals. I mentally prepared my finest nasty barbs and was set to loose them... and then she gave me a look. Not her usual fightin' looks of "you're an idiot" or "I can't stand you right now." This look was more like, "Please... not now. Please. We're in front of 'company'."

My primate brain knew exactly what was going on: she's wants it to appear we have some kind of perfect marriage. What's the point? We fight! We're damn good at it. Sometimes we even make up. That's marriage, for Christ's sake. I almost plowed ahead with my verbal assault just to prove that point.

But I didn't.

As I drove us from Orlando to Tampa, I realized it was kind of nice to be on my best behavior; I always loathe the screaming and yelling far more than the catharsis it can bring. Still, I felt I'd turned my back on a fundamental part of our relationship.

Luckily, once we got home, it wasn't long before I was screaming at her again in the airport parking lot. Ah, marriage.

comments (2)

My 'sometimes' better half is usually oblivious to such a look and continues with his tirade in company, supplying me with much ire for our more private times, much to his dismay.

by emma at February 18, 2002 11:08 AM

I am the master of those looks. I can get into a terrible fight with someone, across a crowded room, without anyone else ever noticing it. I can make people cry. The problem is, I'm too good. Sometimes I make my S.O. cry, even when all I mean is "can you get me a glass of punch?"

by mg at February 18, 2002 4:15 PM

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