Relationships: Share and put in daily (not ‘Share your pudding, baby’)

Relationships aren’t always easy, especially when the two of you are forging a new life in a new country. Work, money and bills can become an iron-fisted triumvirate that, given the chance, will rule your relationship cruelly and bring it crashing down around you. Communication is the only real key to understanding each other. You have to compromise and meet in the middle sometimes and complete acceptance is crucial. But no matter what happens, no matter how high or low you get, no matter what things promise to bind you forever or threaten to divide you in a flash, you should always – ALWAYS – get your own bloody dessert.

Three facts to get this post rolling:

1. Desserts never look as good to my girlfriend when they’re sitting in a cafe’s counter as they do when they’re sitting in my hand.

2. Being acutely aware of this, I always take preemptive action when we buy dinner by asking her if she would like some dessert, then asking her if she’s sure that she doesn’t want some and by finally telling her that I’m not going to give her half of mine if she changes her mind later.

3. My girlfriend knows that her loving boyfriend is wrapped around her little finger and she isn’t above pulling the ol’ ‘puppy dog eyes’ routine to get at my sweets. Consequently, she doesn’t give a #@&% about anything I’ve said in points one or two.

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“Where’s the other half of my…… BAAAAAABE!!!”

The best part of my working day happens when I get home from the office. My girlfriend and I will sit down to enjoy dinner together. We’ll talk about how our day went, we’ll lift each other up if we’ve had a hard one, we’ll watch some TV together, read on the couch, catch up with our mates back home on Facebook and chat the whole way through.

But something sinister takes place most nights right after dinner. A tension settles over us where many a sideways glance is exchanged. We’ll engage in a saccharine struggle for sweets, a showdown for sugar, a taut battle for torte.

The problem is that it’s always my dessert we’re fighting over.

SPR MRKT, the cafe across the road, make some fantastic cakes and tarts including a lip-smacking bread pudding with vanilla sauce (free plug, hook me up with a bread pudding, guys!) that I just can’t say no to. My girlfriend doesn’t really have a sweet tooth but I have an entire mouth full of them so when we grab dinner there, I’ll always pick up some dessert and, more often than not, it’s their warm, soft, scrumptious bread pudding.

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“No, I don’t want one. I’ll just have some of yours.” Wrong, my love. Wrong.

My girlfriend often says that she isn’t in the mood but, if experience has taught me anything, it’s that she will suddenly find herself in the mood for dessert the second she sees me about to tuck into mine. For some reason, sweets appeal to her much more when they’re in my hands than when they’re behind a glass counter. For some reason, they suddenly become irresistible.

And, for some reason – largely a lack of testicular fortitude on my part when it comes to her – she’ll always manage to get some.

I’m not saying she can’t have any of my dessert, because love is about sharing. And I’m not saying that I don’t like sharing with her, because love is also about enjoying things together. And I’m not saying that people can’t change their minds because no one’s perfect.

I’m simply saying to the love of my life: Get your own bloody dessert xo

Fine. You can have some.

Bloody testicular fortitude.

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Facepalm: when words just won’t do the trick

Moving in with a partner for the first time when you’ve moved to a new country together can be trickier than tackling a Rubic’s cube blindfolded. If I found out after moving in with my girlfriend that she liked to relax by playing “I’m a barbie girl” at full blast or that she scratched her butt by shoving forks down the back of her jeans and then put them straight back into the kitchen drawer – and I’m not sure which is worse – then I would’ve freaked out, and not just a little.

But I’m lucky. My woman is my best mate and I knew her well before we moved to Singapore. The worst that either of us has put the other through are those moments where the only thing you can do is to put palm to face and shake your head a little.

Gents, feel free to tell me that I’m not the only guy on the wrong end of this conversation:

Me: What do you feel like for dinner?
Her: I’m easy, babe. Whatever you want is cool with me.
Me: Cool, let’s go to that pasta place down the road.
Her: I don’t really feel like pasta tonight, too heavy.
Me: What about that new Thai place that just opened? I wouldn’t mind a nice pad thai.
Her: A bit spicy, babe. I don’t feel like anything too spicy.
Me: Alright… what about a nice, juicy steak?
Her: Nah, I’m not really in a steak mood
Me: Okay, well, what do you feel like then?
Her: I’m easy babe. Whatever you want is cool with me.

But living with me is not exactly a walk in the park. Unless we’re talking about a walk through New York’s Central Park after midnight, in which case living with me is exactly like that:

Her: Babe, Joey just said the funniest thing…
Me: Joey? Jeff’s cousin? He’s on the phone? Say hi for me!
Her: No, Joey on Friends.
Me: Joey Onfrenz? I don’t know anyone named Joey Onfrenz.
Her: No, Joey on the TV show Friends.
Me: Jeff’s cousin was on Friends?
Her: He’s not on Friends, I mean the character Joey!
Me: Yeah, Joey is a bit of a character.
Her: Which Joey? Jeff’s cousin?
Me: (sarcastic voice) Nah, Joey Onfrenz. Of course Jeff’s cousin!
Her: But I’m not talking about him.
Me: Then who the hell are you talking about?!
Her: I’m talking about the character named Joey on the TV showed called Friends!
Me: What about him?
Her: He just said something funny.
Me: What did he say?
Her: He said you’re an idiot.

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Had your own facepalm moments? Sharing is caring, dear reader, so feel free to comment on your own ‘did-she-really-just-say-that/do-that/use-that-to-scratch-her-butt’ moments!

Domesticating the world’s wildest animal: Man

After eighteen months of sharing a home with my girlfriend, I’ve realized that moving in with someone isn’t always a walk in the park, no matter how much you love the person. Sometimes you have to change a little. Sometimes you have to change a lot. Sometimes you have to compromise. And sometimes, you even have to get up off your arse and do stuff.

My girlfriend and I popped out for some dinner last night. After we got home, I sat down on the couch, grabbed the laptop and surfed the net a little. I kept my shoes on but my girlfriend doesn’t like it when I wear shoes in the house. We have black marble or granite floors, not carpet, so I don’t know what the big deal is but she kept asking me to take them off so I finally did so, moved them to one side next to the couch and continued surfing the net.

My girlfriend stared at the shoes thusly:

We’ve lived together for over a year and a half now so I knew exactly what the problem was. So, obviously, the only thing I could ask was “What’s the problem, babe?”

She responded with a noise that was a little like a “HHMMPPHH!” but had a vowel sandwiched in there somewhere. Knowing full well what the problem was, I decided to confront this situation head on.

“Babe, explain to me what the difference is between having the shoes here and having the shoes over there where you want me to put them.” Cue poorly concealed, sly smirk from me.

At this point I will note that my girlfriend is very intelligent. She is highly articulate, she is sharp as a tack and she is quick. She will rule the world one day, I always tell people. She is capable of absolutely anything. Her response, therefore, surprised me.

She thought about what to say, came up with nothing then went back to watching television (another God-awful show, to be sure – see my previous post about sharing the remote).

That was it. She said nothing. I couldn’t believe it. “I won!” I thought to myself! She didn’t have an answer for me! She was stumped and had no good reason for me to put my shoes with the rest of the shoes over in the ‘shoe corner’. It’s not really a corner, mind you. It’s actually just the entrance to our condo but we once laughed that the shoes are lined up facing the wall like they’ve all been misbehaving and have been sent to the naughty corner, hence the misnomer.

Look, it’s not that I’m lazy. Yes, I am the type to take off my shirt after work and throw it on the bed but only because I might need to put it on later that night and if I put it in the laundry basket, it’ll absorb the odour of dirty socks and wet towels and I’ll have to grab a clean shirt which will just create more washing for us. Whether the shirt is hanging on a chair or lying on the bed makes no difference if we’re both on the couch in the lounge room. And I’ll be putting my shoes on the next day in exactly the same spot where I took them off the previous night so why put them anywhere else? Sheer vanity would be the only reason, I tell you. Vanity. And if there’s only a bit of water left in the bottle, I’ll take the bottle out of the fridge, drink from it and leave it on the floor next to me until I’ve finished whatever water is left. Why dirty a glass or a cup that I’ll need to wash later when I can just drink from the bottle? That’s just crazy. And why not leave the bottle next to me till I’m done? Why open and close the fridge repeatedly, wasting electricity and, consequently, damaging the environment – oh yes, I’m not above playing the old ‘environment’ card – simply to put the drink back in when I’m going to take it back out again when I want another drink a little while later? Is man’s need to control his environment so overpowering that we can’t stand having a single bottle out its of place?

I am not messy, ladies and gentlemen. I am above messiness. I’m a domestic pragmatist, a practitioner of ego-free domiciliary practicality, the proprietor of a nondual awareness that has risen above the base allure of ego and mere possessions and the need for superficial order. I care not for vanity’s desperate whims. I do not acquiesce to man’s narcissistic desire to impress. I do not suffer the modern obsession with keeping all around me in its place and under control within a structured environment. I am beyond society’s need to elevate reputation and status with a glistening living space. I am beyond all of that. I am striving for a higher plane of consciousness, a primordial state of being that exists beyond the superfluous bunk thrust upon us by Martha Stewart, et al.

I, dear reader, am reaching for a domestic manifestation of nirvana.

Alright, fine, I’m lazier than a sleeping sloth enjoying a Sunday siesta on Xanax. But I’m lazy with a purpose, dammit! I am saving the precious time that I’ve been gifted for higher things, things worthy of my life, my consciousness and my intelligence, things that are beyond simple domestic chores, things like blogging about things that are more worthy of my life, my consciousness and my intelligence than simple domestic chores. Things like not doing any domestic chores.

“Okay, fine, babe. I’ll pick up the bloody shoes. Geez.” Our little interaction ended thusly.

As I was putting away the shoes, I’m sure I heard her mutter something under her breath about ‘working with this lump of clay’.

Awesome. Clay. I’ll probably have to clean that up, too.