The Beast and I had a fight last week. A real fight. And like most real fights, it was over nothing. I think we had just finished heating up some pulled pork I’d made on the weekend and while he went into the living room with the food I went into the kitchen to grab our drinks. I think I said, “Do I need to bring in plates?” And he said, “What’s that supposed to mean?” And I said, “Ah, it means did you get them already or do I need to get them?” And from there things spiraled into a pit of saltiness. It was terrible! I think he thought I was being passive aggressive and I was all like, “I can’t believe you think that was passive aggressive. I’ll show you passive aggressive if you want to see it, but that was NOT it.” To top it all off, it was the season finale of Top Chef Canada. We ate in silence, both of us fuming and refusing to apologize to the other.
It’s not like the two of us never fight, but usually our battles last about three minutes–until one of us can make the other laugh. Now, I’m not suggesting that laughter is the best relationship medicine. On the contrary: we end turning legitimate problems into jokes on account of us both being so fucking funny. It’s really not healthy.
Anyway, we went to bed mad. And that almost never happens. At work the next day, I got an email from the Beast: Thank you for giving me a kiss this morning before you left for work, even though we had the worst fight ever in our relationship.
I’m not sure it was a kiss. It was more like a punch in the face but with my lips rather than my fist. Regardless, I responded: You are welcome. I don’t like going to sleep mad at you, or leaving for work mad at you. Do you think we can work through this?
And he responded: No.
And just like that, the fight was over.
At home that evening, I arrived, as per usual, to find the Beast in his underwear lifting weights and doing his push-ups.
Since it’s extremely difficult for me to watch him exercise, for what I hope are obvious reasons, I sat outside with a cocktail. And every so often the Beast would appear on the other side of the closed glass patio door and flex. I would nod approvingly. He’d disappear again, and then reappear flexing. This went on for a while, until he finally came out to join me.
Beast: Man! You’ve got a lot of grey hairs!
Foodie: Yeah, I know.
Beast: Do you think I gave them to you?
Beast: You know what my new look is going to be for summer?
Beast: I’m going to start dressing like Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights.
Foodie: That’s not a new look for you there buddy. You wear golf shirts tucked into belted shorts every summer, only usually they’re women’s shorts. But I don’t think you’ll be able to do that any more though, with all the weight you’ve gained.
Beast: You mean all the muscle?
Foodie: How much do you weigh now?
Beast: About 180 lb.
Foodie: How much did you weigh when we first met?
Beast: Probably about 155 lb.
Beast: But it’s muscle. Look.
The Beast flexed some more. (In fact, I can’t touch the Beast without him flexing–and he uses a flexing voice too, which is really strained. Even if I just touch his arm, he tenses his whole body in one big flex. It’s like he’s constantly planking, but upright.)
Foodie: Look at my arms (me flexing and using flexing voice)–you can almost see a line there.
Foodie: Right there.
Beast: Look at my chest (him flexing, and using the flexing voice).
Foodie: (Me looking at my thigh muscle.)
Foode: Yeah, but get a load of this! (Me banging on my calf muscle.)
Beast: They’re disgusting.
Foodie: Whew. Well, I’ve gained about five lb. So I’ve decided we need to stop having our strawberry delight dessert every night of the week.
The strawberry delight dessert is sort of a deconstructed Eton Mess (Ontario strawberries, meringue and whipped cream), but with the addition of ice cream.
It’s absolutely glorious this time of year, especially when we have it with homemade meringues.
Beast: Speak for yourself! I need as many calories as I can take in for my weightlifting.
Foodie: But we’ve had it Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Saturday.
Beast: What movie is that from again?
Foodie: Ah, The Godfather.
Beast: Oh right. Which part again?
Foodie: Right before Apollonia gets blown up by a car bomb which was intended for Michael.
Beast: Fucking Apollonia. (Pause) Man, that’s a perfect set of breasts right there.
Foodie: True. You don’t see them like that anymore–so natural, you know?
Beast: You’re telling me.
We sat there together on the deck with the sun beating down on us, flexing our muscles, and nodding our heads.