My friend “Rockie” is getting scary. I haven’t found the flaw yet, the excuse for me to cut bait so I can retreat to my cave and roll the big rock in front of the entrance.
Rockie is too slick. I wonder if a disgruntled female reader of this column put her up to this irresistible display of appeal.
Could someone have master-minded this whole thing? Was Rockie summoned from out of state like one of those contract killers in the movies to do a romantic snow job on me?
Or maybe she’s the one who is the disgruntled reader, having familiarized herself with the tastes and preferences I’ve admitted to in this column so she could infiltrate my life and set me up for a big fall by enchanting me. It just doesn’t make sense that she’s been able to go this long without irritating me. Especially when I’ve deliberately pushed her buttons to smoke her out:
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“Uh, yeahI hope you’re not planning on any big deals at Christmas. I’m not a fan of all that nonsense.” Her reply: “Uh huh.”
“No, I mean really. I prefer to skip the whole thing. No presents, decorations, or inane get-togethers. The whole red and green fuss-fest doesn’t exist.” I figured such a proposal would make her crazy.
Rockie looked me in the eye. “I hope you’re not joking, because I’ve had all the Christmas I can stomach.”
The next thing I knew, we were madly cackling while taking turns putting down holidays and traditions. It turned into a party.
A different tactic
A few days later, I started getting suspicious again. I tried another tack. “Listen, I know I said we could go to the mall in Santa Maria tonight but I’ve decided I’d rather stay home and watch Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune in ‘Hell in the Pacific.’ ”
She asked, “Is that the one where two soldiers end up on an island and have a machismo contest?”
“That’s the one. Maybe you could run up to Santa Maria with a girlfriend?”
“I don’t think so. Scoot over. I love Lee Marvin.”
I can’t believe this woman. When I tell her on weekends that I don’t want to go out, she offers no objection, just winks at me and slips into something more comfortable.
It’s obvious she’s trying to manipulate me by acting the way I’d like her to. Well, I plan to beat her at her own game by using reverse psychology. I’m going to take on the role of annoying female. It’s the only way I can think of to break her down.
I’ll start by making a big thing out of her birthday: invite all the relatives, hang crepe paper and hire a skywriter. Come Christmas, I’ll drag home a 6-foot tree, blow a wad on ornaments, then insist we go caroling. I’ll even cook up a big red, white and blue casserole for Flag Day.
I’m sick of waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s time I take the reins and sabotage this relationship before she gets to do it. I mean, if it’s this good it has to be doomed, so can we hurry up and please get to the pain part?
E-mail Jack Lukes at firstname.lastname@example.org.