Note: Change the pronouns around however you like to fit the dynamics of your own relationship. This is an equal-opportunity whine-fest, and all variations of love are fully embraced here at Bonnywood Manor.
1. He changes the car radio right in the middle of a song that you really, really like. (“I can’t stand that song,” he mutters, apparently forgetting that you danced to this very song at your wedding. Twice.)
2. She stares at the restaurant menu for 37 minutes and still cannot find anything that remotely interests her. Yet she wanted to go to this place. (“Madge says they have the best seafood here,” she had chirped in the car on the way over, apparently forgetting that Madge was convicted of fraud in the 90s. Twice.)
3. He doesn’t understand that inviting his friends over for dinner at the very last minute might be an issue in any way. (“Can’t you just kill another chicken?” he asks, wrongly assuming that humor will defuse the tense situation. It does not. But it does give you an idea of what else might be served for dinner.)
4. She makes fun of the fact that you can’t parallel park. (“Honey, the dog could do a better job. Hop out and I’ll scooch over.”)
5. He eats the last yogurt in the fridge that you picked out and leaves the crappy one that he chose. (“They all really taste the same, don’t they?” No. No, they do not. Never speak such blasphemy again.)
6. She insists on going down every single aisle in the grocery store. (And she insists on sniffing every single candle in the home décor aisle, even the candles that you know damn well she sniffed last week. They still have her nose-print in the dust on top of them.)
7. He doesn’t have a plan in the grocery store, and he runs from one end of the store to the other at least 26 times. (On his fourth jaunt down the dog-food aisle, a bell rings and there is a brief ceremony wherein the store manager hands him a frequent-flier award.)
8. She thinks it’s okay to answer her phone right in the middle of the Immunity Challenge on “Survivor”. (“Oh, hey girl!… No, we’re not doing anything… Joe is watching some beach sport thing… Say, honey, could you turn the sound down a little bit? This is an important call. Thanks!…. So, girl, tell me more about these sandals you just got… uh huh… really?…”)
9. He lunges to close a window on his computer screen every time you walk into the home office.
10. She starts any conversation with the phrase “I was talking to Mom the other day…”
11. He starts any conversation with the phrase “Why are you dressed up like we’re going somewhere?”
12. She abruptly ends a conversation by saying “whatever you think is best” and then leaving the room.
13. He makes that soul-killing sucking noise trying to get food out of his teeth. It takes all of your strength to not whip out the shop-vac and shove it in his mouth.
14. She sneezes like somebody stepped on an anemic mouse.
15. He sneezes like an elephant getting a rectal probe, and then he insists on following it up by hollering “DAMN!” like he has no idea what just happened to him.
16. She lets the alarm clock on her side of the bed blink for two days after a power failure.
17. He hits the snooze button on his alarm clock for two solid hours. Nations have gone to war for lesser violations.
18. She can apparently go through an entire roll of toilet paper in one afternoon. If you need to do that much damage control in your nethers, you need to seek medical attention.
19. He apparently doesn’t comprehend that when the toilet paper roll is empty one should take corrective action about the situation. A new roll does not magically appear when you flush.
20. She thinks it’s okay to flip her hair like that when talking to a complete stranger at the local bar, laughing too loudly and standing a little too closely. (This situation is heightened if a certain Bonnie Raitt song kicks off on the jukebox.)
21. He thinks it’s okay to supposedly go to the bathroom at the local bar and not come back for thirty minutes, with two buttons missing on his shirt and sheen of sweat on his forehead. (This situation is heightened if a certain Joan Jett song kicks off on the jukebox.)
22. She doesn’t understand that clicking “Like!” on anything that a former lover does on Facebook could indicate possible remorse about her current relationship.
23. He doesn’t understand that the mere act of befriending a former lover on Facebook makes him a possibly-cheating bastard.
24. She thinks nothing of wrapping herself in an afghan-cocoon on her side of the bed and thereby dimming the prospects for lusty endeavors. By the time you get the emotional corn husk off that tamale, you’ll be too worn out for any amorous shenanigans. She never used to be this way, back before she started taking spin classes at that Women’s Center across town. Hmm.
25. He thinks nothing of falling asleep on the couch while watching “Fraiser” even though you have been slinking around for the last hour in a tightly-winched but flimsy outfit that highlights all your body parts that he previously worshipped. Back before he started working late all the time. Hmm.
26. She has possibly contacted a lawyer who has an advertisement which proclaims: “We will get you every penny that you deserve!”. (Well, at least according to the newspaper she left on her desk, open to the want ads page. The ad isn’t circled, but it’s open to that page.)
27. He has possibly contacted a murky dude named “Guido” who has a tattoo proclaiming “I make things go away.” (Well, at least according to that photo you saw on Instagram with someone that may or may not be your partner standing next to illustrated Guido, clinking beer bottles and smirking knowingly.)
28. She invites her mother to come live with them.
29. He invites his mother to come live with them.
30. Both mothers, having learned a bit more about life, instead opt to rent the house across the street, shove chairs up to the front window, get comfortable with some snacks and a glass of wine, and watch this drama play out in real time. Hell, they’ve already been through all this mess. It’s time to relax and let the kids finally realize that, at the end of the day it’s all just water under a bridge that they’re building together…
Previously published in “The Sound and the Fury” and “Bonnywood Manor”. Slight changes made for this post. No actual relationships were harmed during the making of this production, although it should be noted that alternative options were briefly considered.