The Taming of the Shrew

Friday evening when it was time to leave for the poker game, I looked at the clock. It was 6:30. My judgment must have been clouded by sleep deprivation, because I couldn’t conceive of a Friday night alone with seemingly so many hours to kill. So I put on a pair of jeans and Red Beard and I hitched a ride with Toughie. Big mistake. Big.

I chose to sit out of the poker game – quite possibly mistake number two, but I just really had no desire to play. I sat down next to Julie hoping for some socializing like the last time I witnessed one of these poker fests. She was completely uninterested in gabbing with me. Instead, she was interested in staring straight ahead and playing some hardcore poker. Great. It was going to be a loooonnnnng night.

Soon into the evening, I got up to use the bathroom and four of the men at the table asked me to get them beers. In my prickly state, I was just in no mood to be the beer maid to this bunch. I grabbed the box of Guinness bottles from the kitchen and perched it on a ledge within reach of the group so they could get their own damn beers for the rest of the night. Someone expressed annoyance at the precarious positioning of the beers. I barked, “You know what they say. If you want it done right, then do it yourself.” F*cker.

Quite simply, I was bored, I was cranky and I was tired. I sat there and sulked like a jerk-faced wiener. If I didn’t attend, no one would have cared or noticed. Showing up and being ornery was probably not the best use of my time, and I’m sure I didn’t exactly add charm and delight to anyone else’s evening either.

I was lucky that Red Beard uncharacteristically was eliminated relatively early in the night. By early, I mean close to midnight. Whoopdeedoo. He and I sat on the couch and waited for the others to finish playing. Somewhere in the conversation between us couch dwellers and the poker players, it was discovered that Red Beard had made some comment over email to Lanky about his wife’s lazy poker playing. Lanky had turned around and told Julie what Red Beard had written about her, resulting in the change in Julie’s dedication to the game. So that’s why she was so focused and antisocial.

Red Beard expressed consternation about Lanky’s indiscretion. I told him, “Of course he told his wife what you said about her. That’s the way it’s supposed to work – total transparency. That’s why you should have told me what Julie said about my running your life. You have to give me a chance to defend myself from that crap.”

Red Beard seemed resistant to the idea. I went on, “If someone emails something insulting about you, of course I’ll let you in on it so you could fight back. It’s only fair you get to see what’s being said about you - within reason of course. If it’s totally cruel and you’d be better off not knowing, then I would save you the grief. Use your judgment, but for the most part, it avoids hard feelings when we can take a stab at our own defense.”

I think he gets it now. He also said to me, “I won’t subject you to another of these poker nights.” I appreciate that. I think we’ve both learned our lesson. If one of these things comes up and we don’t have other plans, by all means he should go play poker and I should find something else to do with my night. Even if it means staying home and getting some sleep.

I had another incident this weekend that involved Super Cranky Pants™ on Saturday night. We were in Philly, having dinner with Turkey, Blondie and Boy. We got on some heady topics and for some reason, I was just getting all kinds of annoyed at Red Beard.

At one stage, we were talking about the Freemasons. Red Beard pointed out that his dad is a Freemason and that he knows all of these secrets, but he can’t tell us. {Sigh.} Then he claimed that Catholics would never be invited into the group because the Catholic Church has taken issue with Freemasonry.

My panties were all in a bunch over this assertion, because the Catholic Church also takes offense at birth control and many aspects of pop culture. Being raised Catholic in no way implies that you are aligned with everything the Catholic Church decrees. It doesn’t mean that a typical a la carte Catholic who lives a normal life of condom use and ogling celebrity breasts [even when there happens to be a crucifix on a chain nestled between those boobs] would be disqualified from the Freemasons because the society found out somewhere that this otherwise normal person was baptized Catholic when he was a helpless newborn.

Then Red Beard said something about Buddhism and how all recent converts are jumping on the bandwagon (which bugged me on a personal level, since I happen to feel that Buddhism clicks with me far more readily than my Catholic upbringing.) I snapped and got nasty and told him, in front of my siblings, that Red Beard didn’t know what he was talking about. He asserted that he knows more than me, since he has a philosophy degree. Then I snapped at him some more and basically avoided looking at him for the rest of the dinnertime conversation.

When it was time for bed and Red Beard and I were alone in Turkey’s guest room with the door closed, Red Beard pulled me to him and hugged me. I laid on top of him on the bed, and we talked about the snipping that occurred earlier in the evening. I told him it really bothered me that he said he knows more than me. I was taking it in a broad sense – that he was declaring that he knows more than me. Period. He explained that he meant on the particular topic of world religions. He also pointed out that the reason he said that was because I had said, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

I stepped back and thought to myself, “Ew. That was pretty crappy of me.” I said to Red Beard, “I’m sorry I said you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He answered, “And I’m sorry I said I know more than you. I love you.”

I kissed him and said, “I love you, too.” I felt so relieved that we talked it out instead of fuming and making up nasty decisions about each other without really knowing what the other person meant.

Sunday we went to Lucifer’s for the birthday extravaganza. We drank wine and exchanged birthday gifts. Mom had even gotten Red Beard a golf shirt for his birthday, which I thought was very sweet.

Last night after the long drive back home, Red Beard and I had quite possibly the best sex of our coupling. Today, although still sleepy, I feel happy and glowing. I guess that’s what they mean when they say about a shrew, “Man, she needs to get laid.”

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