My girlfriend and I took a big step the other day. I’m not going to pretend to know if it was a good or bad decision in the grand scheme of things. It certainly had some repercussions. And it certainly was a big step.
I had to go grocery shopping, and so did she, so we went together. We don’t usually do this. It was nice. Kind of cute I guess. I noticed other couples, maybe two or three. But mostly I saw people who were by themselves and were single or married – you could tell by their cart.
That’s not what was important about this trip, though. What’s important was this – we bought ice cream together.
It all starts somewhere, people, and for us, it was ice cream.
I’ve had friends who were dating each other and they thought, ‘let’s get an apartment together.’ Sometimes that’s awful nice, and beautiful, and whatever else. Sometimes though, it’s the opposite of the list of adjectives you just came up with.
One such couple bought a set of pots and pans together. A fifteen set. That is a lot of pots and pans and perhaps even more importantly it is an odd number. The gal in this relationship, not to be sexist – but she’s the one living the stereotype, not me – cooks much more than the guy. The guy is really rather stupid when it comes to food. He and I got in a conversation about it, from which I learned he thinks it is more cost-savvy to eat out at cheap sandwich shops. ‘I buy a sandwich and it costs like, 5 or 6 bucks … I go to the grocery store and I have to spend all this money on bread, and meat, and tomatoes … and then I have to take all the time to prepare it.’ He really is this dumb.
And now here he is engaging in this next dumb activity. You get an apartment together, that’s fine. But you each buy half the necessary stuff! Don’t split it. I get the couch, you get the TV. Etc.
I can see in a few months some very heated discussions about that terrible 15th pot/pan. It is a terrible maneuver on the part of the pot/pan making company but very business savvy. They will each have to go buy a half set more of pots/pans, or find someone who made the same mistake in a relationship but got the exact opposite half set of pots/pans. Wouldn’t that be tremendous?
I am smart. I can see potential problems and that’s why I’m doing so well. I don’t rush into things. My girlfriend wasn’t the type to rush into things either.
We were going to start doing more together. We were going to eat ice cream together. After that magical trip to the grocery store.
As soon as we checked out I looked at her and she smiled and I thought, ‘this is so nice.’ Then I looked in front of me to make sure I wouldn’t walk into something. Then I looked over at her again and she was still smiling. This worried me.
Why is she smiling so much?
I thought back on what we had said when we made the decision to buy ice cream together,
‘Mmm, I could go for ice cream.’ Me.
‘Yeah, that does sound good.’ Her.
‘I’m gonna buy some.’ Me.
‘Want to split one? I don’t want to eat that much, so you can have most.’ Her.
That bitch! She tricked me into this! Of course!
That wily bitch.
She knows I’m cheap, and she knows I love food – she used this. Bitch is probably smiling about wedding rings!
As we got back to my place I felt claustrophobic. I looked around and couldn’t help but imagine her moving in and taking up too much room.
Is that her sweater on my chair?
‘Hey, is that your sweater?’
She smiled that, ‘whoops’ smile. Wily, manipulative –
‘Actually I’m cold anyway.’
Cold-hearted, manipulative, wily little –
I have to say, looking back, it was probably a little irrational of me to break it off with her that night. And then to throw the ice cream out the window was just kind of silly. I can safely say that I overreacted.
With pots and pans, especially the nice ones, when you buy those with someone you’re stuck for a long time. You had better not be the type to feel claustrophobic. Ice cream is a less strong commitment, but it is certainly still a commitment. Do not underestimate it. You don’t want to break it off, and then go home feeling down to find an empty freezer knowing full well that your ex is eating ice cream that you paid for.
Since the ‘ice cream incidator’ (incidator because it’s like instigator mixed with incident) as I called it in the Dear So-and-So advice column letter I thought about writing, I’ve been working on my commitment issues.
I figured the best way to work on my issue would be to dive in head first.
I went out on a date with a girl and after the date ended I insisted that we get ice cream. I bought a pint and said, ‘keep it at your place, maybe after our next date we can finish it off.’ Then I smiled to let her know, I’m in this for real.
She never called me again. I think I came on too strong, wanting to have a mutual possession too soon.
I went on a date with a different girl and I asked her how long she thought a thing of ice cream usually lasted. She said depends on the person. I said I could polish one off in three, maybe four sittings. Then I looked away and said let’s get a thing of ice cream together, ‘for us‘. She laughed and said ok. I didn’t know the word ‘ok’ could come across sounding so needy.
Recently I found out that you can fake being lactose intolerant, and no one would ever know. I have a date tomorrow with a girl, and having found out about this lactose intolerance I don’t see how any thing can stop us from being married.