So, as you can see, my concern was not unwarranted...if a bit overblown.

As I traipsed through my blogroll, I was disturbed by reports of domestic...tension at the households of several blogpals. These things have a way of catching, and given my fatalistic nature, I was wary.

It was therefore to be expected that yesterday, we we'd have a reenactment of the Cold War at Chez Joke. Oh, sure, we spoke of peaceful coexistence, mutual cooperation and d├ętente, but I could tell that hostilities could materialize at any instant and the Soviet Horde could come streaming through the border posts at any moment without warning. So I was on my guard.

My beloved slept in late yesterday morning. So that was fine. But then she woke up and after getting her caffeine and toast fix she went to the garage and returned with the whole carton of those big lawn trash bags.

Uh oh.

She went into the boys' room and I could hear the sounds of rummaging and trashing. When I heard the battle cry "We will bury you!" "What is this!?!?!?!" as she stuffed some ancient, mangled toy or perhaps something awful from NOS's "scientific experiments" phase, I knew the time had come to face the bitter realities -- that my beloved had woken up in a foul mood -- and I had to make a principled stand. Not like the enuretics who flung themselves headlong into appeasement during the real Cold War, but not with the abandon of those old Cold Warriors* of yore (as they didn't have to sleep next to Chernenko after all was said and done). I did the wisest thing:

I hot-footed it for the open spaces.

"Darling, is there anything you need from StuffMartTM?" Then I grabbed the boys and sprinted like a muhfuh. I went and, as the song goes, stayed gone. A good long time.

This was a foreign policy that Western Democracies failed to explore during those days when the USSR was schlepping all over the planet. Imagine the embarrassment if the Red Army marched straight into downtown Anytown, USA and we had taken the kids shopping and were nowhere in sight?

There is, like in everything in life, a trick to doing this. Stay out too long and you face even greater wrath upon your return. Stay out FAR too long and you face police questioning. Stay out too little and face the wrath you left to avoid. The trick is to return when your beloved is too tired to really take out her frustrations on you and, ideally, is famished. An intelligent evader has thought of what to feed his beloved during his exile, and therefore returns saying something like:

"I'm back! How about [Favorite main course] with [favorite side dishes] for dinner? And [favorite dessert] afterwards?"

If you feel like a high-risk/high-reward strategy try: "Would you like a little wine?"

Should you be among us fortunates whose beloveds are ameliorated by ethanol** then you're home free. The Soviets, as you may recall, were not among these, highlighting the pitfalls of the strategy. Every one in a while, they'd overdo the Stoli thing and they'd smack Hungary or Czechoslovakia around, then they'd sit on the sofa in their underwear, flatulent and ill-tempered. So be careful.

Now, let's see in what mood the household awakens.


* Bill Casey, James Jesus Angleton, et al.
** One of those slushy cocktails is even better, but probably time is of the essence.


Suse said…
I know I'm one of those you refer to in your opening paragraph.

And I give you permission to take my husband with you next time you go and stay gone for a goodly long time. Green curry followed by pear and ginger crumble please.
shula said…

I swear, you'll be married forever.
shula said…
Is Suse STILL not speaking to the Mister?
Joke said…
The secret to being a good husband -- or at least MY secret -- is that confrontation is to be shunned like an Amish crack ho.

So, I use my keen instincts and animal cunning to flee manfully whenever the need arises. Or when the need threatens to arise.

A husband without a survival instinct might as well sign himself up to be on the Endangered Species list, so numbered are his days.

Joke said…
PS It's vital to recognize the warning signals that one's beloved gives. It's not just enough to be willing to run for cover, one also must know WHEN to run for cover.
Frogdancer said…
Oh I'm sorry....
I feel like Typhoid Mary. I know I'm one of the domestically cranky blogpals. I didn't mean to wantonly spread domestic tension around the place.
Still, your relationship sounds like it's a hellova lot more caring and sharing than the one that's currently preoccupying me...
Stomper Girl said…
Hmm, there's definitely been domestic tension at Chez Stomper too, but although I do see the merits of soothing the savage beast with child-free-time, favourite food and [red] wine, what I really needed round my way was an apology. Specially since Mister Fixit can't cook.

Still potayto, potahto.
Joke said…
In this case, I hadn't done anything that required an apology, so that helped. That said, the ability to apologize when I have been wrong (both times!) is a secret advantage.

I discovered, at a relatively tender age that someone angry with me would be unlikely to avail herself of the manly bounty that is me.

And it IS caring, because I care about not being sold to slave traders in my sleep.

How am I the only one* getting this?


P.S. Oh, I also got some cool stuff while shopping.

* Poppy's beloved is actually quite good in this dept. as well.
Stomper Girl said…
Wise man. There was no availing going on in our house last week, that's for sure.
Suse said…
Nup. No availing here and unlikely for quite some time.
Joke said…

I'm begging you, please do NOT knit anything influenced by this state of affairs.


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