My wife Patricia, Pat to her friends and family, strode confidently into the den where I was trying to watch Clemson get the shit kicked out of them by Alabama’s Tide. She was twenty years younger than me and built like the proverbial “Brick Shithouse.”
“What are you doing with that junk?’ she asked. It was the first time she’d seen me exercising my arms and grip. Usually I do it only when she’s not around–too much temptation to test my progress by squeezing around her neck. Naw, let me stop my crap; I wouldn’t hurt her for the world but sometime that woman’s bossiness can drive me to distraction.
“Just trying to build my muscles a little.”
“You? Build muscles?” She laughed. “Honey, you’re sweet and I love you to death, but a muscle man you’re not. You’re not the ninety pound weakling we used to see getting sand kicked in his face in the advertisements, but you’ll never be the guy who decks the bully.”
Damn! She was never going to forget that time, about ten years ago, when we were on the beach and some bastard had balls enough to sneak a feel of her ass. I saw it and started to protest when he sucker punched me and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back and the bastard was face down in the sand, whimpering like a baby that his arm was broken, and Pat was standing over him saying, “Serves you right, you big bully. Next time pick on somebody your own size.”
I never forgot the way she kissed the welt on my jaw as she helped me to my feet. “See,” she said, “Told you that martial arts training would come in handy.” Then with a final kick right in his balls, she led me back to our car while the cop’s sirens were still in the distance.
That incident taught me two things; don’t piss off Pat, at least not when she’s up close, and it was time for me to start working out. I never could beef up like most guys, guess I just wasn’t that into it that much, but I could run five miles without needing EMS and when us guys at work started arm wrestling I got so I could win over half the time.
I snapped back to reality when she came closer and caressed my cheek with the back of her hand saying, “But it doesn’t make any difference, I love you anyway, even if you couldn’t fight your way out of a paper bag.”
Wow! She really knew how to make a guy feel good about himself. I wonder what she’d say if she knew when us guys got to horsing around at lunchtime I could make every one of them cry “Uncle!” in the hand squeeze contest.
Aw, what the crap? It don’t make no difference anyway. I know I’m a wimp, she knows I’m a wimp and everyone else knows I’m a wimp. I don’t like confrontation and that’s all it is to it. Yep, Go with the flow–go along to get along–and all that other crap guys like us spout to keep from admitting we’re out and out cowards.