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December 05, 2022

I ?#@*&%! Love You

By Jeffrey Carl Jefferis

"That was such a great dinner. Thanks, babe."

"You enjoyed it?"

"Of course. I love seafood. You know that."

"Hmmm . . ."

"What? You didn't like it?"

"No, I did. It's not that. It's just you saying that you love seafood, again. When . . . you know?"

"Oh, Andy. Are you serious?"

"Yes, Jill. I'm afraid I am. Your alleged love of seafood remains in question."

"Ha. You jerk. Can't you just . . ."

"Ah hem. As I was going to say, if you did, in reality, love seafood as you so boldly claim, all the time, mind you, so much so that I made reservations three weeks ago and surprised you with dinner, a very expensive dinner, mind you again, and be sure to remember that later tonight when we get home, at the best seafood restaurant in the city, yet you have never, not once, ever tasted my signature dish."

"Ha! Andy, I know I'm laughing, but, seriously?"

"Yes, Jill. And, as you can see, I am not laughing. We have been dating for two years, living together for six months, and having sex for three years, if you count that one time in college . . ."

"Ha! Such a jerk."

"And yet, you have never tried my cooking. I see you eat, almost every day. And seafood is your favorite. But you have not taken a single bite of my crabaroni pie. Thus, I have to question your aforementioned assertion of loving seafood."

"Andy! We've been over this. It just looks, so . . ."

"I take crabaroni pies to every work function, and the people love it. And you know that. You've heard testimonials."

"But, Andy, your work functions are you and your construction buddies getting drunk and then eating anything resembling food within arm's reach."

"Testimonials! You heard them."

"Ha! I know. I did, but . . ."

"Why don't you see the genius of it all? I cook macaroni and cheese right into the crab cake . . ."

"I know. I know . . ."

"Transforming it into one huge cake, a pie if you will . . ."

"You've explained this to me . . ."

"One the size of a meatloaf. It is an entree and side dish combined into one pile of lightly pan-fried food that you can put in the center of the table and feed a family of four."

"Ha, ha. Stop it. Just stop . . ."

"It's like a loaf of stew. A loaf of seafood stew."

"Fine. Enough. Please, that's enough. My stomach hurts."

"Dinner was that bad, huh?"

"Oh, shut up. I meant from laughing, jerk. I can't believe how many times I've heard you rant about your crabaroni and how much it still makes me chuckle."

"Crabaroni pie."

"Whatever you say, babe. But nevermind that. Just look at this view."

"I know. It is really nice up here."

"Especially on a night like tonight. I love early autumn. Cool but not cold."

"So that means I don't have to give you my jacket? Nice."

"Ha. Always the jerk."

"I brought you here on our first date. You do remember that, right?"

"Andy, I'm a girl. Of course I remember that."

"Yeah, I suppose you are. It's really nice up here, right?"

"Yes, Andy, again."

"And you thought dinner was good?"

"Andy, we've been over this. Something wrong?"

"Yeah. I mean no. No, Jill. Nothing is wrong."

"You're worrying me, Andy."

"Look. Listen. Don't worry, really. Listen. Jill, there is something I need to tell you."

"Oh, wait. I almost forgot. There's something I need to tell you too."

"Jill, just listen, please. The thing is . . ."

"Let me go first. I'm gonna forget."

"Jill, it's just that . . ."

"No, wait. I've been meaning to tell you this for a while. I keep forgetting."

"Jill, you don't . . . ok. Fine. What's on your mind?"

"Why is there such a thing as women's track and field?"

"What?"

"I consider myself a bit of a feminist, you know that, Andy. But, come on, who cares, really?"

"Jill, look, that can wait. I really need for you to . . ."

"I mean, fine, so you win the women's 100 meter race. So you are the fastest woman in the world. Congratulations, you are the 647,387th fastest person in the world."

"Jill, what in the world are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about women's sports. You know, I am the girl here, so I'm surprised I'm the one having to point this out. But if we care about who the fastest woman is, why not have a guys-named-tom 100-meter race? He's probably faster than the fastest woman. And, I know, those women are great athletes. They are far better athletes than me and you and any other guy I know. But, who cares who the fastest woman is when it means nothing in terms of who the fastest person in the world is? That's all we should care about, right"

"Jill, I don't really see the point in . . ."

"And if women do actually care, if they want to know which one of us is the fastest, then fine. We should have our own separate competition, different from the Olympics. The Olympics is about the biggest, strongest, fastest. Not the biggest, strongest, fastest within a niche market. After all, they have a separate contest called the Paralympics. The Special Olympics. The Junior Olympics. So, what's the difference?"

"Wow. I had no idea . . ."

"Being the fastest woman in the world is a lot like being the best commercial actor in the world. Congratulations. Well done. You're a better actor than most of us. But, you're not a movie star. And the Olympics should be about movie stars." "You know, Jill, actually, I guess I agree with you. I've never thought about it like that before. Wait, why have I not thought about it like that and you have? That's a bit . . ."

"Backwards? Yeah, I know. You're the guy. You're supposed to think about nothing but sports and disrespecting women. Not me."

"Well, I didn't mean that. Not exactly. I just meant that . . ."

"I guess I've just been bored at work lately. Things have been slow. Like I've been telling you. If you've been listening."

"Come on. I listen to you, Jill. But, right now, I need you to listen. There's something I really need to . . ."

"The guys at work were all standing around doing nothing. Just talking about sports. And I really didn't know what they were talking about. So, I started wondering how strange or profound or accidental it must have been to invent a sport. But a legitimate sport. I know that Joan in the office plays something called frolf. But frolfers are like bisexual virgins."

"Jill . . . what?"

"Frolfers have adapted a sport, kind of, but it doesn't really mean anything. But inventing a legitimate sport, now that's something different all together. And the guys at work were talking about their March Madness. It took a while, but I finally figured out that they were talking about basketball. Clearly a legitimate sport. But thinking about inventing basketball began to baffle me. I mean, you're a guy. You're into sports. You play basketball. So?"

"So? Jesus, Jill. So, what? What so?"

"So, what took so freaking long? Throwing a ball into a target? How was that not the first ball sport ever? I've never made a basket in my life, but I throw wads of paper at my trashcan all the time. Before basketball, did people not do that? Paper was invented in ancient Egypt, right? Papyrus?"

"Papyrus, Jill? For God's sake . . ."

"Yeah, Papyrus. And were there not trashcans by the seventeenth century? Did they not have paper waste? Drafts of the United States Constitution, perhaps? After all, they didn't have white out or word processing. So, if they didn't make the connection to invent basketball, did shooting garbage not become popular until after basketball became popular? And if they did toss wadded paper into the trash, they certainly didn't count down from five and do a turn around thingy and make a buzzer sound, but they must have used a shooting motion, right? I've hardly dribbled a ball, but the shooting action seems natural even to me."

"Are you drunk, Jill? Did you chug a bottle of wine while I was in the bathroom?"

"You have to consider that they had sports like golf, tennis, and other stuff long before basketball. So, that means that they skipped right to hitting a ball into a goal with a stick? And then skipped the hands and went right to the feet, the more awkward feet, with soccer? The primary foundations of sports, the big ones, are a ball and a goal. And the primary physical tools of humans, besides the senses, are the hands, and arms by extension. How was putting the ball into the hands to aim at the goal not the first logical sport? Cripes, even cavemen must have thrown rocks at a puddle. Yet Native Americans threw spears fifty yards at moving buffalo and ultimately popularized . . . freaking lacrosse? There's something really fishy about that."

"Cavemen? Native Americans? Buffalo? Come on!"

"You're right. You know, I once saw an X-Files episode where Josh Gibson was an alien who came to Earth to play baseball purely for "love of the game." So, you never know, at least according to Descartes. Or, perhaps, it's a historical misrepresentation. It's somewhat reasonable to think that a thousand years ago many isolated peoples started playing rudimentary forms of basketball and that, perhaps, much later, Dr. Naismith witnessed such a competition on safari. Then, two weeks after returning to Massachusetts, he was suddenly struck with a brilliant idea. All that nonsense being said, I think the trampoline vault should become an Olympic sport."

"Oh, thank god. Are you finished now?"

"Yeah, I guess. It was just confusing. That's all. That was the point. Then again, that brings up another point."

"Oh, no. No way. Jill, you can't be . . ."

"The idea of being confused is stupidly awesome. It's so hard to describe. You know, what sleep is to biological functions, confusion is to mental functions. And I don't mean confused because a person is speaking a different language, and not even confusion because you can't make out what a person is saying. I mean hearing the words, and knowing that other people hearing the words understand and can make sense of them. But you cannot, for whatever reason, intelligence, lack of reference, whatever. Personally, I enjoy a good, solid confusion."

"Yeah, well, I'm having one right now. And it's not so enjoyable."

"It's like when you know you're going to someone else's house for the first time two weeks in advance. You get a very distinct image of the house, full of details, even the neighborhood. And though you know the actual house never matches your image, your mind just naturally starts to develop its own reality anyway. When you're confused, you start to come up with meanings or explanations for what was said. And though the truth rarely matches those meanings or explanations, the activity involved in coming up with them is good activity, and often more rewarding than the answer."

"Jill, I really . . . I'm just . . ."

"Preconceived notions, Andy. That's what I'm talking about. People think such notions are limited to people, particularly with regard to race and sexuality and whatever. But they're not. I would guess that nearly eighty-seven percent of all notions are preconceived. Where would you put that number at?"

"I don't know. Umm, maybe fif . . ."

"Eighty-seven percent. That's probably the number. Speaking of, however . . ."

"Of course."

'An atheist will be the last person ever elected president, of the United States at least. And this despite how much so many people hate, despise, dislike, or at least distrust minorities and homosexuals and other such groups for no logical reason whatsoever. Racism and homophobia elicit physical displays of violence out of a large number of Americans. Atheism does not. Yet a gay, black woman will be president before a straight, white, atheist man. How fascinating is that? You know, I wonder if an atheist civil rights movement will occur, maybe in a hundred years or two. And will that movement represent the last civil rights movement of Man? It is, I think, the final destination of the progressive and evolving thought of Man, so it makes sense. Especially if it occurs before the Martian civil rights movement four hundred years from now."

"And now we're back to the Martians. By all means, keep talking if you want. As though there is anything I can do to stop you. But, I suggest we head back to the car. Unless, of course, there's anything else on your mind?"

"Well, there is this one thing . . ."

"Right. Well, get on with it."

"Well, it's the bathroom. There are so many issues in the bathroom. Like the plunger. Have you ever plunged anything besides a toilet? You bob for apples, soak your clothes, drown little bugs. But what besides a toilet have you ever plunged? So what came first? The plunger or the verb 'to plunge?'"

"Yeah, I don't know, Jill. Whatever."

"And can't we get the person who named most dental hygiene products to have the chance to name all hygiene products?"

"You know what, Jill, my special girl. I really, really, have had just about enough of this. I mean, I am on the brink of . . ."

"Toothpick, mouthwash, toothpaste, hairbrush -- those make sense to me. Literal, I like that. But what the freak is shampoo? It's freaking hairwash, no? So what's the story? Is sham your hair? And, if so, why would you wanna put poo in it? Or is poo your hair? And, if so, how does sham de-poo-i-fy it? I don't know about you, Andy, my special boy, but I am not, for a lack of better words, a shithead, at least not when I'm sober. And clearly Pert Plus, Head 'n Shoulders, Herbal Essence, they all think of us all as dirty shitheads, who need sham for their poo."

"Jill, for the last time. I do not wish to be rude. And I think that I am showing patience. But, listen to me. Just . . . listen to me. I . . . need . . . to . . . tell . . . you . . ."

"You know what else is weird?"

"Son of a bitch!"

"If you tell people that you pick your nose on the toilet, they make a that's gross response. That doesn't make any sense at all, right? What a delusional society that ranks boogies above poopies on the grossness scale, no?"

"No? No? Are you really asking me no!?"

"Yeah, I am. I mean, dried snot is that much worse than dried skin? Society has misplaced their blinders of ickiness and misdirected their beams on hygiene, or something, right? Anyone who thinks that picking one's nose is gross must, absolutely must agree that sex is gross too in order to be considered a rational human being, but most people don't. They will think that that is a joke. Besides, if we are so worried about gross and cleanliness, why don't we ourselves, and why don't we teach kids to wipe with their off hand?"

"Off hand? Off hand!? Off freaking hand!?"

"Yeah, Andy. Our off hand. But, no. Instead, every kid is taught or allowed to learn to wipe with his or her strong hand, which for most people is their shaking hand. Their potato chip eating hand. Their mouth wiping hand. Their picking hair off their tongue hand."

"No! No, Jill! No fucking way! That is it! That is enough!"

"Andy? What's the matter? What's wrong?"

"I can't take it anymore, Jill! I brought you up here for a reason! I wanted to tell you something! I didn't want to hear you tell me all these nothings! All this crap!"

"Andy, calm down. I'm listening. What's on your mind?"

"Seriously? Are you seriously gonna listen?"

"Of course, Andy. I always listen to you. You're scaring me. I didn't mean to, well, you know. Please, talk to me."

"Oh, thank God. I'm sorry I got a little frustrated. It's just that, you know what, look. Jill, you are so beautiful. Just looking at your face, your smile, it gives me the chills. Every time. And this place. This place where we first really kissed, more than two years ago, with this view, it too is just so amazing. And I . . ."

"You bring up a good point. You know, I was thinking about the environment quite a bit last week. And also how golfers are like the ventriloquists of comedians. I mean, who cares if you're the best in the world. You play a sport that less than one percent of the world has access to. It's like winning a Miss America pageant for women 6'9" or taller. Sure, congrats on winning, but there were only like four contestants, and you're still an ugly freak. So, I came to the conclusion that . . ."

"Shut up! Just shut the fuck up! Please, for the love of fucking God! Stop fucking talking!"

"Andy?"

"Will you fucking marry me!? Fuck! I brought you up here to fucking propose! Jesus fucking Christ! So, just shut the fuck up! Unless you're gonna answer me! Will you fucking marry me!? I fucking love you! You're so fucking pretty and amazing! Fuck!"

"Ha! It's about freaking time!"

"Yeah, it freaking is. . . . Wait, what?"

"I was digging way too deep with that shampoo stuff. I thought I was gonna run out material."

"Oh my God. Jill, are you serious?"

"Yeah, I am. You jerk. What took you so long?"

"I was being patient. I was waiting for the right moment. You know, the moment?"

"The moment to break and start cursing in your proposal?"

"I can't believe it. You tortured me like that on purpose?"

"Yes. Yes, I did."

"Jill, you are such an asshole. . . . You know what?"

"No. What?"

"I ?#@*&%! love you."

"Thus my answer is 'yes.'"

"And why is that?"

"Because I ?#@*&%! love you, too."

Article © Jeffrey Carl Jefferis. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-02-14
1 Reader Comments
Lydia Manx
02/14/2011
03:15:17 PM
I didn't know where it was going but loved the ride all the way to the edge. Thanks.
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