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50 one good pork chop At dinner (her very good pork chops) she says something just the tiniest bit critical of me. The tiniest bit, too tiny to mention, except just after I got home she said something else the tiniest bit critical. This is my wife, and very rarely is she critical of me, nor am I of her. We have a non-critical relationship. We tend to just let things slide, which often makes me anxious, trained as I was in a previous marriage to believe that growth and insight come out of very intense criticism, leading to fighting. And by fighting I mean everything from whole days of the “silent treatment” (my specialty), to entire weekends of operatic screaming (hers). Our hope was that interpersonal growth and clarity would emerge from these encounters, but in truth our fighting just made us tired. When not fighting we would sit tiredly in the living room, thinking up complicated strategies for the next fight. One time we fought almost nonstop for an entire week, beginning with a little dig I made at her expense at a dinner party on a Friday evening, and evolving, gathering Jihad-like intensity, followed by a kind of Wagnerian complexity, 51 progressing to a period of vengeful, Nordic saga brutality that had us sobbing, moaning, wailing (at one point I was on my hands and knees in the hallway, banging my head on the floor), pausing only to sleep and go to work, displaying an amazing stamina born of endless hours of fighting, insulting each other’s spiritual beliefs, sex organs, parents, grandparents, even pets, until we were drenched in metaphoric blood, luminous and holy with hatred, various personal knickknacks smashed, and the usual plates and dishes shattered on the floor, all of which passes before me in a flash as I chew on a piece of very good pork chop with this almost entirely non-critical wife, and I raise the spear of the tiny, perfectly lethal critical remark I had been sharpening in my smoky prehistoric cave, toss it on the fire, and say, Wow. This is one good pork chop. Which it is. ...


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MARC Record
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