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Marriage – The Battle of the Sexes

Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There’s too much fraternizing with the enemy. Henry Kissinger

“I think we’re polar opposites,” I said to my husband one chilly morning.

As I turned the thermostat up past freezing, my husband turned it back down and told me, “You won’t die of hypothermia, put on a sweater.”

“Yes, sir!” I snapped, standing at attention (with my fingers crossed behind my back). This was a full-scale battle over the thermostat, and all is fair in love and war.

“I don’t like being cold,” I told him as I jumped into my clothes and shrugged into a hooded sweatshirt. When I pulled the drawstring tight around my face, I looked like the unabomber.

I could see my breath as I said, “I suspect your grandfather was one-forth Polar Bear.”

I was so cold, my nose was red enough to guide Santa’s sleigh.

Ron, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, and pounded his chest. He was invigorated by the cold air. He’s not invigorated, though, by stimulating conversation. Over breakfast, I chatted about a story in the newspaper. My husband listened and responded with “Ah-huh” about every ten seconds. He got up and started walking away.

“Wait,” I told him, desperate for conversation, “I’ve only used three hundred words. I’ve got two thousand left.”

Later that afternoon, after I returned from a luncheon, he asked, “Did you have a good time?”

I dove into a long narrative, but I could tell by his contorted face that he’d hoped for a “Yes” or “No” answer. I might as well have married Joe Just-the-facts-ma’am Friday from Dragnet. I phoned my girl friend and spent the next twenty minutes reliving everything down to the color of the toothpicks in the hors d’oeuvres.

If his face registered dismay after my luncheon, it was twisted in agony later that evening. I’d announced, “Honey, I stopped by the video store and brought home a couple of movies.”

He examined the cases and exclaimed, “They’re both chic flicks! This could be the worst movie night of my life.”

He slept through both love stories, and when I woke him I said, “I guess it’s your testosterone. It won’t let you watch a movie unless it is full of machine guns, sharks, or aliens.”

“Honey,” he said, “the only way we’ll ever agree on a movie is if they come out with My Big Fat Greek Gladiator.”

My voice dripping with sarcasm, I replied, “Maybe, we could hope for a Sleepless in the Matrix.”

I headed for the bathtub and filled it to the brim with steaming water. Twenty minutes later, I climbed out lobster-red.  Slipping into my warmest pajamas, I realized I was wearing more flannel than a lumberjack. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

After Ron’s luke-warm shower, he flung off his bathrobe off James-Bond style and climbed into bed. It was obvious he hoped for intimacy.

As he nibbled my ear, I asked “Did you lock the front door?”

He grabbed his robe and grumbled his way down the hall.

“You’re a veteran,” I hollered after him, “It’s your job to check the perimeter.” I made a mental note to buy him camouflage pajamas.

When he got back into bed, I planted my cold feet to his warm back. “Yiiiiccccckkksss…!” he hollered.

“I’m confused.” I told him, “Since it’s so stinking cold in this house, how do you expect me to have warm feet?”

“By wearing more socks,” he suggested.

“Hey, I’ve got an idea.” I said seductively. “How about if I crank up the furnace and take off my Paul Bunyan pajamas. Then I’ll slip into the nightie I bought for our anniversary.”

As I went into the hallway to change the thermostat, I said Arnold-Schwarzeneger style, “I’ll be back.”

We’ve declared a truce. Except for his ample supply of male hormones, we’re not so different after all. We’ve been bunkmates for some time now, sharing our warmth, our laughter and tears.  Spending my days—and nights—with someone I love has enriched my life.

As I get older and my estrogen levels plummet, maybe I’ll be warmer, talk less, and love Dirty Harry movies. Then Ron and I will almost be twins.

Of course, it’ll be ages before I’m that old. Um . . . excuse me, while I go turn down the thermostat. It seems to be getting warm in here.

Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:11

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