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Baby Names Shouldn’t Make You Hungry

, , , , , , , | Romantic | February 10, 2023

Back in college, I started a long-term relationship with a guy. At some point, the subject of someday having children came up, and we began keeping a list of names for our potential future babies. I viewed the list more as a form of lighthearted romantic entertainment than anything else. We both knew I wanted to go to graduate school after finishing undergrad, and any kids we would have were in the far distant future at least five to ten years away.

My boyfriend was of Italian ancestry, so many of the names he suggested were Italian — Silvio, Antonio, Dino, etc. The names were uncommon for our city in the western US where most people were of Anglo-Saxon, Latino, or Germanic heritage, but they were hardly outlandish.

He was also very fond of Italian cuisine, and pretty decent at cooking it.

Boyfriend: “I’ve come up with the perfect names for two kids, regardless of their genders.”

Me: “Oh? What are they?”

Boyfriend: “Aglio and Olio.” *Proudly* “They’re Italian for ‘garlic’ and ‘oil’, as in olive oil. I’m completely serious.”

We later broke up for much less entertaining reasons, but the experience led me to decide I would not name any of my future children after foodstuffs.

Just Let Me Be Angry!

, , , , | Romantic | February 6, 2023

I have been dating my current girlfriend for about a year and a half. I consider myself to be pretty generous and thoughtful, but I’m not really a person who likes to gift flowers. I’ve gifted a few potted plants, but cut flowers? I just don’t like how they slowly die and wilt over the next few days, and then they just leave a mess.

My girlfriend did ask for flowers for Valentine’s Day, which I gave her, and she was happy.

However, at some point later, she is in a bad mood and decides that once is not enough for eighteen months of dating. We don’t live with each other.

I’m going about my day when I get a text from her.

Girlfriend: “We’ve been dating for over a year and you’ve only ever given me flowers once! Once!”

Me: “You’re right; I’m so inconsiderate. All I’ve ever given you is jewelry, fuel for your car, clothes, trips to restaurants, lots of homemade food, vacations to California and New York, and a $1,500 wig.”

Girlfriend: “This was supposed to make you look bad, but it ended up making me look bad!”

Me: “Yep.”

And Thus, Another Memory Was Created!

, , , , , | Romantic | February 2, 2023

Back when I was in grad school, I used to frequent a used bookstore near my house. I would often tell the guy I was dating about the books I bought there. Once, I bought a non-fiction book about neuroscience, which I kept talking about to [Guy] as I was reading it.

Several weeks later…

Guy: “So, how is [Book]? You haven’t mentioned it in a while, but it sounded like you were finding it very interesting.”

Me: *Slightly embarrassed* “Well, actually, I haven’t made much progress since the last time we talked about it… because I can’t find it.”

Guy: “You lost [Book]?”

Me: “No, no… I just can’t remember where I put it. I know it is in my apartment somewhere, and at some point, it will turn up.”

Guy: “So, let me get this straight. You bought [Book] about the secrets of memory, and you can’t remember where you put it?”

[Guy] burst out laughing.

But there is a happy ending! [Guy] married me anyway. And the book did turn up, months later when I moved from my roommate’s apartment to the apartment we rented when we got married, and he had another good laugh then, as well.

More than a decade of marriage later, [Guy] still loves to fondly recall this story, and now we both have a good laugh about it.

They’re A Cute Couple — No Butts About It

, , , , , , | Working | January 24, 2023

Two of my coworkers — [Woman] and [Man] — are dating each other. Everyone in our department agrees that they’re the cutest couple we can imagine, but they’re actually really good at not letting their relationship interfere with work in any way.

This story takes place shortly after we all start coming back into the office after a year and a half of working from home during the global health crisis. It’s a particularly cold winter day, and [Woman] decides to do something about it.

Woman: “That’s it! I’m turning the thermostat up! I’m freezing my butt off!”

Man: *In a stereotypical fake whining voice* “Oh, no, not your butt! That’s my favorite part.”

Everyone in the office freezes — pun not intended — and then bursts into raucous laughter when we realize what just happened. [Man] and [Woman] catch on and turn beet red from embarrassment.

Man: “Um… I forgot that we’re at the office and not at home, so… can we all just pretend that I didn’t say that?”

Coworker: “[Woman], now I understand why you were so careful to make sure you were on mute during all of our Zoom meetings!”

That set off another round of raucous laughter, with the couple joining in despite their obvious embarrassment. It really helped boost morale after so many months of chaos trying to coordinate everything while working from home.

The couple is now happily engaged, and they’re still good about keeping their relationship separate from work, even though we still make the occasional joke about this story at their expense.

Give Up The Wine And Dine Or You’re Gonna Whine

, , , , | Romantic | January 21, 2023

My ex-girlfriend and I were together for six years. Near the end of our relationship, the atmosphere was miles from what it normally was. Her idea of a happy home, which I paid for for the two of us, basically became her and her friends every weekend on the couch drinking wine until they all fell asleep or were too drunk to get home.

I worked at this time in a s***ty restaurant in town, earning just about minimum wage. It was back-breaking work — long hours, thankless jobs, unpredictable shift changes because the boss thought it was a fantastic idea to lease us to a pub on the opposite end of the road, etc.

One night, I returned home from a grueling thirteen-hour shift at almost 1:00 am. The bus I was supposed to get didn’t turn up, so I had to wait even longer for the next. Knowing I had to face another shift the next morning, my only real desire right then was to sleep. The second I entered, however, I was greeted by my girlfriend, her friends, and an opened bottle of wine.

Me: “Hey, I need to be up fairly early tomorrow, so can we wrap this up, please?”

Girlfriend: “Hey, darling. Of course, we’ll be done soon.”

“Soon” pretty much meant not at all soon from my experiences.

Me: “Well, you’re not working tomorrow, are you? I am, so I just want to—”

I stopped talking when I notice that she and her friends were just fixing a vacant stare at me. I realized none of what I was saying was getting through, so I just dropped my stuff and headed into the bedroom. Being that my girlfriend is Swedish, she scoffed and said, “Han är på dåligt humör igen,” which means, “He’s in a bad mood again,” accompanied by her and her friends laughing at my expense. Sure, because wanting to sleep in the bed I paid for so I can pay for your endless nights with the ladies is such a tall ask.

I lay in bed, unable to sleep because of the noise they were kicking up. After about twenty minutes, I got up, got dressed, grabbed my keys, and phoned a friend to crash at his.

Thankfully, he was okay with it, but evidently, my girlfriend was not.

Girlfriend: “Where are you going?”

Me: “Somewhere where you are not. When I come back, I want you out of my f****** house.”

I wasn’t kidding around this time. Of course, she tried to make amends there and then and practically threw her friends out, but it was too little too late. I stayed at my friend’s house that night, quit my job the following morning, and returned to find my now ex-girlfriend gone.

That month was Hell, but I was able to find a much better, well-paying job soon after, and I met a colleague who would later become my beloved wife, who respects and treats me like a king.