Fire Away!

By Dee Jay Gordon


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Let me set the scene for you: We're at the KFC, me, my female friend, her significant other and our various children. Her beverage of choice happened to be water. The conversation goes like this:

Him: "I can't believe they charged me a quarter for that cup of water."

Her: "Well, they're charging you for the cup, not the water."

Him: "Water should be free."

Her: "The water IS free. They're charging you for the cup."

Him: "Well, you should've had something else. A quarter for what? Water!"

Her: "Don't worry, honey, next time I'll just bring my own quarter and I can have all the water I want!"

So let's think about this for a minute. This is a guy who wouldn't have thought twice about ordering a $50 bottle of wine while they were courting. Now, a year later, this same guy is grumbling about a quarter for water. Guess he thinks he caught that bus, huh?

Why is it that we work so hard to get something, then we don't set up a maintenance program to ensure that we keep it? I used to date this really great guy who would take me to dinner at places like Spinnaker's and the Lighthouse. Sometimes we'd even go to DC to a nice Thai or Indian place. Six months later, I was lucky if he took me to Subway! I did this to myself...I made the fatal mistake of cooking for him.

It started off innocently enough. Wanting to do something for him, I made my famous Chicken Parmesan. He used to get upset if I suggested that I spring for dinner, so I thought this would be a good way to pay him back for his generosity. Easy enough, right? Major mistake! Next thing you know, we were having dinner "in" every weekend. Once I asked him, in my adorable way, "Hey, deadbeat! How's come you don't take me out anymore? I'm sick of cooking for you!" His reply was, "Why would I want to go out to those other places when I can get the best dinner in the world right here?" I melted on cue. Wasn't that sweet? Wasn't that dear? He likes my cooking better that Chef Neil's! Hey.....wait a minute! That's when I realized I'd been had.

Ladies, we can't spoil these guys! They're like puppies. You have to be explicit about what you expect, then be consistent in rewarding the positive and punishing the negative. Give them affection when they behave, smack them with a rolled up newspaper when they don't.

And Gentlemen, listen up! You can empty that jellybean jar if you take this small piece of advice: Treat your woman as special as you did on your first date. Remember all the time and effort you spent trying to win her affection? Keep the momentum going. All it takes is a hug and a kind word, flowers once in a while for no reason, and yes, dinner out. What do the flowers cost? Dinner at a decent restaurant? Let's say $40. A lot less expensive than divorce, wouldn't you say?

So you boys march right in there and tell your wife that she looks like she's lost weight. Tell her you love her smile, and that she just lights up a room. And, for Pete's sake, don't complain that 25 is too much to spend to make her happy!


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