Things that make me laugh
I am all for self-improvement and evolution and progress, I really am, but when I'm flipping through a magazine and I see something like this, all I can do is laugh.
Never mind the implication that you can't actually have, you know, a normal conversation with the special person in your life about things that annoy you. No, you need a script! A script that basically is--this is the best part--mad libs for relationships.
In case you can't read it, the script goes as follows:
When you (mate's annoying habit), I don't feel connected. I feel (negative emotion). That's when I tend to (your typical response; e.g. get sarcastic). I do this to cope with my feelings and find a way for us to reconnect. I'm also hoping you will (the reaction you wish for; e.g. apologize profusely). As this pattern continues, I feel (negative emotion) and tell myself our relationship is (typical thought about your bond when you fight). Then you inevitably (his reaction during a fight). The more I (your go-to defense; e.g., nag), the more you (his go-to defense; e.g., pull away). Let's warn each other when this difficult cycle starts and try (alternative way of acting).
OK, I do not pretend to be an expert on men. There are many, many things about men that will mystify me until I take my last breath, and probably even long after that. But I can promise you that if I managed to deliver this whole thing to a man with a straight face, it would NOT solve all my problems in life and love. It would probably result in him rolling his eyes and picking up the newspaper, and then me complaining that he never makes an effort, and then him saying, you know, you don't have to overanalyze every little thing, and me saying, fine, I hope you remember that when you're sitting in front of the computer obsessing over your STUPID fantasy football lineup, and then him saying, you want to talk about obsessing over STUPID things, let's talk about how your entire Monday night revolves around The Hills, and ohhhhhh, then the REAL fight would start.
Of course, that didn't stop me from wanting to play the mad libs game anyway.
"When you leave the toilet seat up, I don't feel connected. I feel like I am living in a frat house. That's when I tend to scream through the bathroom door, 'This is not a frat house!' I do this to cope with my feelings and find a way for us to reconnect. I'm also hoping you will, oh, I don't know, start acting like a grown, civilized adult. As this pattern continues, I feel afraid I am going to fall in the toilet in the middle of the night and tell myself our relationship will be the first that ends entirely due to a plastic seat and a few gallons of toilet water. Then you inevitably tell me you don't complain when I leave it down, so why should I complain about you leaving it up? The more I throw my hands wildly in the air and say things like, 'When did my 4-year-old brother start living here?', the more you do it because you think it's funny to see me gesture wildly and say things like 'When did my 4-year-brother start living here?' because, for one thing, I don't even have a 4-year-old brother. Let's warn each other when this difficult cycle starts and try doing it my way, because let's be honest, that's the only way we'll both be happy. Also, it makes the bathroom look cleaner when the lid's down, and ... don't give me that look, it does too. It DOES!"
Oh, yes. Mad libs, the foundation of communication in any good relationship.