Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Dessert & The Double-Standard

I’m going to preface this by saying I live by a number of double-standards when it comes to marriage.

For instance, I may take a nap whenever I want, but if my husband takes a nap when I think he should be doing something else, he may not take a nap. But he would never (never) dare to tell me (for whatever reason) that I could not take a nap simply because he didn’t think I should.

I am also free to tell Brett to take out the garbage NOW, but he would never think to tell me to clean the toilet NOW, because he knows I would kill him.

So, I am quite guilty (on occasion) of executing the double-standard maneuver.

However, I recently discovered my husband has his own little double-standard rule.

I guess I’ve known about it for some time, but I just thought he wasn’t a dessert person.

I, on the other hand, only eat the meal to get to the dessert. If society did away with meals in favor of desserts, I would die a happy, happy woman (you couldn’t fit me in a casket, but I’d be happy).

Brett comes from a family of non-dessert people. His family’s idea of “dessert” is (deep breath---oooh----this one’s a toughie) - FRUIT. Fruit! Can you believe it? Health food for dessert! Crazies.

Oh, and they make this pretzel crust, strawberry yogurt “dessert” (I’m putting it in quotes only because they think of it as a dessert) that is a HIT at all their family parties.

Pretzels AND fruit. Yeah. Sign me up for that.

I’ll never forget when I brought double-chocolate brownies to a Soderstrom party. I was the ONLY person at the entire 40 person party who had any. And just to be sure it wasn’t because they tasted bad or anything, I ate two.

Then again, I grew up in a family where we had ice cream every night. Brett had salad every night. I weep at the thought of his deprived, bland, and tasteless childhood.

In spite of their fondness for well-balanced meals, Brett’s parents loved to eat out. The four of us went to a LOT of restaurants when Brett and I were dating.

I began to notice a pattern. We’d eat our meal, and when the sever would ask if we wanted dessert, my three dinner companions would wave him away while I was mid-sentence of “Hot fudge sund….”

“No, no. We couldn’t possibly. We’re too full!” They’d cheerfully protest while I’d stomp on Brett’s foot and hiss in his ear softly. “I want ice cream, you fool!”

Despite our 12 years of togetherness, my husband is still in wonder that I crave sugar, chocolate, and pure decadence to cap off a meal out. He also thinks it’s ridiculous to shell out money for dessert.

“Can’t you just eat a candy bar at the gas station?” he’ll ask. (I did not marry him for his sense of class.)

But recently, I discovered his double-standard.

The man I love orders his meal just like I do. BUT he also consistently orders a full-size salad and a bowl of soup BEFORE his meal. Occasionally, he’ll even order an appetizer.

When I pointed out that his extra salad, soup, and appetizer add up to $10, and my measly little chocolate chip mini-pizza is only $4, he became indignant.

“But what I order is real food. You’re just ordering fluff!”

“TO YOU!” I said. “I happen to LOVE dessert, just like you LOVE salad, soup, and appetizers. No wonder you never want dessert. I’m surprised you can even MOVE after all that REAL food.”

My point is that if he can spend $4 on salad, then I can spend $4 on dessert. Turnabout, my friends, is fair play.

Still, it happens every time we go out to dinner. He’ll order hearty “starters” and a meal, and I’ll catch him rolling his eyes or holding his breath in hopes I’ll decide not to order dessert and add an extra $4 to the exorbitant bill he’s mostly created.

With our decreased income, we’ve had to lay off the outside dinners lately. However, we had some money recently to go out to eat. Brett wanted to “maximize” our money, so we couldn’t go somewhere where we’d have to leave a tip. He also made me promise not to order “some $5 dessert.”

When I tried to extract a promise that he wouldn’t order salad or soup, he said, “Sweetheart, I’ve got to eat, you know.”

Overall, I was a grumpy little camper as we drove to the restaurant, unsatisfied with the CLEAR double-standard taking place. Brett noticed my pooched-out lip and defiant posture and gently squeezed my knee, “I’ve just got to make a quick stop.”

The next thing I knew, he threw a candy bar in my lap. I looked up and saw the red and blue Mobil sign.

“There’s a little dessert for later,” he said, smiling, oblivious to my wide eyes and shocked expression.

“You really are an idiot, aren’t you?” I said.

“What? I thought you’d like it,” my husband said, clearly shocked I was not cheering in gratitude of his 49 cent thoughtfulness.

“If you’re going to be eating a restaurant-quality salad, soup, and appetizer, and expect ME to be satisfied with a GAS STATION CANDY BAR, you are sadly mistaken,” I informed him, eyes blazing.

“Fine! Fine! You can order dessert, okay? Sheesh!”

Then, I watched in amazement as he reached for the candy bar in my lap.

“What are you doing?” I asked, snatching the candy bar from his grasp.

“You obviously don’t want it,” he said. “I just thought I’d keep it.”

“You thoughtless boor. This is my candy bar. Mine. You understand?” I tucked the candy bar in my purse and glared at him.

“Okay. Okay. Let’s just go,” said my beleaguered husband as we backed out of the gas station.

We drove all the way to the restaurant in silence until my husband piped up, “I can’t believe I’m out 49 cents for nothing.”

Double-standard or not, it took all the self-control I had not to slap him.


Heidi said...

So, where did you go and what did you get?

Alice said...

You should go out with my friend Judy who orders dessert FIRST. Also, I think the new title for this blog should be, "Can't you just have a candy bar at the gas station?"

Ann-Marie said...

Ha! Ha! www.cantyoujusthaveacandybaratthe gasstation.com

I was actually thinking, "You thoughtless boor" might work, too!

CANDICE said...

Lol. I can so see you guy in the car arguing about that. Made me laugh.Boor or Boar? That is my question. Hmmm.

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Hahahahaaaa!! I love to read your posts! They are so well-written and amusing, girl! You really should write a book.

I grew up like Brett. We always had fruit for dessert. I thought "fruit salad" was fresh fruit that was cut up and mixed together. I never had marshmallows with fruit until after I was married.

We used to have smoothies for breakfast, chef salad for lunch, and a well-rounded dinner. Dessert? Well, sometimes we got homemade 100% juice popsicles.

My husband, on the other hand, had a whole cupboard in his house just for chips. Seriously. He still thinks they count for a vegetable serving!

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Oh, and the whole double-standard thing is SO true. I always tell my husband to empty the trashes. Now. And don't forget the bathroom trashes. And you'd better put new bags in.
If my husband even suggested that I do the dishes, I would probably rip his head off. After all, I'm busy ALL the time. And he has oodles of free time. So I should snap my fingers, and he should stand at attention, right? ;-) Yeah, I'm a hypocrite.

Ann-Marie said...

Heidi - Do you know, I can’t honestly remember!

Candice - A "boor" is a rude or insensitive person, and a "boar" is the male of any of several mammals (as a guinea pig). So, I guess I would have been safe using either one, huh?!

Wendy – I’m so glad I’m not the only one!!!