Just for the record....

She slapped my face first.

For those that now think I'm the worst thing on earth with a Y-chromosone, allow me to provide a second viewpoint.

Week 1: J starts her Student Life Advisor job. I spend the first three days cleaning up the house. The rest of the week I install 2 air conditioners, and rip out the shower walls so that I can replace the rotting dry wall that is leaking into the basement. I replace the panels back on the wall, only to find that they were cut irregular and that they have huge gaps between them. Thus the reason the water rotted the drywall in the first place. I go buy a new set, setting me back $50. Then I mow the lawn and trim the hedges. Finally after a week of cleaning and repairs, the house is spotless from top to bottom.

Week 2: C and K move in. There are boxes and junk everywhere. K stock piles all of her kitchen supplies in a corner until J moves her stuff into her apartment. While K projectile vomits furniture and debris all over her room and the living room, I try frantically to keep calm and not let my aggitation show. To set an example, I take to cleaning our room every morning after I drive J to work. When that is done, I begin a long debate with my father about how much rent J was supposed to pay at thier apartment. I demand $450 a month. They demand $485. So because I love her, I go to Investment Reality to find out which apartments are available, call the Utility Companies and get price quotes on each place, and add it all up for her to compare. Then I help her decide on one that requires a deposit -- money that neither one of us have right now.

Week 3: I go to work with Chuck. He's a really cool guy that knows how to do about anything. The only problem he is so swamped with work, you can never pin him down. I work with Chuck for 32 hours that week. I take J to work, go paint a house everyday. Of which, each day is a new color -- Pink, Lavender, Yellow/Orange, Purple, and Royal Blue in each different room. In addition, each room also gets its own special border: baskets of sunflowers, under-the-sea scenes, abstract pink blocks, green puppies and yellow bunnies, and cape cod. Seventy-something grandma's should not try to decorate with out serious doseages of Trading Spaces. I end my day when I have to pick J up, come home have dinner, pass out, and start all over. Then when I get $320 for my work, I hand it to J for a loan on a down payment on her apartment.

Now, on the night of the "Irritation," I come back from class at 4:00 to find J and the roomies all in my room talking about Margarita monday. After my first day of classes, enjoying time with the buddy sounds good. After we eat dinner, C immediately asks if I'll help him grab a TV and bring it home. I say sure. So I'm immediately out the door again to go to Walmart, where we spend 45 minutes waiting for the electronics boys to bring the one he wants from the back. When they finally get one out to us, it takes all four of us and 15 minutes in the rain to make the 32" TV fit it into C's small car. We drive home, when I remember that J wanted ice cream, so I make him stop to see when they are open until. If they are close to closing I tell him I need to go through the drive through. Luckily they are open until 11:00. Good deal. We race home.

The two of us somehow manage to get the TV out of the car without the Jaws of Life, and we slowly make our way to the side of the house. We have to set it down twice on the sidewalk, scratching it up on the top. As we climb the stairs with the speed of a snail on tranquilizers, C begins to have trouble holding it. So I squat and hold the TV on my knees as he reenergizes. Meanwhile, I hear a voice shout out "Where are my keys?!?" in a rather unpleasant manner. I'm balancing a TV that is heavier than I am on my legs on a flight of stairs. I'm rather uncomfortable and searching through my pockets is a little impossible. Trying not to sound to hard between grunts of frustration, I call out "I'm busy buddy!" So we finally manage to get the damned thing up the stairs -- and C nearly passes out. Face flushed and arms trembling, he leans over the tub to breathe in water vapor. I go downstairs and J storms up from the basement. I try unsuccessfully to humble my voice, and say "Dairy Queen doesn't close until 11:00. So we can still go." She snatches away her keys I hand to her and whirlwinds past with a sniffed "Whatever." I meanwhile, go check on C, and then go back downstairs when my cell phone is called and a nasty voice on the other end spats out "You need to get your tools out of the hallway. NOW." This of course, has nothing to do with the tools at all, it is merely a declaration of war.

And thus the hell breaks loose. Nasty words were said, she being unapprieciated, I feeling the same. She asks me to prove it, I give examples she won't accept. Finally, with an impass from us both thinking we are right, (damn us both being first born) to being too stubborn to give and inch (damn us for being bull-headed stubborn) I tell her she's being fucking ridiculous.

The next instant my right cheek is seering with a red hand print. Not to be outdone, I grab her hands to her side and push her back against the wall to keep her from trying again. The only thing more frustrating than being slapped is having your girlfriend crack a smile because she actually liked you being forceful. Women!

So after we argued for a good hour and I thought I had driven my side of the story home, I did what all men do in the same situation.

I put my tail between my legs, swallowed my pride, and did the dishes.


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