…Before Swine

Have you ever seen chicks feed? If you put out enough food, they’ll eat until their stomachs burst, literally. I learned that in fifth grade. We raised chickens from eggs until they weren’t cute anymore. I didn’t see the point in it, growing up in urban suburbia, but when I got older I realized: that’s how men are, only not with food.

I had a number of boyfriends growing up. I learned a lot from them, about how to get a man, but you can’t learn much about keeping one from a three month relationship. Most of that came from my mom. She’s been happily married for the last twenty-seven years.

At her core, my mom’s a romantic. Though, in practice, she’s a harsh pragmatist. When we read bedtime stories, she’d always quiz me on the moral before I fell asleep. I remember, after one of my summaries, she called me a pollyanna. I was nine.

I’ve been married five years. Five, amazing, difficult, years, to a sweet man whom always tries to make me happy. He’s still a man though, so I have to keep his stomach from bursting.

I work a lot, that helps. It’s easier for him to accept I’m not available if it’s for the family (we’re working on the family part). And Sunday is football in the man cave, so that’s a gimme. I always laugh when Sheila gets mad about the cave. She’ll berate her husband, endlessly, about the no girls allowed policy. Although, he usually compromises by giving her something she wants – everyone has their own way of doing things.

Keeping him hungry is a delicate balance. Every now and then I have to ring the dinner bell. If we’re overdue, or if I’m just in the mood, I’ll look at him that way, or I’ll use that voice. It’s not difficult at all. If I really want to rile him up, though, I’ll flirt a little with his friends. Not a lot, just enough to get the adrenalin pumping. The sex is usually amazing that night.

Some girls look down on playing games. I won’t do that to my husband, they’ll say. Or, I got married so I wouldn’t have to do this bullshit, they’ll admit. These women usually have unhappy marriages. I’m a feminist, through and through, don’t get me wrong. I DON’T think it’s my sole duty to please a man – but I do want him to stick around. As long as he does his part, I don’t mind rationing his food, until he isn’t hungry anymore.


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