Jennifer is Back on the Sauce

So we’re in the grocery store, and I’m HUNGRY. I’m doing that slightly light-headed grabbing of everything tasty and fun and tossing it into the shopping cart.

I’m in trying new things mode.

Oh wow. Smokey garlic onion sauce.

That sounds delicious. Yes please.

Jennifer: “Oh, that sounds nice.”

Athol: “It does.”

Jennifer: “What I miss though is A1 Steak Sauce.”

Athol: “Oh, I didn’t know they stopped making it.”

Then I gaze down and literally stare right at a bottle of A1 Steak Sauce. Now I’m trying to  comprehend why Jennifer misses something that is obviously still available to buy, and is also inexpensive. It’s even on sale. WTF is happening?

Athol: “It’s right here, if you want it, you can have it you know.”


Athol: “So…. why don’t you buy it anymore?”

Jennifer: “Well you hazed me about it.”

Athol: “I did?”

Jennifer: “Yeah.”

Athol: “Oh.”

And…. hmmm… I don’t recall hazing her about it. Maybe some light teasing though. Okay so let’s not quibble about a few times she may have made mistakes with condiments. That’s all He Said, She Went Bloop Bloop Bloop. We’ll never really be able to assign actual blame. I’m pretty sure any hazing she mentioned was horribly overstated based on her sensitive feminine nature.

It’s roughly at this point I recall that I haven’t seen a bottle of A1 Steak Sauce in my house for… ah… well since the old house and we moved in 2006, so according to the math, I’m an asshole.

Athol: “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you not eat something you liked. I feel terrible.”

Jennifer: “It’s okay.”

And off we went down the aisle, steak sauce gently nestled in the cart like the prodigal son back in his old bed. I really do feel bad about it.

But seriously now, I like to think Jennifer and I communicate pretty well. If we can miss these things, anyone can miss these things. Life is too short to miss out on the stuff you want. If you like things, you may as well enjoy them no matter what your partner feels about them. (Assuming it doesn’t have a direct negative affect on them of course.)

It’s not like I have to eat A1 Steak Sauce if she eats it. And in case someone thinks this post was sponsored by A1 Steak Sauce, please be assured that I think it should have a large warning label attached to it saying, “WARNING! Tastes like bovine rectum juice.”


So anyway…

what are you holding back on enjoying because of your partner?




  1. Chakotay says:

    SEX!! Yay! I can have sex again, even though my wife apparently finds it distasteful?!?

    Now, just to figure where I can buy some….
    (Just a little well-intentioned tongue-in-cheek humor… Please don’t anyone think I’m being insulting or obtuse.)

  2. matthew thomas says:

    LOL, this happened to me, My wife used to like bright, colourful pens so a few years ago i made a joke about it one day, not anything nasty but meant to tease. Since then she has used normal pens to write with but i only noticed a good while later. When I asked her what happened to all her colourful pens she said she threw them out because i made fun of her about them.


  3. I’ve had a relationship fall apart because of casual comments like that (although about more intimite issues). Also, my wife and I had a long drought because of some comments she made that left me walking on eggshells for years.

  4. “According to the math, I’m an asshole” is a great line.

    On the other hand, putting A1 on a decent steak is wrong.

  5. Our_Heroine says:

    I made a Batman joke at work, a play on “cause he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now,” and when I told my husband about it (I made the programmers laugh!), he just piled on about how awkward and weird my joke was. And though I’m sure he meant it playfully. I really did feel so deflated afterwards, that I stopped telling him about work. (hmmm…maybe that was his plan all along?)

  6. I spent the first ten years of my marriage being offended by my husband’s opinions about my interests, to the point where I stopped having hobbies and found ways to be away from him. It wasn’t healthy and I was miserable. He was teasing me like a little sister, and even my friends were surprised at his comments. So I decided it was time for me to stop his ability to bully his opinions onto me and for me to stand up for my interests and likes. I started to notice that as I stopped feeding the ‘man-spew’, he stopped vomiting his criticisms so much and started to give me more respect in the relationship. It did involve one event where I had to yell, “Why do you care if I toast my sandwich bread? I like it warm and I’m the one who is going to eat it.” I’m not a yeller, but this one episode seemed to set a boundary that he started to respect.

    I think all males have a tendency to man-spew their opinions in unfiltered words that can be a little jarring to the more tender hearted sex, but I wouldn’t have if any other way because it would make them a little less manly. Just got to learn how to step out of the spew path. (I have spew moments too, which are typically tied to 3 days a month when hormones are at their lowest. PMS shouldn’t be an excuse , but it happens.)

    This idea of “owning it” is helping my kids when they get teased at school. I’m teaching them instead of curling up and crying, to respond back, “So what? I think it’s cool. What do you like? Really? That’s cool too.” They’ve turned bullies into friends.

  7. I don’t think there is much space for negative teasing – it may look like fun, but it can be very destructive.

    remember as a young person how careful I was not to try out new things like hair styles because I was afraid someone would notice and say something. I see people in my small home town still doing stuff like NOT EXERCISE because someone might see!

    As an adult I’ve endured nearest and dearest teasing me about getting old and about disqualifying myself from heaven. This is sooo hurtful! God has been kind to me and I do look young for my age, but nagging doubt has been planted in my mind. …and …my religious beliefs are very, very important to me and bring great comfort…and …. I’ve accepted that I may be damned. YES. It’s that bad!

    I think some people just don’t know how to show they care by being nice, so they be nasty. It’s not funny, its not nice and it can be very harmful. There is nothing wrong with saying nice, positive things!!! Every nice positive word makes the world a better place.

    The only way to deal with this type of bullying is to call people on it. I do it and I have success and after reading Athol’s post I’ve decided to call people on it when they tease others.

    ….and as Athol indicates, we make our relationships and marriages less happy places by needlessly teasing and restricting others.

    A very negative example – my soul-sister Clarissa’s crusty old husband is always criticising and nagging about her food, exercise and grooming choices. If she becomes ill she is subject to a barrage of criticism re matters that are irrelevant to her illness but which he is certain both cause the illness and will kill her. She hides normal everyday stuff and is even fearful about being seen heating water from the tap for tea!! Sometimes she throws good food away just to get some peace. Not a happy place to be and a situation which could be at least neutral is made very unpleasant!

    Good post Athol – something for everyone to think on.

    :-) C

  8. Came from a family that loves to “comment” on everything you do. Rather than develop a thicker skin I sought privacy for even for mundane things like making a sandwich. I remember being made fun of for my love of ice-cream soup. Add ice-cream, pour in milk, stir till creamy, perfect! Its actually through observing my husband that I learned to make fun of people making fun of me… or neg their negging. If their teasing comes from a critical place, my reaction doesn’t feed the negativity. The situation turns funny or they just stop realizing they won’t get the reaction they want from me.

    I still find it hard not to take things personally but its much less of a problem than before. I practice not being affected by it or finding their comments funny “fake it till you make it”, till eventually both are true.

    Now I eat my ice-cream how I like it, where I like it and without apology.

  9. jinnahra says:

    My guy always loves to tell me that “pasteurized processed American cheese food product” is not cheese. He won’t eat it. Won’t touch it with the proverbial 10 foot pole.

    Don’t care. I buy it and put it on my sammiches, not his. I do, however, also adore really good cheese. The $20/lb cheeses. The ones that you have to go to a grocery store with a “cheese section” and a “cheese monger” to find sometimes. But American cheese is from my childhood, and if I don’t force it down his throat, then he can deal with seeing it in the fridge sometimes. And there’s always his preferred cheeses in there, too.

  10. Reflecting on this, I realised that innovation is being stifled by negative communication and behaviour. Innovation is essential to making life better. I’m not only going to call people on being unintentionally cruel, but I am also going to educate them on the importance of creativity and innovation as well as being positive. :-) C

  11. Pol Mordreth says:

    I see a lot of women commenting on how awful (their) men are on teasing and ‘bullying their opinions’ . For the other side, It took me years to realize that my wife was lying when she said she wanted me to be honest with her. If I give her my honest opinion on something, delivered in a way that I would deliver it to friends or co-workers, she gets all upset that I’m hazing her or the like. If she catches me in an unguarded moment with a comment like, “hey, what do you think about A-1″ ; and I reply with “Meh. Tastes like bovine rectum juice. ” as I’m reading the mail or cooking or somesuch, she immediately decides that I am attacking her for liking A1 and she should either get freakishly defensive about it or go on a crying jag about how I don’t allow her to have her own opinions. And I’m blindsided.

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