Posted by Elliot Steingart
Last week was like any other except it was the week I was going to stay at my boyfriend's parents house for the weekend. It wasn't the first meeting.They had visited us in Los Angeles a few months prior and we had had a great day of activities (please see Meet the Steingarts).
However, this was the week that the boyfriend decided to fall so ill that he could not move from his bed or talk besides to utter dramatic questions like “Liv, my throat hurts so bad. Do you think I will ever feel better again?” and “How do I get rid of this headache? Please tell me.” I made him dinner one night and got a hint of a smile but in general I felt like I was dating a zombie. By Friday my anxiety was through the roof. How would I get along with his parents without his good humor?
On Friday at work he was semi-concious and managed to infuriate me around lunchtime because instead of eating lunch he wanted to shop for CDs.
“That is it I am done, I am not going.” I yelled via Gchat.
He called my bluff and we headed down the five freeway.
The moment we arrived at the Steingarts I felt at home. Elliot's mom, Judy the Foodie had prepared a delicious vegetarian meal and the wine flowed freely. The only awkward moment was when Elliot ripped off his shirt prior to dinner to show off the hard work of the past few months at LA Fitness (please see Heroic Effort blog). I knew that if I was at a home where nudity was accepted at the table the weekend would be exciting.
After the meal, Elliot's mom presented me with the Christmas gift of a gorgeuous scarf. This was to be a wonderful weekend.
Saturday brought a long and fun walk and chat with Judy and beer tasting at San Diego's finest microbrewery establishments. Little did I know that each time I went to the bathroom Elliot was asking what his parents thought of me. Similarly, each time they were going to the counter for popcorn or more beer tastes I was doing the same. My boyfriend was the liason between parties gathering information.
At one point after six tasters and one of the most delicious spicy habenero pepper beers I had ever tasted I jolted up to go to the bathroom. Upon my return I complained that there was no toilet paper. Judy said that she had tried to warn me but I had gotten up too fast. I liked knowing that Elliot's mom had my back and didn't want me to have to wipe with seat covers. I felt truly at home.
The only thing that bothered me all weekend was Elliot being lazy while his mom worked. Judy loves making great food and hosting people but I wanted to make sure I wasn't being a loaf just sitting on the couch. My boyfriend wouldn't lift a finger. In fact, his mother had to wash a load of his clothes and find a razor so he could shave his hairy neck. I gave him a look of disgust and he finally managed to get himself his own glass of water.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend with Elliot's parents and I hope to see them again soon. I am pleased to be dating someone whose family is so fun and generous. While the sweet dulcet tones of Chris Botti soothed us on the twilight drive back I realized I was very glad I didn't stay home.
11.25.13 at 8:30 am | Learning code of conduct
10.28.13 at 9:09 am | Parents Meeting Girlfriend's Parents,and more
8.2.13 at 9:12 am | Guest blog written by my dad
7.24.13 at 9:38 am | Going home
6.25.13 at 9:36 am | The longest day of the year
5.24.13 at 11:43 am | Taking the Socks off
January 18, 2013 | 11:42 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
For a pretty good talker, I kind of suck at listening. My girlfriend has made me understand this point more clearly. We frequently play a game where I ask her what her plans are to which she responds, “I already told you.”
She dismisses me by saying, “you don’t care.”
The truth is I do. I just didn’t care the first time. Maybe I did but I was pre-occupied thinking about something I wanted to say. This came to a boiling point when my girlfriend was talking about a mole she had removed. Without meaning to cut her off, I jumped in saying, “I have lots of moles too.”
“That’s it,” she blasted. “I’m done.”
“No, I want to hear more about your moles.” I said.
“No, your mole story is more important.” She said. “Go ahead.”
The end of my story is that "I have lots of moles." I didn’t have a good mole story. I don’t think a good mole story exists even among dermatologists.
I know a lot of people who only talk about themselves. These people are what you call, annoying. I admit that I talk more about myself with my girlfriend than I do with others because she is someone I trust and can depend upon to listen. I am hoping to become a better listener in 2013.
Seeking listening tips online, one helpful source suggests leaning in, tilting one’s head and occasionally nodding. This seems great for listening and fake listening. Another helpful tool is paraphrasing someone's previous statement. For example, if she says, “I am leaving you because you don’t listen to me.” I would then say, “Okay, you are leaving me because I don’t listen. Wait! Don’t go.”
As important as I sometimes think I am, I never want to feel like I am annoying, unless I’m spending time with my sister. Struck with a sore throat this past week I have been unable to talk as much. I also have an excuse for not listening as much since my ears are plugged. My excuses are running thin, and I'm also running low on stories. Though I do have a pimple that I think might actually be a mole. I'll have to tell her about it.
January 11, 2013 | 10:18 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
My girlfriend and I see things differently. When I use her Netflix account she tells me I'm mooching. I get that she doesn't like me using her account out of fear that I will tweak her preferences. She wants recommendations for “Critically-Acclaimed Cerebral Crime Dramas” not the “Rise and Fall of the WCW.” Fair enough. Though, after nine months I feel she can decide on a better word than “mooching” like maybe, I don't know, sharing?
I share many things with her. Just this week she asked if I could order her a hair curler through my Amazon Prime account. I didn't accuse her of taking advantage of “relationshipping.” Nor would I call her a mooch for spending more time at my apartment than at hers. I am happy she does. I do not ask for much--a roll of toilet paper here and there, help hanging a picture frame, organizing my tennis shoes.
No one said sharing is easy. I own a small love seat that is comfortable for one person. When I'm alone I sprawl out with my legs crossed hanging over the end of the couch. When sharing the love seat there is nowhere to turn. The only move is her letting me rest my legs on her lap or spooning her with half her body hovering over the edge. Despite its intention the love seat is not adequate for the act itself. I'm also past the point of having sex on Ikea furniture.
Anyway, the bed, as my Dad puts it, “is for sleeping and sex.” My bed is the one item we share the most and what I envisioned would bring us the greatest joy. In reality sharing my bed is hard. To get situated I toss and turn without regard which wakes her up. She wears ear plugs because when I fall asleep on my back I snore. She is easy to sleep next to except for the one time I woke up to the sound of an uproarious toot.
“What was that?” I asked startled.
“It was nothing,” she said half asleep. “Go back to bed.”
What it was, was the world's funniest alarm clock.
“I love you, but I hate your bed,” my girlfriend confided.
Ready for an upgrade we shared in the fun of mattress shopping. One other couple besides us was laying on beds. “Get a room!” I shouted at them.
We laid on Beauty Rests and Sealy's. The mattress salesman wearing a blue tooth handed me his card. I figured it was weird he would know where I was sleeping. Dave, at Mattress City, explained the inner workings of the Queen latex Englander as we rested peacefully.
“I can give you a great deal on it,” he said.
“What do you think?” I whispered to my girlfriend.
“I think it's great, but it's ultimately your decision,” she whispered back.
I'm glad she approved since I wanted her to share in the decision. The challenge was negotiating lying on a mattress in the fetal position.
“Let me crunch some numbers and see what I can do for you,” said Dave.
He accepted my counter offer and the mattress was delivered the next day. We are loving the new bed. "It's great for sleep and sex," I wrote on Yelp.
It's been a great investment for our relationship. She doesn't hear me toss and turn and so far I'm the only one farting in bed. All things considered, purchasing a brand new bed is a small price to pay to keep using her Netflix.
January 4, 2013 | 11:52 am
Posted by Elliot Steingart
My girlfriend and I fought for the first time in 2013 over the crispiness of chicken wings.
“You might want to put the other wings in the pan to get them crispier,” I advised.
“That’s it,” she scowled. “I’m never cooking for you again.”
Forget the contentious drumstick vs wing exchange that took place at Albertsons. Rage steamed within my soul, like buffalo sauce stewing from the crock pot.
“What the f*ck are you talking about?” I shot back.
“I cut two dozen bones, put them in the crock pot, and now you expect me to put them on the pan while you eat?” She asked.
I tore a wing apart with my teeth, split apart a bone and shouted “These are great--really great! I just like a crispy wing.” I noticed she brushed her plate aside. “Why aren’t you eating?”
“I’m not hungry anymore,” she replied.
“You’re eating!” I exclaimed as I ran up to the kitchen to begin frying. I turned manic flipping the wings in the pan. “Welcome to Crispy’s” I yelled. “Crispiest wings in town! Who wants crispy wings?” I asked. “We got em’ here at Crispy's!”
She sat silent on the couch refusing to talk. I preyed on the new crispy wings and pretended to care about the Rose Bowl.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “You made great wings. Seriously, these wings are delicious.”
She remained silent. Knowing she comes from a Stanford family I spitefully declared, “Go Wisconsin!”
“I’m sorry,” I started again. “You made great wings and I had no reason to lose my temper.”
My blow-up weighed on me well into the night. I felt like a real chicken for losing my cool and yelling at the girl I love over some stupid clucking wing dings. I have long struggled with minor rage issues. Though infrequent, when I do lose my temper loved ones are the ones who are affected the most. Rather than fume, I must leave the room and take a walk. I could visit the local library or buy Sour Patch Kids at Albertsons. Cussing make me feel bad and the recipient feel worse. Foul language is for the birds. Here’s to a clean 2013, and not being an asshole, from all of your friends at Crispy's.