A common subject that is discussed in the pasta community is the happenings of eye-talian food and how modern society props them up on an undeserving pedestal, giving them benefits simply due to “muh pizza.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of the Moose Turd Pie, it is the act of being purposely inept at some activity so that you don’t have to do it. When I was a little kid, my dad was a horrible cook. If my mom was gone, we would have toast or gummy mac-n-cheese. At 8 years old, I could cook better than my dad. However, my mom was fairly decent. Consequently, she would do 90% of the cooking while my dad would do the bulk of the work on the farm.
Now, my parents are getting old, and my mom is getting rather geriatric. She does what she can in her wheelchair, but she is unable to do much of the cooking or cleaning. My dad has stepped up to the plate, and it appears that he has become a decent cook in the last decade.
Thinking back to my grandparents, I noticed the same pattern. My grandpa worked on the outside stuff, but fumbled around with anything in the house until the point came that my grandma physically could not do it anymore.
Our Moose Turd Pies
I hate doing laundry, when we met in college, I would just wash and stuff the clothes in the drawers. I wouldn’t bother sorting, just dump the basket into my dresser and pick out the socks, or shirts out of the pile as I needed. My wife, on the other hand, spends time hanging up the closes, folding, ironing and the whole bit. I know how to do all that, but I couldn’t be bothered. I will help fold, but never along the right creases or whatever.
On the other hand, my wife abhors working on cars. Something as simple as changing a tire is beyond her, so she will leave it up to me. I know she could if her life depended on it, but I go ahead and do it. I like my tools to be put back where they go, and I like to know the nuts are on tight.
On the outset, these may seem like a negative behavior. I could take the time to do the laundry, but instead, I am “dependent” on her to make sure I have underwear in my drawer. She is “dependent” on me to make sure the car is running. In essence, we are working together as a team in this journey of life.
Picture it: Tall, sexy, legs up to her neck, an apple bottom that swings a bit too sexily when she walks in her designer jeans. Twenty-three-year-old American girl with a big mane of blonde hair, and she has a swagger, like she knows that everybody is always looking at her. She’s right. They are.
On our first date, two other guys try hitting on her when I go to the bathroom. I can’t blame them.
Second date, we bang for close to three hours. She’s on the pill and we go bareback and she’s incredible. After, I pass out and she cooks me fresh pasta. This can’t be real. She’s hot and she bangs like a minx and she cooks for her man.
But she’s blonde, and I like brunettes. Still, who am I to complain about this gift that has fallen into my lap.
I find out that she’s funny too, which is rare in a woman. She literally makes me laugh out loud—hard. How many women you know can make you do that? Today, I understand the humor was just a mask for her aggressive nature. But I didn’t know that then.
She works part-time near my apartment. Couple times a week, at lunchtime, she comes over for food and sex, in whatever order. One day, she says that we ought to be exclusive. I quickly agree. In my mind, it’s never going to get better than this. I’m happy. She’s happy. After almost a decade of dating—I’m thirty—the world feels reborn.
After a month, she goes home to visit her mother and father. I’m going to marry this guy, she tells them. I find this out years later.
We become inseparable. She’s a highly emotional person, reactive, full of laughter. This is not my usual cup of tea, but for some reason—that starts with ‘p’ and ends in ‘y’—I decide to strap myself to this rocket and see how far it goes. I’m entranced by her personality, her body, everything.
Halloween comes. I dress as Hugh Hefner, she’s a Playboy bunny. Bustier, fishnets, heels, pink ears. Out on the streets that night, we draw a thousand stares. Aw, who am I kidding—they were all looking at her.
We buy tickets for a journey to South America. Two weeks, no tour guide, just us and our combined weak-ass Spanish. We barely have the money to afford it but who cares. It feels like the world is our oyster. Photos from that trip still pluck a heartstring. It’s the best memory I have of our time together.
I know your next question. If she’s your ex-wife, weren’t there warnings signs?
Of course there were.
THE RED FLAGS
- The tramp stamp on her lower back. What a classic tell. I knew what it meant then, just like I know what it means now. I just didn’t care.
- The screaming fits when her desires cannot be fulfilled. On a couple occasions, I have to hold the phone away from my ear, the bellowing is so loud. My justification: It’s a phase. She’s seven years younger than me. She’ll grow out of it.
- The closet crammed full of designer shoes and designer clothing. On a part-time fifteen-dollar-an-hour wage.
- The Sex and the City ringtone on her phone. That damn song haunts me to this day.
- The way she walks a step ahead of me. She will not let me lead.
I knew these were red flags. I didn’t care. Here’s why.
- Her parents had a strong marriage. High school sweethearts, fun people, very loving.
- Her parents also liked me. A lot. Her dad gets drunk and falls off a roof into a pool the first night that I meet him. The second night I meet him, he tells me he loves me after I go around finishing other people’s cocktails in a tiki bar. Honestly, I loved that guy too. Everybody does. He is the life of the party, a larger than life character, an absolute force of nature. The type of guy that they will tell stories about for decades after he passes away. You know the type.
- I have total confidence in my ability to overcome relationship problems through the force of my own will.
- She’s smart. I assume I can reason with a smart person. (You know what they say about assumptions.)
I don’t remember how this happened in my head, but a year and a half of this rapturous passion goes by, without dimming, and I decide it’s time that we should get married. I search for and find a travel package – only $1000 for a winter trip for two to Vienna, Austria, plane and hotel included. She’d always wanted to go there.
I suggest the vacation. She gives an enthusiastic thumbs up. I purchase the package, then give her a card a day later. Inside I write: Do you know what’s going to happen in Vienna? As she reads it, I hold her eyes.
“What’s going to happen?” she says.
“Let’s go shopping this Saturday,” I reply.
Now she’s all excited. “For what?”
“You know for what,” I say.
Her eyes light up. She’s running around like a beautiful but overstimulated rat. That Saturday, with her at my side, I purchase the seven-thousand-dollar ring of her dreams, on credit. That was two months’ salary, more or less, at that time. Yes, I followed the classic advice for chumps, not knowing any better. (Today? It would be an eighty-dollar ring, or maybe just a kiss on the cheek.)
Interesting thing, though, was that I was the driver of the engagement and the marriage, not her. This is not typical. Usually men have to be dragged into a relationship. I guess it shows how certain I was that we were meant to be together.
Regardless, when we come back from Vienna with a pair of rings on our fingers, I have no idea of the absolute shitshow that was about to enter my life. And she is going to be the star.
Coming up in Part 2: How it all went bad.
*some identifying details have been changed.
You are a bundle of habits. They come in many sizes. Some you are aware of, many you are not. They are behaviors that survived long enough to become ingrained and are therefore on some level successful – but probably not optimal (though they may have been when you developed them).
Habits – good habits – are beneficial because they solidify successful behaviors while leaving your conscious mind free to work on more novel problems.
Your habits are reinforced by one another and the environment in which you life and move. An action prompts another action which sets the stage for another. Habits form a stream of actions that sweep you along rather smoothly. After all, when the transition from one action to another is jarring it is soon replaced with something easier.
You are a bundle of habits, and sometimes you want to change.
But that’s not always easy.
Your habits feed into each other. Each habit is maintained not because of its usefulness to you but because of its usefulness to your entire behavioral system. Like a stray cat it will stick around as long as you feed it. Unlike a stray cat it will bring along a friend, who will bring another friend, and so on.
Behaviors may be thought of as costing two things; time & decision-making. Time is a hard limit; we have so much in a day. Decision-making is a “softer” cost but mentally taxing and therefore annoying.
A behavior that becomes a habit does not cost less time (though you will probably figure out a way to do it faster), but it does cost significantly less decision-making.
And because that habit is always part of your behavioral system it will smoothly feed into the next decision-minimized habit, and so forth until you run out of time for the day. When the alarm rings the next morning the stream of habits begins to gush again, rushing you through the day until you trudge back to bed wondering what happened.
You are a bundle of habits, and sometimes you want to change.
Changing behavior is easy in theory but a new behavior must replace an existing habit – an existing habit that has already been optimized for easy transition. The new behavior will be a jarring one because it clashes with the existing flow.
How to make it happen?
Repeating the new behavior until it becomes a habit is the obvious answer. The comfort of routine will help with most anything once you get it going. If you keep it up it will eventually become an element in your behavioral system.
But remember that your behavioral system was optimized for the lifestyle you had before the new behavior. Unless the transition to the new behavior is as or more smooth than to the one it replaced you will find the new behavior jarring. Someday you might slip back into old habits. It’s always easy to justify the first lapse, but it is the beginning of a trend.
According to the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, people find it easier to quit smoking while on vacation. Why? The schedules and triggers developed over time are absent on a vacation, removing many of the prompts that lead to a smoke.
If you want to make changes in your daily life, consider the following guidelines:
- Change the beginning of your day. Your behavioral cascades probably begin with an alarm. By making changes at or near the beginning of the processes you will face fewer triggers and expectations set up by prior actions and habits.
- Make big changes rather than small ones. Because your habits and actions form a reinforcing system, a single small change will often seem uncomfortable and out of place. Replacing large sections of your behavioral system allows you to construct something that reinforces itself.
- Identify keystone habits that set the stage for everything else. Changing these will have disproportionate effects downstream.
We like to think of ourselves as rational and independent beings. If we want to see real results we need to lay our egos aside and look at the real mechanisms of our lives. One of those mechanisms is the habit.
Habits and environmental prompts are inevitable. Rather than fighting them or pretending they aren’t there, use them to your own advantage.
Every new habit dwells in the ruins of an older habit. If you want it you have to earn it.
Watch this, pay close attention around the 3:00 mark. Uber driver was accused of sexual assault, he showed videotape to the contrary. The women just wanted to get the guy for asking them not to smoke in his car. The police told the Uber driver that “there was not enough evidence that they lied to prosecute”. His life could have been ruined. I am not so ticked off at the women, they are what they are. I am ticked off at the law system that gives women a pass for perjury.
DON’S OFFICE (SUMMER 1945)
Feminism has been a powerful movement for about a hundred years now. Since it’s early years, feminism has worked for the advancement of socialism and for the objectification of women.
- I need feminism because SJW are a fun source of entertainment.
- I need feminism because I like to look at women who dress like sluts.
- I need feminism to better appreciate my wife who isn’t one.
- I need feminism…………uh……I can’t think of any more reasons, can you?
Or better yet, why do you not need feminism?
This is a continuation of a two part series on setting aside time to have a more formal discussion with members of your family. With the Continue reading “Family Council Part Two of Two”
Right out of High School, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. Sure, I wanted to have fun and I wanted to hook up with the hottest girls, Continue reading “A Loser With A Vision”