My husband insists on having me cook dinner.  But then he distracts me with affection.  How can I best divide my time?

-Sophie

 

Sophie, or may I call you Sophistocles, this is the kind of stuff Fats wakes up for.  Or to.  He wakes up to this often, because his upstairs neighbors Tal and Vickie Buttress love to argue about affection and cuisine.  I can count the number of times I have awoken to the shrill cries of “Stop grabbing my boobs while I’m seasoning the loin tips, jerkwad” on exactly 43 fingers.  But I won’t take the time to do that, because I’m severely lacking fingers.

I often gets asked for advice on relationship issues, but this one is a bit different.  Personally, I’m a bit tired of trying to answer how to get men to show more affection or, in most cases, any affection whatsoever.  I had one devoted reader call me directly and frantically ask how to tell if her husband was even alive.  Admittedly, my phone number is 191, and I get mis-dialed emergency calls with some regularity.  The point is this – stop calling me for emergencies; WRITE ME questions instead. 

Sophistocles, it appears as though your issue is how to please your husband in more ways than one at the same time – multi-tasking if you will.  There are numerous ways to do this.  One is actually borrowed from a fellow Greek writer, Aristophanes, in his classical play Lysistrata.  In this play, the men were doing something the women didn’t particularly appreciate, namely killing each other.  So the women took away something the men wanted, in this case their naughty bits, until they stopped killing each other (the men, not the naughty bits.)  It didn’t take too long – I don’t remember the exacts, but it was probably about 2 minutes of deliberation before the men threw down their shields, drank excessively, molested a young boy, and collapsed before making it home to their wives.  You can use this in your situation too – if he is doing something you don’t like, such as showing you affection, you should withhold something he likes, such as all food and water.  It won’t be long before he sees things your way and molests a young boy too. 

There is also the slight possibility that you might actually DESIRE his affection.  While unusual, I can’t discount any possibilities in giving you the best help I can.  In essence, you want to keep both the affection and the manual labor (not to be confused with Manuel Labór, the naughty Flamenco Pastry Chef.  Although, to be perfectly frank, you can learn a thing or two from Manuel.  In his autobiography, Ball Change Boink, he discusses how to keep some sizzle on his éclairs by adding special pheromones to them.  I’m not recommending you do exactly this, because his idea of adding pheromones was sweating on your crullers, but perhaps you should go find a copy of his book, as there are some good ideas in there too.  Or you could simply buy my book: Fats’ Hand-Written Copies of Foreign Books That Were In English To Begin With, which contains his book yet profits me.  I digress, and with that, I close this parenthetical.)  So how do you accomplish this fine line walking?

Prostheses.  Your problem is nothing a few functional yet out-of-the-way limbs couldn’t handle sufficiently.  While you are stirring your broth and flaxing your Omega 3s, your third arm can be holding the hand of your adoring husband, and your smaller fourth one can be best utilized slapping him around if he gets out of line.  After all, the last thing you want to deflate your soufflé is an ill-timed set of handcuffs and a blindfold.  This may or may not be applicable to your situation.  But I think it not at all appropriate to invite you to use your imagination as to the benefits of a tail. 

Finally, if for some reason you want to keep within your current bodily limitations, you can always go with the less flashy but always effective method of Pavlovian conditioning.  First, wrap yourself in barbed wire.  Then, while you’re cooking and your husband comes up behind you with a gentle embrace, he will puncture himself on your protective exoskeleton.  This may seem cruel, but actually two good consequences could happen.  If he does not like getting punctured with razor-sharp wire, he will slowly stop showing you affection while you cook, and will take more time to show you affection at other times where you are not wrapped in searing pain.  If, however, he enjoys getting cut by your defenses, this will eventually train his brain to associate pain with hunger, since every time he will get punctured, he will get dinner shortly afterwards.  This will be a great time to send him to Los Angeles to be a stuntman, as they endure both many daily pains and many Kraft service carts.  Think of the quiet nights you’ll have, not worrying about his unwelcome ‘Roman’ tendrils or his growling tummy.

Sophistocles, I hope your marriage lasts.  I say that with optimism, unlike the poor Buttress couple upstairs who absolutely need to think of another insult besides ‘jerkwad.’  I don’t see them lasting beyond this month without a good marriage counselor.  Perhaps I can refer them to Mr. Labór.  Anyway, updates are always welcome, but even more importantly, everyone else needs to send me your questions.