John Gray is a cold-blooded manipulatist

by Jonah

It all started this morning.

Our insurance, or Berck’s employer… someone.  Wants us to get bloodwork done, and in exchange they will deposit some amount of money into our health savings account.  Free money.  The e-mail I got said it’s $75.  Berck insists it’s a grand.  All I know is that I had to either A) go to the doctor B) print out a voucher and go to LabCorp.  LabCorp opens at 7:30.  I was there at 7:25 this morning and was out at 7:45, plenty of time to get to work.

But the lining came unzipped from my jacket and wouldn’t zip back in.  I have a Chinese leather jacket.  It so stinking cool.  But none of the zippers work.  The zippers are probably made out lead.  I’ve already replaced the zipper in the front.  I’m thinking I’ll need to replace the one for the lining.  I sat on the floor in front of LabCorp for five minutes trying to zip it back up.

I blame my jacket for the reason I forgot my bag at LabCorp this morning.

Then one our firm’s three attorneys brought me coffee this morning.  I’d already made myself a double espresso, but I drank it anyway.  I love free coffee.  I shouldn’t have drunk it.

Daylight saving ended this weekend.  That means I’m not getting up in the dark and am not in need as quite as much caffeine.  Too much caffeine makes me agitated.  Maybe that’s what made me so mad.

Our receptionist has a great attitude.  I mean, utterly fantastic.  She’s very enthusiastic.

And she has zero memory.  I mean, less than a goldfish.  I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no point in telling her anything.  She’ll just forget it.  I timed it once.  45 minutes.  Nothing.  Deer in the headlights look.

So asking her to remember something from Monday is a real stretch.  My colleague Jane had told her then that, if an attorney isn’t available, tell a client calling, “He’s away from his desk.  Can I transfer you his paralegal or take a message?”

Instead, today she told a client of mine that one of my attorneys was with a client.

Now this attorney she’s referring to only comes down to the Colorado Springs office once a week.  Mostly, he works out of his Denver office.  All my clients know this.  And he wasn’t here today.  The receptionist knew this.  And she had no way of knowing whether he was seeing a client at his Denver office or not.  And, apparently, for the life of her, she couldn’t remember to say, “He’s not at his desk.”

I was agitated.  I was FURIOUS.

I didn’t say anything.  I’ll talk to my boss tomorrow.

Also, by now I realized I’d left my bag at LabCorp.  Fortunately, with nothing perishable in it.  Now I’ve got to get up early tomorrow too to pick it up on the way to work.

It snowed Tuesday.  Not enough to amount to much, but it meant one of us had to drive the Land Cruiser.  The Land Cruiser’s name is Frances.  I drove Frances to work because I had less far to drive than Berck.  I drove her again yesterday for the same reason.  I like driving Frances.  She doesn’t drive herself.  She requires planning ahead, strategy, tactics.  But she’s alright.  Here’s a picture of her.  Isn’t she beautiful?

Something very sad happened September 15.  We had left our WRX at our favorite Mexican restaurant overnight, and someone careened off the highway and smashed into it, totalling it.

So we bought me a new car. And the car we bought is a Ford Focus RS. Here’s a picture:

Now, if you haven’t heard of the RS, you might be thinking, oh, a Focus, nice sensible car, good gas mileage.


The “RS” is an extremely important distinction.  The RS stands for “really super”.  Maybe.  This is a RIDICULOUSLY fast car. It is so much fun to drive.

So I got in the car tonight after work.  Daylight saving has ended.  The caffeine has worn off.  And while driving Frances is fun, driving the RS is so stinking cool.  I was in a great mood.  There was a new episode of one of my favorite podcasts by one of my favorite radio producers from before there were podcasts.

If you have 40 minutes of driving or otherwise, I highly recommend you listen to this episode of Heavyweight by Jonathan Goldstein.  I drove home weeping while listening to it.  Also, I had the ability to go faster than anyone else, which is fantastic.

Berck had stopped by Colorado Liquor Outlet on his way home for Family Card Weekend.  I knew because I had created a calendar item for him, with two separate notifications, and I IMed him so that he would remember to go.  If you have a Family Card, which are free but have to be acquired BEFORE the monthly Family Card Weekend, and you go to Colorado Liquor Outlet (not on the weekend, as you might think the from name of event) on the second Thursday of the month, you can get the cheapest prices on wine and liquor in the Pikes Peak area.

So driving home, weeping and formerly agitated, I thought, I sure could use a drink and a neck rub.  And here’s where John Gray comes in.

As you may know, John Gray wrote an extremely popular book called Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.  (Berck would like to let you know that this is not the major league pitcher, nor the black preacher, nor the English philosopher).  I’m not sure how valuable this book might be to men, but I highly recommend that any woman in male/female relationship read it.  Here is an excellent example.

My favorite passage from the book is about how to get a man to do things you want him to do.  Spoiler alert… here’s not how to: nag.

It’s under a heading called, “How to ask for support and get it.”  There are several steps.

The first thing to do is to remember that, when you ask your man to do something, you can’t give him all the reasons why he should do it.  That just starts an argument.  First, John Gray says, you have to start asking him to do the little things he was going to do anyway and thanking him for doing them. It makes him feel like a knight in shining armour, a conquering hero.

At some point you can work up to getting him to do anything you ask.  So says John Gray.

So I started thanking my man for the little things he did, hoping to work my way up to asking him to do anything.

I’ve been on step 1 for the past 14 years.

I thanked Berck for going to the liquor store.

I had to make my own drink.

I think I’ll go ask for  a neck rub.  Goodnight.





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