Ray: How did Valentine's go?
Ed: Not good; she was moody all day.
Ray: Uh huh, what did you do now?
Ed: Nothing, she's just moody.
Ray: You did something. Confess.
Ed: Not that I know of.
Ray: That's the worst thing a guy can do, not know. Did you ask her why she's mad?
Ed: No, if I bring it up, she flies off the handle.
Ray: Yeah, but it's just something you have to get through. Don't let it fester.
Ed: You don't know Marcy. She'll rant for days. I let these things slide until she comes around then I ask her.
Ray: Never works.
Ed: Sure it does.
Ray: No it doesn't. If you don't deal with it, they add it to the list.
Ed: Oh yeah, The List.
Ray: Yup, women always keep a list.
Ed: I once found -- The List.
Ray: What do you mean you found it? The list is in their minds. Are you saying you actually found a written list?
Ed: Yup, I was looking through the file cabinet and there in the bottom drawer, tucked under a pile of old photos, was - The List.
Ray: Have you any idea how important an artifact like that is? It's like finding the Rosetta Stone. Let's be perfectly clear here; you found Marcy's list?
Ed: No, Shelley's list.
Ray: Shelley? Who the blazes is Shelley?
Ed: You remember her: blond frizzy hair, the vegetarian?
Ray: Oh yeah, Shelley. She actually kept a written list?
Ed: Sure did. She kept a file folder two inches thick, with every grudge indexed by category and marked with a colored highlight tab.
Ray: Wow, so you read The List?
Ed: Of course I did.
Ray: Well, don't keep me in susense, what did it say?
Ed: It said I was a weasel.
Ray: Yeah, that's a given but what else?
Ed: Mostly that I was: a weasel, a jerk and a loser. She wrote a lot of it holding the pen like a chisel.
Ray: What else did she write?
Ray: You mean like everything, everything?
Ed: Yep, she kept a detailed chronology of my every transgression, right down to the granularity of the quarter hour. It shed a lot of light on her behavior; for one thing it cleared up why she was always checking her watch. I often wondered why she did that.
Ray: Two inches of dirt, eh?
Ed: Not really, only half an inch was mine, the rest belonged to her old boyfriends.
Ray: Are you serious? She kept a combined list!! Tell me, how did you stack up?
Ed: That is just the thing. all the lists were exactly the same.
Ray: Really? So what did you do?
Ed: I had to get it out in the open, The next time the fur flew, I told her, "This fight is over. I want you to take a sheet of paper and write everything you like about me on one side and on the other, write everything you don't like. I'll do the same.
She came back a few minutes later for another sheet of paper.
When she finished, she had a single line on the "like" page. It said "you have good taste in music". On other side, she wrote, "You're a weasel. You're a liar. You're a jerk." It went on for pages.
Ray: Isn't that kind of redundant?
Ed: You're right, I told her a weasel, liar and jerk are really one thing, not three.
Ray: So then what did you do?
Ed: I broke up with her, of course. We were fighting too much anyway.
Ray: You broke-up over a list of The List. Wow, that's one for the books.
Ed: I didn't mention The List; that came later.
Ray: Later? You got back together after breaking up over The List?
Ed: Sure, she was one hot vegetarian. After we made up, she walked off to rummage around somewhere in the apartment then came back to say, "Honey, now that we are getting back together, here is a few things I need you to work on." It was The List.
Ray: That's hilarious!
Ed: I was at an advantage; I knew about the combined list. So I flipped through the pages, knowing what I would find. I peeled off about half of it and asked, "Hey Honey, Who is Raul and wasn't John the guy you dated before me?"
It was the high point of our relationship -- I had her cold - but when I cracked up, she realized I knew all about The List so she chased me out of her place.
Ray: That is funny, so what are you going to do about Marcy?
Ed: Her moods are her problem, but I tell you what...
Ed: I'm keeping a list.
© Greg Schiller, 2009
Author: Greg Schiller
Feel free to rummage around my collection of essays and stories at Greg's Garage