"Darn you, Thomas Friedman, quit being such a gloomy Gus."
That is what I said to my husband Thomas Friedman this evening.
I know all of the great things Thomas Friedman has done. The great things I have not memorized word for word, I have on the laminated bookmark Thomas Friedman made for me for quick reference: 50 Reasons Why Thomas Friedman Is the Greatests of the Greats.
But this evening, Thomas Friedman just got on my last nerve.
Thomas Friedman can say, "Oh Bettina, my moon worshiping third world child, you are feeling that way because of your monthly visitor."
Thomas Friedman can say that over and over if he wants. Thomas Friedman must have said that twenty times this evening and to be honest, it creeps me out. I have a period, not a monthly visitor.
I said, "Thomas Friedman, why must you speak in riddles? You make it sound like CPS is come to check on me. My monthly visitor? It is a period. Say what it is."
This just prompted Thomas Friedman to say I had PMS from my monthly visitor and that I got like this everytime it was time for my monthly visitor. I am not even on my period. I had my period when Thomas Friedman spent two days lying on the "vinatage linoleum" in the kitchen, curled up in a fetal position, sucking on his thumb and soiling himself. A period of time he now refers to as "primal scream therapy." There was nothing therapuetic about cleaning his mess off the kitchen floor, "vintage lineleum" or not.
But when Thomas Friedman gets an idea in his his head, he is right and everything just proves he is right even when, to anyone else, it proves he is wrong.
From the moment the paper was delivered this morning until he finally went to sleep tonight, Thomas Friedman has been moping around all day.
Nothing I say helps and is just one more reason why the world is against Thomas Friedman.
Finally, at six this evening, after he has not moved from that chair of his all day, I say, "Thomas Friedman, you are getting on my nerves."
Thomas Friedman's column schedule has been moved around. Now Thomas Friedman's column appears on Wednesdays and Fridays, I think. I should know because this is the only thing Thomas Friedman talks about but I really had to tune him out most of the day because I was not feeling very generous to him when every other minute he was griping about this.
"Paul Krugman! And two blowhards waxing on about taxes! No one wants to read that boring, old Europe shit in our post-9-11 world."
"Well," I say back to him, "that just means that people will read Thomas Friedman today because the other stuff is so boring. They will look at the page and be so happy that Thomas Friedman is on it saving them from the boring stuff."
No, Thomas Friedman, says they won't look at him at all.
Today, his column runs on the far right of the page and it is the fault of that "damn Gale Collins."
I am guessing he is so busy moping that he thinks this mighty wind blew his column over there.
Thomas Friedman is becoming so focused on this Gale Collins that he can think of nothing else.
At times, I start wishing this great gale would develop into something. Not a tsunami or a hurricane or anything that will hurt people, but something that would justify Thomas Friedman's constant obsession with it.
But his column is on the far right and "stupid Bettina even you should know" that readers eyes drift automatically to the left "not unlike this country unless we use the metaphorical ruler to rap them on their metaphorical wrists." So since readers eyes go to the left automatically, they will not notice Thomas Friedman at all.
He has been a gloomy Gus all day. And I made the mistake of saying, "Thomas Friedman, maybe you are just a little under the weather. Here, take some of my vitamins and see if that helps you."
Thomas Friedman has taken the entire bottle.
And my body must now crave the vitamin C it has so long been deprived of because all day long I have been feeling my skin is itching or crawling. Thomas Friedman suggested that I might have scurvy. And instead of thinking, "Oh Thomas Friedman must be right because he is always right," I ended up thinking, "For all the money he makes, why he insists on wearing those awful lime-green suits that look like he bought them off the rack at Sears, I will never know."
Or, "That mustache is not charming or cute and if he is going to try to pull it off, he should at least learn the importance of trimming it."
Or how about this? "Thomas Friedman uses a lot of words but in the end he really does not say anything and if his column is on the far right today, maybe that is because he belongs on the far right."
It must be the scurvy talking because everything he has done today irritates me.
At one point today when I again doubted the importance of where his column is placed, Thomas Friedman said to me, "Bettina, you are the only one who feels that way. Why, this morning, when I went to a Korean supermarket, the odd little creature behind the counter said, 'Thomas Friedman, you are a great man and you do not deserve to have your column run on the far right of the paper.' And when I hailed a cab this afternoon outside Manny's, the Pakistani cab driver said to me, 'Thomas Friedman, you are a great man and you do not deserve to have your column run on the far right of the paper.' Later, when I was standing in Central Park, a Guatamalan woman came up to me and said, 'Thomas Friedman, you are a great man and you do not deserve to have your column run on the far right of the paper.' So that, as they say, takes care of that."
I was just not in the mood for it.
I said, "Who is they! The they that say! And what is this nonsense about people talking to you! All the people you quote say exactly what you want to hear and speak exactly like you! And Thomas Friedman, you have not left that chair all day so do not tell me you have run into them because, other than a few dust bunnies under the chair, you could not have spoken to anyone today!"
Thomas Friedman's eye bulged as he whispered "Holy shit," put my bottle of vitamins up to his lips and took the last of them.
I was so mad because he had bogarted that bottle all day that I added, "And another thing! I do not think that I wore 300 count sheets in my village and if I did, I certainly did not wear ones like this with stains all over them. I think you are too cheap to let me spend money on dresses and so instead you continue to push these used, dirty sheets, purchased at Goodwill, off on me as my native dress!"
At least that shut Thomas Friedman up. He did not say another word to me all evening until he went to bed and he would look at me funny everytime I entered the room.
I am so tired from scrubbing the floors on my hands and knees and from squeezing his prunes for his fresh squeed prunes all day, and from doing his laundry in the kitchen sink because washing machines are "a sign of lazy character." I am tired from opening soy sauce packets and pouring them into a bottle.
I am tired of hearing, "Bettina, soda crackers now!" and having to stop whatever chore I am completing to run to the living room with a plate of his soda crackers and canned cheese which he says "does not taste right" and must have gone bad inside the can.
That does not stop him from eating it, oh no. Or asking for more.
And my scurvy must have given me a high fever because I keep having fantasies of living in a small apartment with an actual dishwasher and a vacuum cleaner and never having had to push one of those sweepers across the carpet. I am having fantasies of having my nails done and owning a Toyota. Surely we did not have cars in my mud hut village?
It must be the scurvy talking. Thomas Friedman's only words to me before going to bed tonight were, "First thing tomorrow, you are going by the pharmacy to pick up more pills."
I know I should be thinking, "The great Thomas Friedman is so concerned about my well being that it is the last thought on his brain before turning in. Not that Gale Collins that he is obsessed over, but me." Instead I just think, "I have scurvy and his lazy ass is sending me out on one more errand."
It must be the scurvy talking.