All women, whether they know it or not, seek to improve their partners, whether they want to be improved or not. This may sometimes work with partners who are willing to spoil it for the rest of us, but generally it is a hopeless task.
My wife is one of those who has made a permanent date with failure when it comes to partner improvement. She has made many attempts over the years to improve me without notable success. This does not deter her.
She decided recently that the national obesity crisis has come a little too close to home. She noticed that my girth had passed the cuddly mark, waved goodbye to the fuller prosperous look and now flirted with the tub-of-lard classification, which is not yet recognized by the Centers for Disease Control but probably will be, the way things are going.
So she went out the other day and bought a juicer (reader alert: this may turn out to be a trend story). I would be blended and juiced to svelte proportions and good health. She would join me in solidarity because she feels she must lose weight, too, like every other woman in America.
Apparently, the traditional question "Does this dress make me look fat?" has been supplanted by "Does this culture make me look fat?" and uniformly the answer is "yes." Thus are the sales of juicers juiced.
Before a regular diet of smoothies and juiced vegetables was embarked upon in something approaching moderation, we would have to do a three-day intensive cleansing. No caffeine, no alcohol, no sandwiches, no doughnuts, no pie, no this, no that, just vegetables pulverized in the blender/juicer, so that they become a goo similar to that thrown around by the spirits in the old "Ghostbusters" movie.
Apparently, the theory is that after this cleansing, the toxins in the body will flee, yelling, "Help, help, get us out of here, we can't stand the goo."
The problem is that I can't stand the goo, either. Can't the toxins be made to leave my body with the aid of a supportive hamburger or lamb chop? Something with a little texture? Something, in short, that is not goo.
Why did I consent to this? Worse yet, as I write this, it is only the second day of the ordeal. We went to a wonderful dinner party with real food Saturday night, but that seems so long ago now.
I should have known trouble was brewing when the kitchen began to resemble a harvest festival, with fruit and vegetables piled high in preparation for the juicing. Then, when I woke up yesterday, my wife was already down in the kitchen firing up what sounded like a cement mixer. Grrr, grrr. This was the juicer. Lord help me, this was breakfast.
It was a festive red goo for breakfast. To which my stomach said, grrr, grrr in its own way. Goodness knows what was in it. Beets, lemon, sundry inoffensive vegetables cruelly used and cruelly served.
She also made lunch, which consisted of a green goo. Talk about variety! That was one lunch that was never a threat to be stolen by lunch burglars visiting the office fridge. It had the appearance of pond scum. It is depressing to think we spent hundreds of dollars on a juicer and the same result could have been had with a swimming pool scoop in stagnant water.
That was the last straw for me. Am I a man or a mouse? Wish I were a mouse -- mice at least get to eat cheese. She then conceded that our homemade juicing efforts had not been totally successful and we should change tactics. We would go to a little juicing store in the nearby village for professional help.
Having received my orders, I duly bought today's juiced lunch and tomorrow's liquid breakfast. I hate to say it, but the lunch smoothie was very tasty. I will come back, but I am pretty sure this will be a healthy break in my diet, not the whole diet. Real men don't need straws for their lunch.
If you have had great juicing experiences, I say good for you and I hope you don't stick your straw up your nose in a fit of enthusiasm. Each to his own.
I also say "Pass me a sandwich" in my usual unimproved way. It is not clear whether any toxins fled my body, but the joy of life certainly did.
Reg Henry: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1668.