Standards and practices.

Time to Settle Accounts

May 30, 2012: Standards and practices.

Mark Duplass & Katie Aselton in “The Puffy Chair.”

New Jack and I were on couches watching 2005 “mumblecore” comedy The Puffy Chair when the female lead nuzzled into the male lead and asked, “What do you love about me?”

The couple had just gotten into bed for the night, and the man stammered as he tried to persuade his girlfriend to rain check the conversation until the next day.

“She sucks,” New Jack said.

“Why?”

“They’re going to bed. Why bring that up right then?”

“He’s just an amateur. That conversation could have been over by now.”

“You would actually indulge her?”

“You have to.”

“So this is normal?” he said, looking me dead in the eye.

I nodded. “I don’t know how it goes with dudes, but that’s Chick Dating 101. Answer the question.”

“But you’re sleeping!”

“It takes two seconds,” I said. “‘Baby, you’re so beautiful. And I learn so much from you every day.’ Kiss, kiss, cuddle, hold her hand, back to sleep.”

“Man…” Jack said. He leaned back in his couch, his eyes flickering in frenzied thought. I was messing about on my computer, and Justin walked in with a salad and sat down next to Jack.

“This was pretty good,” Justin said, motioning to the screen.

“What did you think about her?” Jack asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Did she annoy you?”

“Nah,” Justin said through some lettuce, “she was just a normal chick.”

New Jack leaned forward and placed his palms on his forehead. “‘Just a normal chick.’ You said that right away.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Jack doesn’t realize that women ask probing questions at night,” I said.

“Oh yeah,” Justin said, as he dipped celery in hummus. “I remember this scene. Yeah, he should have been ready with that answer. You plan that months in advance.”

“So that’s really what happens?” Jack asked.

“Yep.”

“I thought this movie was just making her look unreasonable and erratic,” he said.

“Nope.”

“I’m so glad I’ll never date a woman,” he said.

NEXT: Witness. (6.21.12)

PREVIOUS: Faces in the crowd. (5.25.12)

On this date, 2011: And the living is easy.

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