Sometimes a hero’s beloved doesn’t want to be loved, which makes the hero lament the lack of lovin’.
Once upon a time… there was a hungry man who loved pie. He married a beautiful woman who made the best pie in the world. He could smell each pie before she even told him she was baking one, and when she’d cut the first slice, his mouth watered in anticipation. The filling always looked so warm and inviting he just had to have a bite, or at least dip his finger in it for a quick taste. The woman loved making the pies, loved sharing them with the man, and loved that he loved her pie. After eating the pie, the man usually took a nap and felt full for at least a few hours, but mostly he spent his days thinking about the next pie from his beloved.
One day, the man got home and caught a familiar whiff of scrumptious pie coming from the kitchen. As he approached, his beloved heard his steps and cried out:
“Stay out of the kitchen!”
“Wherefore, my beloved! Are you in peril?”
“No. Just don’t come in here.”
“But I smell pie. My favorite kind. Shall we feast together as usual?”
“It’s not for you. Just stay out.”
Disheartened, the man reversed course without entering the kitchen, confused by the aroma of the forbidden pie, but wishing to spare his beloved any further agitation. A while later, she emerged from the kitchen holding a freshly-baked, mouth-watering masterpiece of a pie, with one perfect slice already cut.
“Oh my sweet!” cried the man, “This was worth the wait. I beg forgiveness for my earlier haste. Let us now sit and enjoy this most perfect of pies together!”
“I told you—it’s not for you.”
“But … you vex me woman. If not for me, then is it for the Royal Gallery? It would be a tragedy not to partake of this pie, but then again, it would also be a tragedy to destroy such art as this by consuming it.”
“No, it’s just going to sit here for a while, then I’m putting it down the disposal.”
“Alas! How could you forsake such a divine gift as this pie? I forbid it!”
“Tough shit. It’s not your pie.”
“O, sweet agony! Pray thee let me sit here and gaze at it if I am forbidden to touch it.”
“I’d rather you didn’t. In fact, I’m taking it back into the kitchen while I warm up the disposal. You stay out here.”
“Cruel, cruel fate! Will I ever have pie again, or do you plan to starve me?”
“Maybe. If I feel like it. I dunno. I might be hungry for pie again in a month or so, but seriously, I’m feeling pretty much finished with pie for a while.
The crestfallen man asked one more question before his beloved got to the doors of the kitchen:
“Darling, my precious, if I’m forbidden even a taste of your delectable pie, do you mind if I look at the pictures in ‘Pie Monthly’ and pretend to eat for a while? I’m still very hungry.”
“Asshole.” With that, the man’s beloved returned to the kitchen with her perfect pie, never to be seen or tasted again.
I composed that story as one of the few active male participants in an online discussion mostly populated by pregnant women, including my wife. They were commiserating about how annoying it was when their husbands couldn’t seem to keep their hands off their tender breasts or other parts when they felt so thoroughly unsexy. My sympathy was tempered by the feeling that I didn’t like being cast as a selfish horndog (along with those other husbands) for still having the same desires and not being able to tell when advances that had a history of being welcomed would be considered annoyances through no fault of my own. Saying it that way would have been sexual suicide (remember, my wife was reading), so I went with that story accompanied by the following epilogue:
“To sum up: we husbands get that you don’t care about pie as much as us, but unfortunately, we’re hungry most of the time and you control the pie. We can’t help ourselves reaching for a slice sometimes even if you aren’t serving it up. If we can’t have the pie, we’ll sometimes reach for the cupcakes (which are yummy in their own right.) We don’t mean to annoy, we’re just very hungry. You can help out by giving us a little slice of something to take the edge off now and again, even if it’s not quite that full serving of pie we long for.”
I got laughs, but no pie or cupcakes.