For Men Only: Three Ways to Cheat on Your Wife

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I love my wife. I really do. We’ve been happily married for over 30 years. Sometimes, however, she gets on my nerves regarding a certain subject, and I have to break away. Fortunately, I have strategically figured out three distinct ways to cheat on Barbara, and each one involves a different mistress.

Before I tell you my secrets, however, I must explain a bit about that “certain subject”: my weight. Barbara has this crazy idea that I should eat less junk food, so I can live a long, healthy life. Okay, I get it. She loves me. That’s a good thing, right? She also wants me to exercise more and eat fewer sweets, so I don’t add to my already expanding waistline. The exercise part, of course, makes sense. When I do work out, I feel better, and my 66-year-old bones don’t ache as much. But giving up sweets? I can’t do that.

Brownies, cookies, and ice cream — we go way back together. I’ve know them longer than I’ve known Barbara. They understand me. They appreciate me. And I appreciate them, so, yes, these are my three mistresses, and here’s how I secretly spend time with them.

Brownies. When Barbara makes brownies, I could easily devour half of the pan immediately. Naturally, she won’t let me get away with that, so when we sit down to watch television after dinner, she carefully cuts only a few of the brownies and serves them. Her cutting, though, has a flaw, one that I can exploit when she goes to bed early, and I stay up to watch a ballgame.

When you look at the photo of the shortbread brownies above, you’ll see that Barbara has removed a few for us, but she has also left a straight edge in the pan. Thus, if I foolishly cut one regular brownie to enjoy during the ballgame, detective Barbara will notice it the next morning and give me grief about it.

Grief. I don’t want grief. All I want is a brownie. So to cheat on her and enjoy the brownie, I simply cut another straight edge all the way down, and Barbara will never notice that anything is missing. And if you put the two options side by side, you can see that one, long, thin brownie is actually superior to a regular brownie. Good job, James.

Cookies. A similar scenario plays out whenever Barbara buys a box of cookies or a half gallon of ice cream. Normally, she doesn’t buy these treats because she knows I have no self-control, but if we’re having guests over for dinner and she doesn’t have time to bake, she might break down and bring these sweets home. When she does, though, she also brings a stern warning: “Don’t you even think about eating a cookie or tasting that ice cream beforehand.” Yes, Dear.

In upstate New York, we enjoy our Freihofer chocolate chip cookies, and their box is pretty secure with a perforated opening. As a result, if I open the box, Barbara will know, and, again, I will catch grief. Fortunately, the Freihofer box also has a minor flaw. With a little time and some careful manipulation, I can squeeze single cookies out through either end without breaking the perforation in the center. I usually take about a half dozen, and if Barbara ever notices that the box is not quite full when she opens it, she blames Freddy Freihofer and not me.

Ice cream. Sneaking Stewart’s ice cream out of its box without opening it is clearly impossible. Thus, I have to use an entirely different tactic. Fortunately, we use a special plastic container to keep our ice cream fresh in the freezer. So when Barbara is out walking the dog, I open the ice cream, eat directly from the cardboard container, and then when I’m finished eating, I remove the rest of the cardboard and place the plastic container over the remaining ice cream. Next, I flip the plastic container over, so the untouched bottom portion of the ice cream appears on top, and I place the plastic container in the freezer. When Barbara serves the ice cream after dinner, she’ll never notice that some of it is missing. In fact, she usually thanks me for taking the ice cream out of the cardboard and placing it in the plastic. Yes, I feel a little guilty at that point but not guilty enough to ever reveal my secret.

By the way, as part of the brotherhood of mankind, you, too, are now prohibited from revealing these secrets to your wives or your girlfriends. And if they start to notice that you’ve added a pound or two, please don’t give in to the pressure and reveal the truth. Instead, try going to the gym once in a while for crying out loud.

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Jim LaBate works as a writing specialist in The Writing Center at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in Troy, New York.

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