Saturday, April 2, 2011

Marriage Under Pressure Over Pressure Cooker

Berkeley, CA

Tim and Laura Ruby have been married for fourteen years.  They have two beautiful daughters and a relationship that many of their friends envy...some of the time. 

According to friends and neighbors, the Ruby's relationship is a roller coaster, with extreme highs and lows.  They had been going strong all year, until Tim recently blew his top over his wife's recent purchase for the family kitchen.

"I just can't relax anymore with that thing shaking, spinning, and whistling in my kitchen every night," complains Tim.  "They're just not safe.  We have small children in the house, for goodness sake.  Not to mention the overcooked vegetables."

Laura, on the other hand, insists that her new pressure cooker is completely safe, and that her husband is "an overcooked vegetable" himself, if he can't get with the times.  Pressure cookers, she argues, are designed better than they used to be, and no longer a cause for anxiety if only her "overly pressurized husband" would bother reading the consumer reports.

Both spouses agree that before the purchase in question, they had been getting along famously.  Now the two have not spoken  to each other in days.  "It's kind of annoying," says Shannon Ruby, Tim and Laura's twelve year-old daughter, who has been relaying messages between her parents since last weekend.  "On the other hand," she adds, "when they were getting along, it was like 'I wuv you, my sweet puppy wuppy.'  It made me sick.  I think this might actually be better."

Maureen Vinrod, Tim and Laura's ballroom dance instructor, has taken Tim's side in the argument.   "He used to be so graceful on his feet," she reports, "but now he's tense and stiff.  On the bright side, his spins have improved a lot, though the simultaneous hissing sounds are rather unconventional."

Marjorie And Sam Warner, the Ruby's closest friends, disagree over who to support in the current conflict.  Marjorie argues that Laura has long been too accommodating of Tim's over-the-top reactions.   "You should have seen the tantrum he threw last year when Laura tried to switch from powdered to liquid laundry detergent,"  she reports, "and that time a few years back when she bought crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy."   Sam, on the other hand, feels that Laura blatantly disregards her husband's preferences.  "She makes all these unilateral decisions.  Who does she think she is?"

All of the Ruby's friends and associates have already taken sides.  As the name calling and finger pointing escalate around them, Tim and Laura continue to give each other the silent treatment, complete with upturned noses and hostile glares.  The family home has turned into a veritable pressure cooker. 

So much so that the Ruby's seven-year old daughter, Sara, has arranged a tea party with her parents and all of her stuffed animals to try to talk the problem out.  Tim and Laura have both R.S.V.P.'d that they will be there.  "Deep down, I still weawy wuv my wittle pookie wookie," says an emotional Tim Ruby.    Laura says she is "optimistic" about the tea party and plans to put her best foot forward to resolve the conflict.


  1. My suggestion - they should build a little cabin just behind their house, in the yard, to house the pressure cooker, thereby taking the pressure off Tim. Plus it would give him a place to retreat from Laura's unilateral decisions. A. Shapiro

  2. Not a bad idea, Dad! I'll tell them.

  3. He can keep his stash of creamy peanut butter out there, too! Creamy vs. crunchy....that alone could destroy a marriage!