Can't Live with 'Em

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Frank slammed his beer mug down on the bar counter, startling several patrons sitting opposite him. He waved them off apologetically, watching the flecks of foam slide down the interior of the now empty glass.

"See, that's what I'm talking about. The temper." Joe said. Joe sat next to Frank at the bar, watching his friend who refused to make eye contact with him.

The bartender slid another beer into Franks hands. Frank snatched it up, taking another long swallow from the glass. He stared ahead, not looking away, before finally speaking.

"Is that what she told you? That I lost my temper?" Frank propped his elbows up on the counter and took another swig of beer.

Joe put his hand on Frank's shoulder and nodded his head. "Yes."

Frank shook his head, laughing. "Oh man, that woman. I swear." Frank set his beer down and turned to look Joe in the eye."That woman is a machine Joe. She's a machine sent from the future to make my life miserable."

"A machine sent from the future? To make your life miserable?" Joe chuckled. "That's the stupidest thing I ever heard."

Frank laughed as well, snickering into his beer mug. "It's the only explanation I can come up with. It's like she does this stuff on purpose."

"What is she doing that makes you so miserable? From the sound of it, you're the one who's making her miserable. She called us this evening. Frank, she was really scared."

Frank turned to look his friend in the eye. A sincere look of worry was painted on Joe's face. His eyes were pleading and full of concern. "Scared?"

"She said you went on a rampage Frank."

"I punched a wall. I'd hardly consider that a rampage."

"Well it scared her. Scared her enough to call us."

Frank turned back toward the bar. "You've known me my entire life Joe. I've never hit anybody in my life. I'm not a violent person.

"I also know that you are married now. Marriage can be stressful."

"That's what I'm talking about when I said she's making my life miserable. She's got my best friend on her side now."

"Hey hey now. I'm not on anybody's side. I think that's one of the problems Frank. You're making sides. There are no sides. It's just you and your wife against the world. As soon as you realize that, your life will get a lot better."

Joe grabbed Frank's beer and led him over to a booth in the corner. He signaled the bartender for two more beers as they slid into their seats.

"She really is driving me crazy Joe."

"What is she doing?"

Frank sighed and hunkered over his beer. "You name it. First she complains because we need more money. So I go out and get a promotion. Then she complains I'm not spending any time with her." Frank held out his arms in front of him. "Of course I'm not spending as much time with her. I'm earning more money like she asked."

The bartender came, with two more mugs of beer, and slid one under Joes nose. Joe grabbed the beer and took a long sip. "You guys are going through what everybody goes through. Me and Stacey had this argument a couple of months ago."

"It's not just that, it's a lot of things. She claims I don't show her enough attention and that I don't care. So I try to do nice things for her, give her the attention she deserves, and she complains that I'm forcing it and smothering her."

Joe laughed. "Women are fickle. This is classic. You're going through what every guy goes through Frank. There is no conspiracy."

Frank smiled, finishing off his beer. "Maybe you're right. Maybe you're right."

Together the two talked the rest of the night, mostly complaining about their women. In the end they both came to the same conclusion. They loved their wives.

As they stumbled out the bar and toward the awaiting taxi, Joe held Frank up with his arms. "Come on buddy, I'm on strict orders to take you to my house. Stacey is over at your house right now with your wife. We're all gonna meet up together in the morning for breakfast."

Frank stumbled and Joe caught him. "Thanks Joe. Do you think our wives are cheating on us?"

"With each other?" Joe asked.

They bothe raised their eybrows and exchanged puzzled glances before climbing into the cab.

"I don't think so Frank, but if they are, they're doing a good job of hiding it." There was no answer from Frank. Joe looked over to seem him slumped over in his seat, fast asleep.

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