Learning To Love You More




Assignment #37
Write down a recent argument.

Jessica Hoffmann
Los Angeles, California USA



my partner and I, out to dinner at a family-style Italian restaurant. it's loud. we're facing each other across a big table and have to raise our voices to be heard at all. dinner's about half over.
d: if you see the waiter, get his attention.
me: why?
d: to ask for the check, so when we're done we can just go.
me: [laughter]
d: what?
me: in some countries they don't bring the check until well after you've finished eating, and then only if you ask for it. it's considered rude to rush someone's time at the restaurant my bringing the check early.
d: I like to be able to go when I'm ready to go. If I could sit here and smoke, I'd be glad to hang out. but since these anti-smoking Nazis-
me: [laughing] how much are you sort of deliberately exaggerating and being dramatic when you talk about no-smoking stuff and how much do you seriously feel entitled to smoke wherever you want, no matter how much other people don't want to be around it, it's bad for their health-
d: I'm totally serious. I'm not kidding or being dramatic at all.
me: wow.
d: wasn't that him [the waiter]? why didn't you stop him?
me: he was looking down. we didn't make eye contact. anyway, there's still dessert.
d: dessert? you're having dessert.
me: yes, it comes with dinner.
d: okay, I'll go have a smoke while you eat dessert then.
me: what?! I don't want to sit here alone eating ice cream.
d: why?
me: we're out to dinner together. that's totally rude to get up and smoke while I'm-
d: if there were other people with us, you wouldn't even notice. you could stay and have dessert with them while I smoked and then I could come back --
me: but there aren't other people with us. it's just rude to leave me at the table while you-
d: but why's it fair for me to sit and wait wanting a cigarette while you have dessert?
me: o my god.
d: what?
me: -- [silence]
never mind. I don't want dessert anymore anyway.
d: what? why?
me: because, eating dessert is a pleasurable activity. it's about pleasure. now I'm annoyed with you and not up for a pleasure activity. I'm annoyed now, not pleased.
d: that is so hoffmann. suddenly you don't even want it anymore.
me: I'm not doing this for leverage or to make a point. I truly don't want it anymore. I'm mad now, not in the mood to eat ice cream.
d + me: ---- [silence]
[the waiter approaches]
waiter: any dessert for you?
(as I'm about to say no), d: what do you have?
me: [laughter]
waiter: ice cream, spumoni, cheese cake...
d: cheese cake, I'll have a cheese cake. and coffee
waiter: and you?
me: [laughing] ice cream, please.
[to d] thank you.
we both laugh.