From September 10 to November 10, we are not going to eat any deep fried foods. No french fries, no doughnuts, no tiny spicy chicken, no egg rolls, no potato or tortilla chips. Nada. One of our credit cards allows us to get gift cards with our reward points, and we're only a couple of dollars away from having enough points to qualify for a $50 gift card to any one of a number of places. If we both survive to November 10, we share the gift card. If one of us caves, then the other one gets the gift card all to him or her self! Eric and I are each pretty confident in our ability to out-last the other one, as evidenced by the fact that we've each determined how we are going to spend our $50 card once November 11 rolls around.
For my part, I've been a little bit insufferable since we started, teasing Eric incessantly, reminding him (a la Mohammad Ali) that he really doesn't have a chance of winning this bet, because I am far more stubborn and ruthless than he is, and if I have to resort to evasive and underhanded tactics to trick him into eating forbidden foods, I certainly will. (let's not forget who makes the meals in our household, shall we?)
So, with that background, I take you to last night: I am casually washing the mascara off my eyes, and mentally running through the events of my day while Eric sits on our bed, doing a little bit of sketching. As I mull over the events of the day, I think about the finance meeting we held in the afternoon, and some of the phone conversations I had, and part of the book that I read in the evening when I should have been attending my ward Enrichment Meeting. Then I get thinking about lunch. Gregorio had brought in sandwiches for lunch today, in honor of one of our associates who has been here consulting for a few days and will now be heading back to California (and then to India for a bit, but that's a different story). As I was remembering the delicious Reuben sandwich that I was able to enjoy earlier, in my mind's eye, I looked over the plate that held that sandwich, along with a bunch of grapes, a scoop of potato salad, and (GASP) at least a handful of potato chips! HORRORS!! AGONY!! HUMBLE PIE!!
I had been so focused on not eating french fries and doughnuts (my two biggest deep-fried-temptations), that I hadn't even thought about the chips being forbidden as I blithely munched away! What was I going to do?! It only took me a millisecond to examine my options. Eric didn't know about my mis-step, and the only way he would ever find out would be if I told him. So, I could just keep quiet about the whole thing, and live with the fact that I had lied to my husband a brief five months after our wedding date. Or, I could come clean, announce that I had lost the bet, and concede defeat. Or, (and this is where I struck brilliance) I could try to trick Eric into thinking that it was HE who had actually lost the bet, then admit that I had failed too, and we could call it a draw and start all over.
I went into the bedroom (mascara-less now), and cuddled up to Eric in the most alluring way I could manage. It took a little bit of perseverance to get him to shift his focus from the sketchbook to my adorable-ness, but I am a master at perseverance, and so I eventually succeeded.
Sweetly, I reminded Eric of the afternoon of September 10 (Which was actually five hours before we officially started the bet. I didn't mention this little fact in my argument however.), during which he had enjoyed a full serving of french fries with his lunch, a serving of french fries that was really practically forbidden, since we had determined that we were going to have a bet, and just hadn't set up the terms for it yet.
I reasoned that since Eric had enjoyed fried foods after we had determined that we were going to stop eating them, wasn't it only fair that I have one last opportunity to enjoy a little indulgence before I swore them off for 60 long days? I mean really, is that too much to ask? It seemed fair to me.
I could go on with the additional arguments that I made, with detailed description of my masterful handling of the situation, using a talent for persuasiveness that even surprised me.
But, what's the point of going into all that detail? The fact is, Eric didn't go for it. He saw right through my deception, and asked for the straight unblemished truth. Faced with that, I spilled the beans, and immediately went into begging mode. "Please! Please! It was an accident! You have to have mercy on me! I can't lose this bet a mere two-and-a-half days after we start it! I'll do anything! You love me! Remember?"
Now, Eric is nothing if not a softie. So, it is really quite miraculous that he held out for a good ten minutes of begging and wheedling, and promising, and flirting, and even more "-ing" before he finally agreed to forgive my indiscretion and let me continue in my quest to win the elusive gift card.
And so, the bet is still on, and my quest continues. I'm lucky to live with such a forgiving and good natured husband.
Still, I can't help but feel that with this development, my current position is greatly diminished.
I can't help but wonder what "The Great Ali" would do now.