In search of the secret weapon to keep the peace |

In search of the secret weapon to keep the peace

Jarid Shipley

I celebrated six months with the girlfriend on Saturday.In the grand scheme of things, six months isn’t really a big deal, but still we planned to go out to dinner to celebrate – that was the plan anyway.

Yet just to assert her still iron grip on my life, fate decided that I wouldn’t be going to dinner, instead I would be working late into the evening and the girlfriend would be spending her night watching “Friends” reruns.

In my past relationships, this would elicit a gale-force storm of anger and resentment that left me looking like one of those Caribbean villagers who survived the hurricane.

Sure, I’m alive, but I look like I have no idea what’s going on, I move at about half-speed and I randomly point at the sky and cry.

But, I have to say, the girlfriend is an amazing woman in the way she looks at life when problems arise. She understands that it’s not my fault that Tahoe caught fire and I had very little choice in the matter.

I’m so not used to that.

Most of the time, something as bad as standing a significant other up on a milestone date requires a “soother” to help ensure the peace.

A “soother” is the one thing you can always count on to bring your significant other mild happiness, thereby overriding the anger or frustration they may be feeling about life, or you. Mostly you.

As several of my previous relationships have been more (cough) rocky, I have become especially adept at discovering and utilizing the soother. Call it self preservation – either I soothe the savage beast or she might introduce her three-inch heels to “Little Jarid.”

Since I’m pretty sure Little Jarid is allergic to heels, I’m going with the soother.

Every woman has one, it’s just a matter of discovering what it is. For some it’s flowers, for others it might be a nice gesture like making dinner.

For one of my exes it was cigarettes. Bring her cigarettes and you could sleep with her sister on national television and she’d forgive you – I’m guessing.

The soother principle especially applies to long-term relationships. Married men have this figured out because it’s more important to them.

If the girlfriend and I get in a fight and we can’t resolve it we break up, go our separate ways and that’s that.

If married people get in a fight and they can’t resolve it, they have to hire lawyers, one of them has to move from a house to a tiny singles apartment in my complex with the other losers, explain to the children why “daddy is a stubborn bastard and who ‘new-daddy Hank'” is, it’s just complicated.

This is also good practice for pregnancy, when the soother goes from a way to lessen the amount of trouble you are in to a life-saving device. A friend of mine – despite my warnings – got married and then got his wife pregnant. For the last three months of his pregnancy (not a typo, he was suffering too) he came home every night with Olive Garden Eggplant Parmesan.

That was the soother and it worked because he’s still alive and apparently still “challenged,” because they are considering having another kid.

Yep, the soother has bailed my oversized butt out of many a jam, but now it seems my highly developed skill will go to waste. Sure, I know what the girlfriend’s soother is, but I have not yet had to use it.

Don’t worry though, if I know me (and I do) it won’t be long before I say or do something stupid – probably on television.

I mean really stupid, a level of asinine akin to carrying an umbrella in a hurricane.

No doubt she will be mad at me.

Then I’ll show up with a pint of peanut butter ice cream, the hurricane will subside and “Little Jarid” will be safe for another day.

Got your significant other’s soother figured out? Tell me about it on the Party of One blog at

• Jarid Shipley is the Features Editor for the Nevada Appeal. Contact him a or 881-1217.