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Excerpt from Sex, Cheese and French Fries

Chapter Twelve

The Reasons I Stay

Illustration by Jeannie Winston

By now you may be wondering how it is that I am still with Pierre after all these years. Whenever we have a houseguest, whether they stay one weekend or until the end of time (which has often the case), they always end up asking me:

"How do you do it?"

"I don't know," I say.

"I just couldn't," they insist.

I raise my eyebrows, shrug my shoulders and nod understanding.

"He's a real case," they say.

"You're telling me," I say.

"He's kind of impossible," they say.

"I know," I say. "I'm going straight to heaven."

"Yes, you are," they say.

"I get to pass go, collect 200 million dollars, and slide right on through those pearly gates, no questions asked."

They laugh.

"But really, tell me, where do you get the patience?"

During the first few months of our relationship, a close friend of Pierre's, an American woman named Judy, asked me why I was going out with him.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"Well, you're a good-looking woman, you have your act together, it's not like you're hard up."

"Are you sure you're a friend of Pierre's?" I said.

"You know what I mean," she said, "he's so, you know...."

"I'm not sure what you mean," I said, knowing she meant crazy and weird, but getting offended by the minute anyway.

"Well, he can be so insufferable!"

"Well, you tell me," I said. "He's never tried to borrow money from me, we have a great time together, we have great sex, he treats me with respect, and he's very kind to me. That's a lot more than I can say for most of the idiots I've been with in my life."

"Hey, don't get me wrong," she said, "I'll always know the dude, it's just that...."

I forgot to invite her to our wedding. In fact, there are two categories of people in my life. Friends and family members who think Pierre is a bizarre, difficult, sometimes arrogant person, but they like him anyway. And then there are the friends and family members who think the same of him and have a hard time hiding it. I tend to not see the latter as often. Their catty little remarks about how difficult he is don't help me at all. I know he's a strange character, I just don't need to be reminded of it all the time.

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