c u next tuesday

Last night we watched Lucky Louie on HBO.  A brief summary: Louie and his wife are alone for a sexy weekend without the kid, so Louie gets things lubricated by bringing home a bouquet of red roses.  His wife doesn’t thank him but instead reminds him that she’s said, more than once, that she doesn’t like red roses, at all, and for him never to give them to her again.  He forgets this and still thinks she should thank him.  When she doesn’t, he says she’s an ungrateful cunt. 

She ignores him.  He leaves the house to sulk with friends who cannot believe he played the C-U-Next-Tuesday card.  He goes home, apologizes again, clearly articulating that he was just so frustrated, that he understands she thinks red roses are a hollow gesture.  She speaks up expressing how hurt she was that he just doesn’t listen to her.  They have make up sex with the twenty minutes they have left before their daughter returns home.  The live studio audience laughs.  It’s a well-written show, and we understand that the shlub really does love his wife; he’s just a bit daft. 

It’s a show with characters and made up story lines, but we relate to the stories, align ourselves with a character, wondering slightly how we’d react if it were our own lives.  If I’d written this story about my own life, the advice hurled my way would involve leaving him.  “Get out while you still can,” “You’re too dramatic,” and “Up those therapy sessions.”  Characters with studio audiences get by and through it all with laughter.  I wonder if that works with people in the privacy of their own homes, how they should respond to a frustrated voice, getting louder.  Should they respond with silence or with pleas for therapy?  When she’s unreasonable, should he laugh or plead silence, too?  I don’t have the answers; I prefer to watch them on television and hope we’re doing okay.



  1. One thing about shows like that is the obvious gender delineation between the characters. The men are ALWAYS depicted as somewhat bumbling and unaware; the women are always depicted as shrewish and unappreciative. I'm sure there's SOME basis in reality (there always is), but I don't think real life is like that.

    Not to mention that if his wife really did react like that, then I think she's a bitch. I don't know how other people act, but I always try to appreciate the gesture first. So if my husband made me dinner and it was something I didn't like (this has never happened, but I'm just using it as an example), then I'd probably mention I didn't like the item and eat it anyway and STILL thank him profusely.

  2. steph, thanks for the hbo plug! had to write after your lucky louie post, and am forwarding this on to some of my hbo colleagues… i still read your blog daily and am so happy for you and phil and your forthcoming book debut. i'm in between books but won't start a new one until next week! me, i'm still living the single life in nyc, enjoying my girlfriends and dating life, but hoping to meet my true love soon, and anticipating my 30th birthday september 28th. all is good, and your blog reminds me of so many wonderful things i already have in my life without focussing incessantly on the wants. i'm learning that no relationship, marriage, or single life is perfect and we should all enjoy what we have in the present moment. when do you come to nyc for your book tour?

  3. I get the drama card thrown at me all the time. Seriously fellas, it's not drama. It's emotion. And frustrated reasoning.

  4. I had to laugh at the guy who after one date called and text messaged me incessantly for the next two days. I was sick so I didn't respond until late on the second day when I told him i'd call him when I felt better. So I did, on the third day and told him that I wasn't the girl for him, that the attention was too much and that I did have a good time on our date, but that we just weren't going to work out. He then informed me I was disrespecting him; that I deserved to be ignored and treated like garbage. Day four he's asking for another chance, telling me he'll back off, and that he said those things because he was upset since he liked me SO much and was so excited about how much fun he had on our date. Day four conclusion: we are no longer speaking. He is blocked from every available means of communicating with me. There has been no laugh track invented that would have saved this guy.

  5. Obviously, I need to Tivo Lucky Louie. Except it might make me crazy. I can't imagine getting angry over getting flowers – unless they were dead flowers. Or gladiolas. They're way too funereal. But I still wouldn't get mad.

    When I got married back in the 80's, my then-husband's ex-girlfriend gave us knives. *That* made me mad. But I got them in the divorce and still use them – wonder if I should send them to her with a note to call him, since he's single yet again.

    I love HBO. Love, love, love it. Tivo and HBO and knives. Life is perfect.

  6. Ok I dont care how much of an argument you get into with a woman, let alone your wife, who plays the c-u-next tuesday card? that is horrid. I dont care if you are a comedian, doctor, rocket scientist or saint; nor if the argument is the most heated in all of eternity– you don't do that. Gross.

  7. I'm pretty sure real humans act differently than TV characters do, but let's test that theory: Through a series of unfortunate events, you end up with a bowling ball stuck on your hand. Then Phil calls. He's bringing the boss home for dinner; can you whip something yummy up to impress him? Do you: A) Explain that you have a bowling ball stuck on your hand, and you're going to the ER; or B) Agree happily, and spend almost an entire dinner concealing your stuck hand, until an unfortunate series of events forces Lucy — I mean you — to reveal the stuck ball just before dessert?

    OK, here's another scenario: Larry & Curley piss off Moe by knocking him over with a 2×4 AGAIN. . .

  8. 3 teens' mom: you'd think knives are a bad thing unless of course they're wusthof/trident or shun!

  9. dating a comedian has changed my dating life as i know it. he takes the wind out of my haughty sails all the time, and it feels great. laughter is — by far — the best foil for my Girl Crazy.

    i like lucky louie a lot, but have to (apologetically) wince at his acting, which has not yet been honed. his comedic timing is excellent, but his on-stage timing/reactions/etc. are a little painful yet. (still a great show!)

  10. my boyfriend is an actor also, like me. we live together, and not once, through our dramatic arguments of needing this or that, has there been a studio audience there with us. i wish there was laughter during the obvious stupid gestures made by either person, it would make the bickering something to look forward to! it's a pretty funny show, i can't believe how often they cross the line, but then, that's HBO.

  11. I've only been married a very, very short time (3½ years), but when things get ugly somehow laughter smooths it out, releases tension. Even c u next tuesday remarks end up being hilarious. Red roses, however, are so not funny ;)

  12. I'm with you. The day someone calls me a cunt is the day I leave–ring or no ring. There is absolutely no reason for that. Completely disrespectful and disgusting.

  13. see the cunt thing really doesn't bother me (although that coulb be cos I live in the UK, and everyone here uses the word all the time)
    It's only offensive if you decide you're gonna be offended by it.
    I say we should reclaim the word sisters!
    Why should a word that refers to a part of the female form be the most offensive word in our language? It pisses me off that people are so horrified by a word that describes part of my body.
    Embrace it kids, it loses all it's power.

  14. Buffy, I totally agree with you. There's nothing more frustrating than getting your emotions invalidated by someone who calls you "overly emotional." Wtf? How can there be such a thing? You feel what you feel… can't turn it off like a faucet, right?

  15. I'm w/Tanya and Lynn. My asshole brother-in-law called my sister a cunt-word years ago and I (obviously) still think he's an asshole for it. I have permanently prefixed "brother-in-law" with "asshole." "Taking back" a word takes years, but it'll probably happen with this one, too. Great. Meantime, there are many men who want to humiliate and intimidate and violate women, and they choose that word to express their rage (maybe because we've taken back "bitch"?). Yeah, it matters how it's received, but it also matters how it's expressed – and it's usually expressed in a vicious way. Sorry if I sound crabby – I just witnessed a man in my front yard use it on a woman in front of her small, crying son, so I'm biased. But I think we were talking about the power of humor, right? And HBO? Sorry to be a drag. Carry on. :/

  16. Well … it's usually funny because it's make believe and it's presented ina funny way – hence, laughter.

    Although, I have to say that Everybody Loves Raymond reminded me so much of one of my relationships. Not the whole parents living next door part because I think I would have slit my wrists, but just the whole way Ray interacted with his wife.

  17. I've never heard anyone else say it before –Yes, s, let's take back "cunt"! I tried to get my girlfriends to join me, but they just don't have the guts. Why not take all the negative connotation out of it and make it a word of strength. You make a big deal at work: "Great job, cunt!" You do a triathalon: "What a cunt-tastic feat!"

    How fun is that?

  18. "There's nothing more frustrating than getting your emotions invalidated by someone who calls you "overly emotional." Wtf? How can there be such a thing? You feel what you feel… can't turn it off like a faucet, right?"

    The emotions cannot be turned off, but the way you react to your emotions can be. For example, the man in question reacted to his frustration by calling his wife a c—. That's a physical reaction to his emotions. It's not your emotions that are a problem, it's how you react to them that makes the difference.

  19. I don't think I could respect or be with someone in a relationship if they resorted to name-calling when they simply didn't get the response that they wanted. Also, I thought that "C U next tuesday" was not a commonly known acronym. A friend of mine had never even heard of it.

    To Lynn, I'm happy that you're so comfortable with being called one. You can decide not to be offended by a particular word in the English language, but that doesn't necessarily take away the negative intent behind it.

    I agree, being called a part of the female body should not be offensive. But when someone calls you a cunt, they are reducing all of you to just that one part. Don't you agree that we are all so much more than walking vaginas?

    It's really telling that part of the female form is considered one of the worst curses, but sad that, from what you've said it seems in the UK, you are so conditioned to accept its use as commonplace in your classist, misogynistic society.

  20. Rochester, you have my rolling. I had to read that to my husband.

    Seriously, though, the problem with reclaiming a word is that it still hurts when someone says it to you in anger. Even when you're angry, there are certain lines you shouldn't cross–period. With anyone you love, or (in my opinion) with other humans at all. I would never call anyone I cared about a bitch. I'm not sure I could call anyone a cunt, except for that one ex-boss of mine.

  21. Whore. What about the word whore? Personally, I'm not offended by it because I know it's not true, but someone saying it about me, well, their intent is a negative slur. "Fat" hurts more than "whore." And please, don't bring the NY Times article about "slut" into this comment section. Actually, why not. Go ahead. My question I guess is why do people do that? Gossip behind backs using words meant to shame? Are you that uncomfortable in your own skin?

  22. An ex of mine called me all kinds of things when angry — c-word, slut, whore, etc. Said things to make me feel bad about my body (and my body is actually okay, but he had me convinced it wasn't in hopes I would be insecure enough to stay). I dumped him and have never ever put up with anything like it since (actually nobody else since ever went there.) It's a matter of class and self-respect. Do you want to father a child with someone who calls you a whore? Do you even want to be out to dinner with someone who calls you a c—t? I look back and can't believe I let myself be called that and then had sex with him after that. Makes me sick.

  23. Yes, the nether regions have contributed much to the structure of the English language when it comes to the description of a person who is unpopular for some reason. e.g. "He's a right asshole/cunt/prick". A common reply by a fellow conversationalist is sometimes, " at least that's useful!". Anatomically further north, a "tit" is often used to describe a person who acts in a silly or irresponsible manner. I could think of many more, but I'll leave that to your imaginations!

  24. Sounds like a great show. I can totally relate in some aspects of it. I once told my girlfriend to stop sending me flowers. (She was sending them at work, and no one knew I was a lesbian.) So the reason for my asking her, was so that no one would ask “the single girl in the office” who they were from. It was just embarrassing, and I don’t lie good.

    Well, finally, she stopped all together—no flowers—no roses—no nothing. She was scared to give me gifts. Then I ranted on like a lunatic, “Why don’t you treat me like other couples do? You never buy my flowers! You never get me my favorite truffles!” and on and on and on I went…

    Now I get roses almost every week. If the roses I have die, a new batch goes up. I’m kind of wondering if I should ask her to stop again.


    And make up sex is so much better than the norm. (In my opinion of course…) ;)

  25. I agree, Stephanie- "fat" always feels much worse than "whore" or "cunt" to me, but when you think about it, that's one of the laziest comebacks someone can throw at you. For me it's like "Wow, why don't you point out the obvious?"

    My retort when they throw the "fat"? "Hell, at least I can lose weight- you'll be ugly and bitter for the rest of your life."

  26. Hi there,

    I've just finished reading an article about you in Elle Magazine, UK.

    Glad I've discovered your blog, have read a few entries so far…loving your work!

    Good luck with the book too, I'll be buying my copy soon.


  27. Oh God, what an awful show. It is so painful to watch– like "Good Times" without the color. Use your remote, Steph.

  28. i totally live my life by way of how things work out in the movies or on TV. i think in movie quotes and picture scenes. sometimes i catch it and have to remind myself, "they are not real." i am such an idealist though, i can sometimes convince myself that the story probably came from some writer who actually did have that experience, so it could, in part, be real.

  29. I can think of things a lot worse than being called what he called her — which is not to say that I think it's okay to name-call…but for god's sake — big picture! See it? If someone is a good person and calls you a name in the heat of an argument — and that isn't a regular practice — I'd hope nobody would write them off forever. MUCH bigger mistakes will probably be made by both parties at some point. A four-letter word, in my mind, is a silly deal-breaker.

  30. The word c*nt doesn't bother me (I used the astercik b/c I'm such a f*cking lady) but if a guy I was dating called me that, it would be over. It's not so much the word as how low he was trying to go when he said it. Anything can be said nasty-enough to make you go what the?? Okay, next!

  31. Saw the episode – laughed through some – cringed though some. That said – the 'C' word is off limits – end of story. I do think that we give certain words too much power – but that word – nuh-uh – no way. It's sort of like how were you raised that that is an acceptable thing to call someone you love. Not okay in my book. But…i do like the show.

  32. Ah, Penelope…well said!

    Stephanie, while I admire your talent in writing and bravery in putting it all out there, complete with names, I sometimes cringe at how much detail you include. I want only the best for you, and hope you are happy. It would be a real tragedy if anything you decided to disclose here came back to haunt your happiness later.

  33. And WHY THE HELL does every mouse-click send me to your friggin' printroom??? Aaaaaarrrrrggghhhh!


  34. Re: post by "julz", July 20,11.13pm.
    It's refreshing to find someone who can be totally candid about their life. Honesty and openness are rare qualities in this world of subterfuge and one-upmanship where lies, deceit and self-interest rule. I'm sure that if an event did come back back to haunt Stephanie, the source would be a person who lives by such principles. If you don't feel any guilt, be open. If you feel guilt, talking about it can be a redemption.

  35. to add to all the cunt comments-
    its sad but i would rather be called a cunt or bitch a million times over than be called fat.
    just thought i'd mention that.

  36. Never seen this show in particular. But I do relate to seeing my life in the "make believe" that plays out on TV.

  37. I like the show despite the bad acting (except by the daughter — she's great!) — because the issues they bring up are relevant to my life, and have heretofore gone undiscussed on TV. But of course, Everybody Loves Raymond was a vastly superior show. I'm still a little dubious when I watch 'Louie' because the audience whoops and hollers every time a character curses or says something outrageous. I don't converse in filthy language with my husband on a regular basis, or call what he does "fucking" me — though I do curse a lot otherwise. But the show feels like an experiment, with the minimal "sets" and schematic situational set-ups . . . and the wacko friend played by Laura Kightlinger is just too weird. The show's supposed to be realistic but it's played too broadly . . . it's some weird hybrid. But "Louie" amuses me and he's so damn likeable — like the husband in 'The King of Queens' — which makes 'Louie' more of a traditional doofus-husband-sitcom, in my opinion.

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