Pushed Up, Pulled Down

Story Sent in by Pete:

I list a lot of favorite bands in my dating profile (I'm a big music fan. Everyone in my family plays at least one instrument, and in the house I grew up, there was always the sound of somebody practicing, somewhere). Among the bands I list are acts that, well, most guys perhaps wouldn't admit to liking. Groups like the Indigo Girls. I'm not ashamed. Music is music.

Ashley wrote me to ask, "Indigo Girls? In your relationships, does the woman usually wear the pants?"

I replied, "Only when I let her into mine."

Ashley and I corresponded for a couple of weeks. She would send me (what I thought was) good-natured teasing and music files. "These will man you up," she wrote, "Give them a good listen."

Most of what she sent was angry screaming set to a couple of notes. No, it wasn't death metal. Even that has a good sound. What she sent sounded like an angry guy in his garage, throwing and scraping tools around. It didn't toughen me up, but it did introduce me discover a new, weird genre.

Aside from these exchanges, our conversations were amiable, and I asked her if she wanted to do coffee.

"Coffee?" she replied, "You have bigger problems than I thought. Take me out for a beer or something."

It didn't matter to me, so I took her out to a bar. She showed up in an extra-large lumberjack shirt and army pants. "I'm here to whip you into shape," she said, clamping a hand on my shoulder, "Drop and give me twenty!"

I smiled at her and said, "What can I get you?"

"Did you hear me, boy? Right here. Pushups."

I said, "I don't think so. Can I get you a drink?"

She gave me a mean stare, then sat down with me at the bar and muttered, "Strike one."

Ashley threw back a couple of beers, and despite my attempts to keep the subject on anything but, she would not relent, and she became louder. "If you won't do pushups in here, then you'll do them outside."

"No. What were you up to, today?"

"Tried to make some little girl do pushups. Go on. Do them."

"No. Do you want to take a walk?" I wanted to separate her from a source of alcohol.

She asked, "Are you going to do pushups if we go for a walk? It's for your own good, you know."

"I know. Let's go."

Outside, it was a chilly autumn night. The entire walk, she bumped into me repeatedly and kept yelling that I do pushups. I simply didn't want to do them, and didn't feel a need to prove anything to her.

She went from yelling her demand to trying to physically push me down. It didn't work, and I laughed at her. I asked, "Seriously, can we stop?"

Unexpectedly, she jumped onto my back. I wasn't ready for it, and I toppled backward, against the sidewalk. I fell on top of her, but her body cushioned my fall.

Ashley, however, wasn't so lucky. "Ow!" she said, and moaned.

I jumped up and knelt down, next to her. "Are you okay?"

She teared up and said, "Ow, you broke my head," and cried.

I then cradled her into sitting up. I felt for blood at the back of her head, but it was fine, though probably bruised. A minute later, I helped her stand, and then I walked her back to my car.

I drove her home. She didn't say a word to me the entire ride, aside from giving me directions. When we made it back, I helped her to her door. She was silent, but I wished her a good night, and then said, "Ashley, check it out." I then did a pushup for her, hoping to cheer her up.

She smiled, then went inside her house and closed the door. I never heard from her again.


  1. Should've done 19 more, you wuss.

  2. I know she's only words on a page, but she scares me...

  3. Jared,
    Can you post the garage music?

    Imagine what world-class crazy we'd be reading about if you'd just complied like a little bitch. But noooooooooo...

  4. OP, I think you should give her phone number to DaveG. I'd like to read that story.

  5. to the OP, much props. You handled that very well.

  6. Naive of me, I know, but I kinda wish that she had contacted him again, maybe to apologize (that's wishing for A LOT from a crazy off this site, I know), just because, well....

    ....this could have been a really cute "how we met" story. :(

  7. What's cute about this? "Yeah, I contacted your dad and tried to change him from the get-go because I had this idea of what a man "should" be like and even though I didn't know him, he was gonna conform to it, dammit! So on our first date I was a complete jackass and kept insisting that he do pushups. I hurt myself trying to force him to."

    It doesn't sound very cute....


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