We went sans chain establishments for about half a year. This was a great challenge that we started after Earth Day 2010. For the first month, everything had to be free of chains, emphasizing the importance of sustainability and local economies. Our rule was that it had to have no more stores than Sprinkles to be considered a local chain. Food was purchased at farmers markets and local grocers. Auto repair was done at local repair shops. Gas purchased from independent fuel providers. It was a wonderfully healthy and informative time. We eventually settled on no chains that would benefit us the most (so I couldn't eat at chain restaurants and she couldn't drink chain coffee). We both decided to break it together when we went to a Buffalo Wild Wings to watch a Michigan Football game. It definitely helped permanently ween me off my addiction to fast food. (Though who doesn't like an Egg McMuffin every once in a while?)
|Eat me. Don't forget hash browns.|
We've tried to tabulate everything we ate. I had built this huge spreadsheet with nutritional information for just about any food I've come into contact with in the past 6 months or so. It was part of my bout with nutritionists to figure out why I'm so fat even though I'm so active. This fell apart after a week or two, but I still use it to track my weight (which is still kind of disappointing).
We've even attempted to co-author a book. It was a fictional dystopia story where we got to point out everything we felt was wrong with society and try to fix it. We collaborated on it via Google Docs while we were living in different parts of California. It's so frustrating to have somebody judging everything your writing during a brainstorming session. It fell apart pretty quickly. No... it was a huge failure.
We've tried to minimize our electricity use. (I'll claim that I am one of the greenest electricity users I know.) The goal was to only have one light on per person when we're home. I can typically spend a whole night in my house without lights. It also included turning off computers more often. I still feel like I run around turning off lights not being used.
Our current challenge has been to not say anything mean to each other. We're both extremely critical about everyone and every thing. Since we're constantly around each other, we have no choice but to continuously point out physical and personality flaws in each other. I'd even go so far as to say we're downright rude to each other on a regular basis.
So, as we walked out of Oakland's City Hall after processing our domestic partnership, I came up with the challenge to be nice to each other. Sounds easy, right? We wanted to see how long we could go. We were confident that it would reset a few times in the first few days (or hours). However, we're coming on a week. I'm kind of surprised how much more I like her now.
It's probably because we haven't spent much time together in the last few weeks (between my Zumba career and her Les Mis rehearsals). But I think it mostly has to do with not being called fat every day, and me not having to call somebody funny-looking or dumb. There's been significantly less whining about nit-picky things that nobody but the two of us can point out about each other. Is this what the rest of your relationships look like? No wonder you're all married already.
I'm still the smarter partner,