But what can a girl do? Opposites attract, and there’s no one more opposite than Norm and me. I say I want to see El Vez, and Norm shakes his head no. I mention that Smokie and Harry Connick Jr. are coming to town and Norm acts like he doesn’t even understand me. He just cocks his head and gives me that blank stare until I shut up and do something he wants to do. Norm stuff. The story of my life.

Or at least the tale of my last five years. The five years I’ve been with Norm. Sure, I used to see all the shows. I never missed a Bryan Adams concert, and my friends and I were always first in line for John Stewart and Judas Priest. No more. Now it’s all Norm’s friends, and they hate concerts as much as he does. It’s Norm’s world and he just lets me live in it.

People ask me why I put up with Norm. They say, “But wouldn’t you rather go see Palmer Feat. Carl Palmer than spend another night at home cooking Norm’s dinner, pouring Norm’s drinks and watching Norm’s TV shows?” But I just sigh and shake my head. I’m under Norm’s spell and whatever Norm wants, Norm gets. Like long walks through the park, leisurely Sunday drives and nights cuddled up in front of the fire; me stroking his tough, sinewy body, and Norm with that magnificent tongue that doesn’t quit. Ooooh…

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not just physical. However, I have to admit that my life sure has changed since that night I picked him up in the alley that runs behind that meat market down on Elm Street. Like this weekend. I’d love to see The Ataris, but I know if I slipped out with my girlfriends to see the show, Norm would jump all over me when I returned home. Or he’d rip up the furniture and dump trash all over the kitchen. How did I ever become such a wimp?

But lately I’ve been thinking that maybe I should regain control over my life. Maybe I should decide what to do on weekends. Maybe I should have a say in this relationship instead of doing what Norm wants all of the time. And if I want to spend my life seeing great shows like AfroMan, B.B. King and P.O.D., so be it. Sigh… Maybe I should just call it quits.

Or better yet, maybe I’ll just put Norm in the kennel for a few days. I swear, sometimes he can be almost as bad as a man.