Marriage Makes Me a Little Bit Dumb

Please tell me I'm doing this correctly....

“This is going to be a long marriage.”

My girlfriend related this quote to me, from her lips to her husband’s ears.  However, it was a threat, not a sweet affirmation one might infer from her faith in their longevity.  More of a, “You will feel every minute of our union, mister.”

This, in the context of my relaying an exchange between Anson and myself from the night before.  We got into an argument.  And today, the day after, I’m still feeling slighted.  It was serious, too.  A serious, escalated, and eventually mean-spirited  row, with Anson stomping down the stairs to bed and me staying up to watch a marathon of Veronica Mars episodes until I was certain Anson was asleep, so I wouldn’t have to say even one more word to him.  (Sidenote: I love Veronica Mars.  How and why did it get cancelled after 3 seasons, when many atrocities go on season after painful season?  I stand here, baffled.  It’s on Netflix Instant Play for you folks who are looking to dig into a great series.)

The substance of my argument with Anson?  It was over how to hand-wash dishes.  He has a technique, I have a different one.  Apparently they cannot co-exist under one roof.  My girlfriend’s argument with her husband resulting in her threat to make the marriage feel very, very looooooong?  That was over how to fold shirts.  Serious issues, these.

Here’s the truth:  I do not actually believe that there is one right way to hand-wash dishes.  There is probably more than one way to fold a shirt.  I imagine as long as the result is a clean dish, and a shirt which isn’t hiding, crumpled into a ball in the dresser corner, how you get there is probably pretty unimportant.  However, I am the mess of a person who, if challenged with even a hint of mean-spiritedness, will dig into my position, collecting facts and anecdotes from my brain and try to organize them for attack when my opponent takes a breath.  I enjoy the occasional one-two punch of I am correct and you are wrong when I detect that someone is condescending, pandering or outright being a sassy-pants to me.  Calling my dishwashing technique “back-ass-wards”?  Well, thems are just fightin’ words.  And so.

I suppose I just have to wonder, in the sobering light of mid-morning, if there is such a thing as the ability to walk away from these dumb dumb arguments.  While engaged in these, I know how stupid it all is, how meaningless and that there will not actually be a medals ceremony at the end of it all, with me walking away with a tiara and sash of righteousness.  Yet I still give the argument my energy, I still hold a grudge (yes, right now I am still holding on tight to it), I still write about it, and I still talk about it.  What would happen if I laughed at the ridiculous nature and wasted time of these things, walked away, and moved on to more important things?  Like organizing my closet?  I would probably have an awesome closet, that’s what.

Also, a better and happier marriage would probably happen.  So maybe that skill is the next one I will try to add to my super-marriage-toolkit.  The ability to not engage, or maybe just dis-engage from the ridiculous.  Anyone out there have any experience in that?  Advice?  Stupid arguments you’d like to share?  I’m listening.

27 thoughts on “Marriage Makes Me a Little Bit Dumb

  1. Well in my experience, some stupid little thing will lead to a big fight because basically we are both mega stressed about stuff. My mother used to say “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. And that’s what it is really. Basically the whole fight had nothing to do with either of us,but him buying the wrong toilet paper was THAT last
    straw. Usually it all blows over by the next day and we laugh about what idiots we are and once again all is right with the universe.

    P.S. I love Veronica Mars too. Season 3 just finished but they’ve started at the beginning again(plus her Dad is Canadian)

  2. See – we told you to get that dishwasher 🙂

    Seriously; you might think that 29 years of marriage gives me the perspective to comment, and it’s true that me & Mrs W don’t fight over the trivial – but we’ve never argued much anyway.

    That’s just us, and you and Anson are just you, obviously meant for each other.

    My advice ? Don’t take anyone’s advice.

    My Mother-in-law’s advice ? Don’t go to sleep without making up – and if that can’t be avoided, and sorry seems to be the hardest word, breakfast in bed is a good substitute.

    (Long time reader, over from FatCyclist, first time commenter; Hi !)

    Paul W

  3. Oh goodness, I feel bad that you had an argument, but it also makes me feel better that we are not the only ones.

    Yesterday, my daughter sneezed during breakfast and spewed walnuts all over her hands. We had a fight about whether she needed a tissue or napkin. (he brought her some toilet paper). No talking for a couple of hours! These things are so silly, why do we do it?

  4. My boyfriend (of 10 years…and 8 years of friendship before that…)and I always have really stupid fights. He had to take care of me for a few months after my surgery in April, and he is unemployed, so we spend every single second together. This can become crazy, especially since I feel cooped up b/c I can’t walk. We have those kinds of fights you can’t remember how it started, but it always ends up with me being mad b/c he hasn’t married me yet, or us fighting about him getting a job. It could start with a fight about putting up groceries, but it always ends one of the above. We love each other to pieces, but the important thing is that you can overcome the fights and not let them destroy the relationship or let you love the other person any less. If you are able to do that, then you can make it through anything!

  5. Ah, yes. The stupid fights. I would say that our most idiotic fight in 11 years of marriage was over the proper way to clean the TV screen. My husband said I should spray the paper towels with Windex, then wipe the screen. I just wanted to spray the Windex right on the screen. It was really just a symptom of stress, though. My FIL was living with us–he comes with a lot of baggage–and I wasn’t dealing with my frustration about that situation. There was nothing logical or reasonable about that fight–it was mostly just blowing off steam on both of our parts.

  6. Well…I don’t know any real ‘wrong’ way of hand washing dishes, unless you put soap on after you rinse and dry, or if they are just plain dirty after the wash. But I can write several volumes about the ‘right’ way of stacking a dishwasher to ensure maximum effectiveness and efficiency.

    Point being, some of us…shall we say…more fastidious types put some serious time and effort into thinking these things through and just want to share our insights with those close to us who clearly haven’t put in the same grueling mental hours. As queen of my kitchen, I guess I think that gives me the right to dictate the rules of dish stacking, and where items are placed in the fridge. And yes, it does come down to the fact that I have 3 planets in Virgo (read: control freak), and spend at least 5 hours a day cooking and cleaning in the damn kitchen, BUT…..I am getting better at replacing my frustration of not being able to find the soy sauce with gratitude that it’s not been placed in the dishwasher mistakenly, and it’s only hiding in the vegetable bin. Phew.

    That being said…my new method for staving off the idiotic, energy-sucking quarrels: don’t take ANYTHING personally. I’m channeling my drive to win the righteousness pageant into tending my reactions, cause that’s the only thing I really get to control, when it’s all said and done.

    Happy to hear yous guys fight over dum stuf just like us.

  7. I hate the stupid fights over the same stupid thing every stupid month. We’ve had that laundry argument. We fold clothes differently and I could give an owl’s bum how they’re folded; what I can’t stand is when someone (cough cough ahem) just takes them out of the dryer and leaves them in a clump to impossibly wrinkle. No amount of folding, shaking or other will remove those ‘I’ve been mashed in a hamper for half the day’ wrinkles. Can’t. Stand. It. And I. Don’t. Care how they are folded, and yes, I’ve will refold them the way I like. I just want them folded. End of argument. Forever. Truthfully, I think we’ve gotten to the end of this one, but what stinks is that it took 8 momma-freaking years to do so. Gah.

  8. we have these type of dumb arguments from time to time and usually they are over when one of us looks at the other and then we start laughing and then say are you gonna stop being dumb or are you done arguing etc and thats it we hardly ever argue so when we do they can be doozies but we know to give space and then after awhile we are fine sometimes it takes overnight but by the am kiss we are fine so buck up and just go look at him and kinda smile and all will be over and the good part is no one ever really has to admit to being wrong

  9. We used to argue about the best way to work out. Finally got over that, after many years. Now, it’s the best way to clean….everything really. I think we’re making progress.

  10. Rodney King, ca. 1992, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”

    Certainly not always in marriage. My wife once complained about the way I folded the towels, after I collected the towels, hauled them down three flights of stairs, washed them, dried them, folded them, and brought them back up said stairs… She said, “The tags, they’re NOT supposed to show! How can you not know that?” And the husband states with all sincerity, “Seriously?” Let the smackdown begin…

    This would seem to me to be about the definitive stupid argument. (I’m sure there are others equally stupid.) Bottom line is that I agree with others that most of these are stress-induced. Regardless, you really must be man or woman enough to let it go by the day after. To do otherwise, will deliver misery on a platter.

  11. The biggest fight my hubby and I got into was about whether or not “santa” is suppose to wrap presents left under the tree. Seriously.

  12. Oh man, we had a doozy of an argument over spoons once. Not even the game of spoons, just regular old spoons. I can’t even remember what the argument was exactly. Totally ridiculous.

  13. Hi Jodi,

    I haven’t commented before but really like your blog! One of our fights with the largest anger to triviality quotient was over the making of a cobb salad. Finally ended when someone admitted “oh, cobb salad. You got the best of us.”

  14. @Sara…I tried to keep quiet, but really, you were about to destroy the TV!!! Not a stupid argument, extenuating circumstances notwithstanding. (I don’t know what that means!)

    Dr. Popcorn, my advice (that maybe you shouldn’t take) is to take a dive. Take one for the team. Team You and Anson (and all those boys!). It might be hard, but worth it to suck it up and admit you are [both] crazy. Did someone just add [both] to that sentence? Sorry. I bet you will feel a little tiny chink in the ice and you will feel better by responding in a loving way. Heck, at least it may improve the chances of him responding in a loving way, right? I don’t know, just a shot.

    BTW…I’m always right in our house, so we don’t ever fight. Ha. In 20 years though, I’ve learned the little stuff is always about something bigger…some fear isn’t being addressed and it’s pissed. Good Luck!

  15. Our big one came over strawberry jam. No, it makes no sense and it has no purpose but there it is. Best to try and breath before speaking and laughing it off. Nearly impossible in practice but great in theory. MAybe I’ll try it next time. heheheh!

  16. Those silly arguments like who turn is it to cook or how to stack the dishwasher or who washed the bathroom sink the incomplete way…what’s helped me in our 15 years of marriage (4 years of courting before that) is to ask myself this question: “But do I still love him?”. The answer is invariably yes; I’m able to put thinks in prospective, and realize that most times there is some outside stressor or inside hormones that are causing the boil-over and address those instead.

  17. I have 2 arguments with my boyfriend all the time. Dishes – because I am incapable of doing them correctly… and Washing – I can’t hang his t-shirts on the clothesmaid correctly. However he hates washing up so I told him to deal with my terrible dishwashing and he does. And I just never wash his clothes unless the piles have gotten unbearable when I say “if these aren’t washed by… I’m doing them” and then he doesn’t whinge. But yeah that’s mostly what we argue about.

  18. @jilrubia – Crap, I hate to be proven wrong! Even eight years down the road. What’t the problem with the Windex on the screen? Does it run down and get between the casing and the glass? I’m really looking to satisfy my own curiosity now, because the question of who was right is totally moot now, right? Especially because it wasn’t me. 😉

  19. @Sara…LOL..Oh goodness. On the old glass tv screens, yes, the windex could run down and get into the set. Now a tip to avoid future squabbles…don’t even think of putting any of the cleaner solution on a new flat screen. They come with special cloths you must dampen with only water. My husband won’t let me near our new big screen….Sorry, but I’m sure you are right about many, many other things!! :~)

  20. We recently argued about exactly what the color “putty” looked like. Because I think it’s a gray-brown, and he thinks it’s a brown-gray. And those are way different things.

    Here’s how you get out of these kind of arguments: “Why are we fighting?!?!?!?!?” Throw up hands, hug it out. Agree to disagree.

    Putty, by the way, is so gray-brown, I don’t care what he says.

  21. I was beginning to think you were perfect Jod, so it’s nice to see such a refreshing, self-actualized post. xoxo

    One of our latests was a doozy over the uber-important issue of which Beatles song is most popular. It’s not easy always being right! ;-P

    What I do know for sure is that’s it’s never really about the dishes, or The Beatles.

  22. I hesitated to respond on the TV and cleaning business, but here it goes. I’ve been working with LCD modules since 1991 in an OEM environment, where they sometimes must be cleaned. It’s funny (not so much, really), in the old days (ca. early ’90’s), mfrs suggested cleaning the LCDs with MEK (methyl ethyl ketone). Totally not something anyone should use at home and actually questionable for the described application.

    Anyway, the preferred “home remedy” and procedure is to apply 50%/50% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and water (distilled preferred) to a microfiber cloth or Kimberly-Clark Kimwipe. These are very much non-abrasive, and the cleaning action is relatively mild. You should not spray anything directly on the surface of your LCD, as it could mark it. This would be more at a hazing, but you don’t want that. The secondary factor would be having liquid run into the LCD, causing an electrical issue. Though this would really require a hose-down to create a problem, it’s still a good idea not to spray on the front surface.

    Bottom line is that these LCDs are not as tough as CRTs. The glass substrates are extremely thin. The surface treatments do toughen things up, but they are not impervious to damage…

    Carry on, please. Sorry for hi-jacking your site, Jodi!

  23. Pingback: Pistols and Popcorn » Hello, Beautiful.

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