Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on June 15th, 2016, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 15 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 17, Issue 15

Conflict resolution

Steering away from arguments can aid in marital bliss


As much as two people from the opposite sex can get along, my wife and I get along pretty well. I take absolutely all of the credit for this. You see, I attribute our marital success to the fact that I simply just do what I’m told. By immediately doing whatever I’m asked, without argument, I dissolve any conflict. No conflict equals marital bliss. 

When my wife asks me to choose a different parking space for my pickup truck at the grocery store because there is an empty spot 23 feet closer to the entrance, I don’t argue. There is no reason to go into the intricate complexities of vehicle dynamics, steering angle, and spatial relationships. I don’t bother to tell her, “The truck won’t fit there, which is why I chose this other space that’s easier to park in.” 

Why argue with her? Instead, I just move the truck, using a time consuming 16-point U-turn, and then wedge the big truck into the tiny parking space, leaving about 3 inches for the passenger door to open. Once we are parked she will attempt to open her door and then say, like it was her idea, “Oh, this is a bit tight. You should park somewhere else.”

This is where most men would make a sarcastic comment, sounding something like, “No kidding we don’t fit here. That’s why I didn’t park here to begin with!” 

That sort of remark is just asking for a fight, a fight that will continue into the store and into the frozen food aisle. Nobody needs that kind of grief. So, I don’t say a thing. I just move the truck again, using another 16-point U-turn, over to the space I was originally parked in. My wife and I walk into the store, not mad at each other, and our heads are clear to take on more difficult subjects that need to be decided, like what to buy for dinner.

Early in our marriage, while at the store, my wife would ask me what I wanted for dinner. I always said the same thing: meat casserole. She would say, “No, I’m not making meat casserole. What else do you want?”

I usually replied, “Pasta with cheese baked on it.” 

She always came back with, “Nope. Not making pasta tonight. We’re going to have chicken and rice.” 

Now, most men would let out a big sarcastic sigh and say, “Then why did you ask me what I wanted for dinner in the first place if you weren’t planning on listening to what I said?” 

This is a rookie mistake. A mistake that causes an argument (an argument you are going to lose anyway). Women don’t care what men want for dinner. What wives want is for husbands to read their minds, know what they feel like cooking, and then request that meal to make life easy.

So now, when I’m asked what I want for dinner I always say, “You know what sounds really good tonight? Some chicken and rice.” Whether I plead my case for meat casserole or not (risking an argument), I’m getting plain, dry, chicken breast with some rice for dinner. So, why have a fight? I’d rather enjoy my tasteless chicken in peace.

Recently my wife, whom I love, decided she wanted to buy a new home, a home we certainly couldn’t afford. Instead of going over the details of mortgage insurance, PMI, interest rates, etc., I just said, “Let’s go look at some model homes!” I don’t need to be the bad guy. I don’t want to be the one to start a fight when I inform her we can’t afford a new home. I’ll let the bank do that.

We spent the day looking at gorgeous model homes with massive walk-in closets and grand kitchens. I could see my wife’s eyes light up every time we walked into a huge kitchen with two ovens, granite countertops, and a large pantry. To her, these model homes were the equivalent of the adult Barbie dream house.

Even though these houses were priced at ludicrous levels and we certainly couldn’t afford any of them, we suddenly found ourselves discussing which model would suit our needs the best. 

We were debating with seriousness which one we should buy. And then it happened. I forgot everything that I have learned over many years of marriage and I started to argue. What was the subject matter of the argument? The three-car garage—a $15,000 dollar option of course.

Before we knew it my wife and I were having this ridiculous fight about a three-car garage in a house we weren’t even going to buy. But we were fighting about it as if it was the most important subject on earth.

“Why do we need a three-car garage when the garage we currently have is just filled with junk?”

“First of all, it’s not junk, it’s unfinished projects. And secondly, with a three-car garage, then we would have two spaces filled with junk and one space for a car.”

“No, you will just fill it with another junk car, and then we will have three spaces of junk.”

“Well, I like junk cars. Why do you need two ovens and a huge kitchen just to cook chicken and rice?”

“Maybe if I had a nice kitchen I would cook you a meat casserole!”

“Maybe if I had a nice three-car garage I would finish some projects!”

The person showing us the house uncomfortably stood by silently, confused as to whether we had made a decision to go with the three-car garage model or if we would be getting a divorce.

I stepped back for a moment, looked at my wife, and started laughing. “We had this argument 20 years ago when we first got married and looked at a place we couldn’t afford back then.”

“That’s right, it was an expensive condo and we had the choice between a one-car garage or a nursery for the baby, and you wanted the garage. Just like today, you were wrong then too.”

“Yup. But 20 years ago I was right about you.”  

Turns out the bank doesn’t want to be the bad guy either, Rob is currently in escrow. You can read more from Rob Krider or contact him at robkrider.com.

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