Tuesday, November 23, 2010
New Year’s Resolved
My wife made a New Year’s resolution to be a neater person on my behalf. For the New Year, I decided to be less anal-retentive on her behalf.
At a New Year’s party, we met a couple that mirrored us -- the girl was the anal-retentive one and the guy was the messy one.
“Opposites attract, don’t they?” the guy said.
“He’s always leaving the lights on in the house,” the girl told us.
“She’s always turning them off,” he said.
This guy was a total disaster -- a nightmare. And his wife seemed to have it all together -- a dream. However, it’s against the rules to turn on your own team. So I sided with the guy.
“Why would she turn off the lights if you had them on?” I asked.
My wife was quick to respond. “You always get mad when I leave the lights on,” she said to me. “You turn them off constantly.”
“I always ask if you need them on before I turn them off,” I said.
“That’s just your passive aggressive way of telling me you want them off,” she said.
My wife then confided in the guy. “Sometimes I’ll take something out of the microwave before the time is up and I’ll forget to hit ‘cancel,’ and he’ll ask if I need the remaining seconds on the dial before he clears it.”
The guy didn’t really respond -- just kind of chuckled. He was loyal to Team Man. His girl, however, turned on her team in an instant.
“The microwave is a killer,” she said. “He leaves seconds -- sometimes even minutes -- on our microwave all the time.”
“It’s not a big deal,” my wife said.
“What if you wanna see the clock?” the girl asked.
“Yeah,” I said to my wife. “What if I’m running late for something and I’m trying to see what time it is, and I go to the kitchen to check the time on the microwave and it says 12 seconds? Now I have to walk all the way over to the microwave, hit cancel and become late for sure.”
“How much later is that really gonna make you?” my wife asked.
“If I’m running late,” I said, “going to the microwave will make me later enough to ruin me.”
“You’re always wearing your watch anyway.”
“What if I forget to put on my watch?”
“You never forget your watch,” my wife said. “Don’t you remember -- you’re perfect?”
“I never said I was perfect. I just like things orderly and complete so life isn’t more difficult than it needs to be.”
The girl was nodding in agreement to everything I was saying. “One time,” she said, “I came home to find our bikes in the dining room.”
“Because they cluttered up the garage,” her guy said in his defense.
“The bikes were in the dining room?” I asked. I couldn’t believe what the guy had done. He couldn’t believe what I just did -- I switched sides against Team Man. He looked at me as if I’d turned communist. Then my wife made matters worse.
“If I did that,” my wife told the guy, “my husband would never let me live it down.”
We were in the final countdown to the New Year, and this guy was the only person in the place not smiling. He had remained loyal to me -- his fellow man -- all evening, even though we were opposing types. Then I crossed the line and left him standing alone.
I had to strike before he did. “It looks like you and my wife are both a mess,” I said to him.
“And you and my wife are both anal,” he replied.
“But, like you were saying earlier,” I said, “opposites attract. I think if my wife was as anal as I am -- so set in her own ways -- life would be pretty miserable. I think one anal person is enough”
The other couple agreed that if such were the case in their relationship, the result would be a miserable existence.
After everyone sang “Auld Lang Syne,” I asked my wife to cancel her New Year’s resolution to be neater. I told her to just be herself. She smiled and gave me a big hug.
Then she asked if I could keep my New Year’s resolution and still work on being less anal.