"Why do you have to argue with me?" Yes!!!!! The fact she's
suggesting we're currently engaged in a verbal joust of right and
wrong should be all the information she needs to swallow her pride
and walk away, but it's too late…
My eyes widen. Like a lion whose spotted a three-legged
gazelle, my mouth begins to sweat. My heartbeat… Boom-boom,
boom-boom, boom-boom begins to speed up. A euphoric release of
adrenaline has started to speed up my breathing and numb my
extremities. Sweet Jesus, it's exhilarating!
It was a grievous error on her part and she knows it. I tilt my
head back ever so slightly; just enough to open up my nasal cavity
and allow the salty smell of fear to penetrate my innards.
She's anxious. Her eyes have begun to wildly shift back and
forth. She's plotting moves, gathering information,
calculating, waiting and wondering when it will begin. Just
above her brow, dewy beads of perspiration begin to form and her
knuckles whiten as she slowly squeezes the life from the shopping
cart. The tension is palpable. She waits…
You see, I don't lose arguments, not to her. That's not to
say that I'm right all the time, 'cause I'm not. In fact, I'm
mostly wrong… about everything (nocturnal land-walking cannibal
mermaids). But - - over the course of 10 years, I have
generated an unprecedented number of quality wins, against a worthy
adversary who at times, seems more concerned with humiliating her
husband than she is with the facts. Bottom line: I
refuse to set foot in ANY argument, unless I'm absolutely,
positively, one-hundred percent sure I can win. She knows
this, yet she continues to test my knowledge, common sense and
reason. Though notoriously wrong, she'll never concede.
Instead, she'll erroneously poke and prod until the argument in
question, is ultimately settled by an unbiased third party, or
Google. Nothing, and I mean nothing would please her more
than a win; a solid no-doubt-about-it bona-fied victory.
She's out to destroy my reign of righteousness, end my streak of
arrogance and adorn her head with the Crown of Never Wrong.
I take a deep breath in, lick my chops and pause.
Something doesn't feel right. This is different. As much as I
want this victory, I'm not sure this is a winnable argument.
Hell, I'm not sure it's an argument at all. We're defiantly
in disagreement and it's obvious that I'm right, but there's no
google-bility. Am I being set up? Could it be that
somewhere behind one of these aisles, there are a whole slew of
three-legged gazelles waiting to stomp a mud hole in me.
Every silent moment that passes begins to intensify. The
longer I wait to pounce, the easier it will be for her to assume
she's right. If I don't do something fast, she gonna do the
unimaginable she'll win a SILENT ARGUMENT! That's like
winning 500 regular arguments in one and it's never been done, not
in this relationship. As a matter of fact, I think the last
time it happened was in 2003. Some guy in Ohio was carrying
on about this, that and the other. Anyway, story goes they
were in Walmart when she did it. Without saying a word, she
spun her head a full one-hundred eighty degrees, looked that dummy
right in the eye with the intensity of a thousand suns - - and
ended it. Five minutes later his brain fell out of his
ass. His brain. Fell out. Of his ASS! It was the
ultimate game over. Last I heard he was hooked up to a
machine that feed him kibble three times a day. True
I know, once the credit card is swiped, my streak and dominance
will end. I'll quietly slink back into a population of
defeated souls. There's gotta be a way out, a
loop-hole. Something I can do to that will keep my high horse
from falling off its pedestal. I need momentum, the upper
hand. I'm a winner. I can do this. I can do this.
I can… I'm…I'm…..
"I'm not arguing… I'm discussing." Oh, SNAP!
Boom-shaka-laka! You've been served, (insert stereotypical
uncoordinated white man's wedding dance here). Oh, weep the
salty tears of defeat into the palms of your superior. I am
flawless. You are perplexed. I have foiled your coup
with some powerful grammar high-jinks. Rule number 1:
Don't mess with a wordsmith young lady or your tail will
become a fail and your argument will turn into a
discussion. Thus my streak shall live on. I
"Well, keep your 'discuss' to yourself, 'cause unless you can
come up with a good reason for putting it back on the shelf, it's
coming home with us. End of story."
End of story? End of story! What in the name of Tony
Danza is going on? I gotta tell ya, I'm kinda floored.
I thought I was in the driver's seat. Not only are my
instincts telling me that I'm wrong, I've got a sinking suspicion
that I'm in for the fight of my life. This is no ordinary
argument. This is "The Argument," the one that's been brewing
for years. At this point the only way to keep the steak alive
and save our meager souls is to run, cry, or drop dead of a massive
stroke. I look down at my feet which are sporting a pair of
7-Eleven flip-flops and realize that a short gallop would probably
accomplish all three. I'm not going down like this. I'm
a fighter, (in the distance thunder or a well timed pot drop shakes
the floor). Oh, it's definitely on- - right here, right now
between the sheets and shower curtain. I crack my neck, grab
the front of the cart and tighten my butt cheeks.
"There is NO we're buying an olive tray." I'm fuming, and
the more I look at it, the more hysterical I become. In the
past my M.O. was to stay clear of anything that upset the delicate
balance of power and happiness in our household. As a result
I've reluctantly conceded to her a number of household items that I
thought were perhaps a waste of money (cherry pitter), unnecessary
(napkin rings), or indulgent (2-ply toilet paper). But this-
- this foot long piece of porcelain impracticality takes the
"I think it's nice."
"No, it's insane. What- - pray-tell… what do we need this
"For when we have a party."
"No way. Uh-uh. Not once in 11 years has there ever, been
any mention, before, during or after any party, a need to display
our olives in anything other than the jar they came in. Not
"Well sometimes it would be nice to have nice things when our
friends come over."
"Our friends? Who are we The Rockefellers? We have
friends that drink wine out of empty beer bottles. There's a
pretty good chance that they're not wondering why we don't have a
thirty-dollar olive canoe next to the crock pot of Sloppy
"Well you never know."
"Yes, I do know, that's the whole point. In fact, I'm
certain that once in your possession, it will never ever get the
chance to cradle those little green oblongs. Instead it will
sit silently forgotten until the end of every party when you'll say
something like, 'Dammit, we forgot to put out the olive
tray.' This will happen, I promise you. It will destroy
"I think your overreacting; it's just an olive dish." I
wish it was that easy. It's obvious she's blinded by the
allure of Crate and Barrel and not looking at the big
picture. This stupid dish is our existence.
All those arguments, those wins have led to this moment. The
basic fabric of society is teetering on the brink of destruction,
and it's up to me. For years, I've been secretly doing my
part to make sure that we have the perfect balance of functional
and unnecessary indulgent kitchenware in the house at one
time. This simple, sleek and oddly hypnotic olive tray will
open the gates to Hell. It'll only be a matter of days before
I'm drowning in a sea of gravy boats, relish dishes, cheese knives,
meat tenderizers, food injectors and chop stick holders. Our
house simply cannot support this change. The explosion of
luxury items will be impossible to sustain, causing ill tempers,
short fuses and separate sleeping quarters. It'll be
cataclysmic. It has to end, it must be destroyed. The
weight of our sacred vows is beginning to bury me. It ends
now, and she'll thank me later…
"Okay, I'll make you a deal. You let me buy the olive tray
and I'll let you get that ice cream maker you keep whining
Check mate. Ice cream fixes everything.
The streak: 265-0-1.
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