I’ve read there are several issues that couples constantly argue about: money, parenting, and in-laws. Not us. Not us as in we fight, but not about those common issues. Dean and I got into two fights this weekend and it’s always about the same thing: directions. We are both abominable when it comes to directions. Scary bad. But he’s worse. If he says make a left, you ought to make a right because he is always always wrong.
The first fight kicked off our weekend when we decided to take a cab to meet our friend for drinks. Knowing exactly where we needed to go, I urged us to cross the street so that we would catch the cab going in the correct direction.
Like a stubborn mule, Dean refused to budge. He started waving his right hand, hailing for a cab.
After a long week, my blood started to boil. I screamed, “Why would you catch a cab going in the opposite direction of where we need to go?”
“Look Catherine. This is where I’m used to catching a cab.”
I continued. “It’s in the wrong direction. God, it’s in the wrong direction. Do you have a brain?”
When the cab stopped, I had no choice but to run from my corner (the correct corner where we should have caught a cab) and get inside. Once inside, I continued my fight. “Does this make sense? Do you see that we’re driving in the complete opposite direction of the bar? See? The driver had to make three right turns to correct the mistake.” I considered asking the cabbie to weight in, but figured he was already tired of our tirade.
When you’re a respectable wife (I confess I fall to the bottom of the scale), you’d probably just let a minor issue like this go. But I couldn’t. The reason I couldn’t let it go was because Dean didn’t seem to understand the issue. If he had realized his mistake, I would have dropped it, but he didn’t get it. When someone doesn’t understand something I think is so blatantly obvious, I believe it’s my duty to enlighten them.
“What do you mean you don’t get it? We went in the opposite direction of the bar. You caught the cab going in the opposite direction of the bar. What do you not understand?”
Dean and I don’t fight as much as we did before, but again on Sunday, the same issue popped up.
I wanted to go to the UC Davis botanical gardens and had printed out the directions from the website. The directions are necessary because there’s no address to plug into the GPS.
While driving, I asked Dean to read the directions for me. “Catherine, there’s no address to plug into the GPS. I don’t know what you want me to do.”
“I know there isn’t an address to plug in. Just read the directions. Those are the directions. How hard is it to read them?”
Probably suffering from the fall-out of our previous fight, this time Dean dug in. He yelled, “There isn’t an address to plug in. How many times do I have to tell you? No address!”
I shot back, “I know there isn’t an address! Just read the fucking directions! Those are the directions on that page! Can’t you read?”
I have a brilliant friend whose wife used to yell even though he was clearly right and she was clearly wrong. His response was silence. I used to think, why can’t I be more like my friend. Such a good husband who just let’s it go! Such a trivial issue. Just let it be. It’s not worth winning a fight over. But now they’re divorced so that threw my whole theory out the window.