Sometimes I read these posts floating around the internet that propose to tell you how to make your relationship better: “Tips and Tricks for a Stronger Relationship,” “Learn How to Avoid Arguments with Your Spouse,” “The Top Five Things You Shouldn’t Be Fighting with Your Spouse Over,” “True Love Doesn’t Bicker and Nag,” “Learn How to Fight Fair,” etc. And I have to wonder, who writes this shit? Are they actually married to a real person, or one of those fictional characters out of a sappy romance novel?
In a perfect world, of course we wouldn’t fight about money. We would have discussed it earlier in our relationship, made out a twenty-page family budget plan that would make Congress piss their collective pants, have a ten year savings nest egg already started, and would respect each other enough to not bitch over somebody, I’m not calling any names here, but somebody paying $100 for some super special screwdriver drill thingie. Or for Italian leather boots. But I digress…
It’s not a perfect world. And in our imperfect world, real couples bicker and fight over far less important things than what the “experts” would have us believe is healthy and normal.
The most common things people fight about with their partners? Only the most important shit EVER, beginning, absolutely, with:
1. The fucking thermostat.
One half of the couple likes the ambient temperature of the house to be around 72ish, while the other half likes it to be about -30 below. Totally normal. And totally worth a catfight now and then. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
2. Condiment mixing.
You do NOT use the mustard knife to spread mayo from the communal jar. Because now there’s mustard in there in the mayo jar. What if the next person doesn’t WANT mustard mixed in with their mayo? So rude. Likewise, you must use a separate utensil for the peanut butter and jelly. Do NOT get jelly in the peanut butter jar, nor peanut butter in the jelly jar. It’s not rocket science, people. I WILL CUT YOU.
3. Dirty laundry in the floor – right next to the hamper.
Do you see that wicker box about 3.5 feet tall, right there next to the wall? It’s kind of tan, has a hinged lid…It looks a little bit like a receptacle of some kind. I know it may not have occurred to you to wonder what that contraption is or what it’s for, but we use that to collect the dirty clothes, so that they aren’t strewn about in the floor. And yet the dirty socks and wet towels are magically still strewn about in the floor, right next to the hamper. ::eye twitch::
4. Washing the dishes.
I have come to understand that the dishes are a chore more hated than pretty much any other household thing in the history of people living together. And it should be sooo simple, right? You cook, I clean. I cook, you clean. And yet it never works out that way. And don’t even get me started on the all the travel mugs and Tupperware hoarded in the car or the bowls piled up on the headboard. Seriously, what are you doing, eating cereal in your sleep? There is a simple solution for this one, though. Buy a dishwasher, and then teach your kids how to use it. Until then, paper plates and solo cups should work just fine. You can even buy them now with pretty patterns for when you want to feel fancy.
5. Making plans.
Inevitably, someone makes plans without checking the family schedule. You know– the family schedule posted in the kitchen on that artfully-crafted, Pinterest-inspired work of genius that took three weeks to make and was promptly forgotten about after the second week? Yeah, that one. Oh and whose job is it to get a sitter when one party makes plans without letting the other one know anything about it until half an hour before we’re suppose to be there? Ohhhhhh. Yeah.
6. Working late.
Follow my logic here, if you will: If my boss says I have to work late, then I have to work late. #theend. It is very rarely a choice. Yes, I miss you too. But I like my job, and I’d kinda like to keep it. Plus, the overtime will be nice to have this payday. Perhaps you could use these extra hours I’m away to look into that dirty sock on the floor situation.
I don’t really think this needs any explanation. Holidays are a pain in the ass. From travel arrangements, to the added expenses, to the strain on everyone’s emotions and stress levels, to gift-buying. Especially when one person is elected by a majority vote of one to buy all the gifts, and then has to answer every one of the next 7000 questions about what “we” bought and how much “we” spent.
8. Lost keys.
Imagine if you can, this gorgeous little block of polished wood mounted onto the wall next to the front door, with several little hooks on it, engraved with the letters K-E-Y-S. Now close your eyes and imagine a world where all the happy little keys were returned there after use. Can you picture it? Can you see it? Neither can I.
9. Apologizing when you don’t mean it.
I believe that you’re sorry you forgot and accidentally flushed the toilet while I was showering like you believe I’m sorry for thinking you didn’t need your old bowling bag anymore and setting it out at the yard sale. And p.s. If you can’t even say it without giggling, you are fooling no one. Geeze.
10. How many times we’ve had this fight already before.
© 2015 MyLove Barnett, as first published on Scary Mommy