How To Have A More Civil Argument With Your Dear Spouse

How Not To Argue

We join our couple's heated discussion already in progress.

Dear Husband: ...and furthermore! Let me tell you again how much it really drives me nuts when you leave the car radio turned on and cranked up so that when I get in the car and start the engine, I'm greeted by All Things Considered blaring at 120 decibels! I don't know which is worse: simply being bored to death by a monotone NPR announcer or my ears bleeding while I'm being bored to death by a monotone NPR announcer.

Dear Wife: Oh yeah?! Oh yeah?! Well...well...uh... your hat is funny looking!

Dear Husband: What...? I'm not even wearing a hat!

Dear Wife: Okay then, what about all those times that I did turn off the radio, huh? Oh yeah, forgot about those times, didn'tchya! All those times that I was juggling a baby and a bag of groceries and a chainsaw and I still went back to the car and turned off the radio because I remembered how much my dearly beloved hated the radio playing as soon as he started the car! What about all those times that I did remember to turn off the radio? Do I ever get a "Thank you, Toots!" or a "Gee whiz, you're one considerate broad"? Oh no! (Pointing finger in the air for emphasis.) I only ever hear about the times that I forgot to turn off stinking NPR host Robert Siegel!

Dear Husband: So basically you want me to thank you for all those times that Robert Siegel didn't shove a pointy stick in my ear.

Dear Wife: Oh, someone's going to shove a pointy stick somewhere, that's for sure, buster.

Dear Husband: Well, harrumph!

Dear Wife: Well, harrumphdy-harrumph!


How To Argue With Dignity and Respectfulness

Two weeks later and after mutual agreement to rise above the petty squabbling, wife gets a phone call while at work.

Dear Wife: Hello?

Dear Husband: Why hello, Dear Wife!

Dear Wife: Why hello, Dear Husband! Howsoever can I help thee?

Dear Husband: Well, methinks that you took my car keys to work with you.

Dear Wife: Why, I find that quite impossible to believe. Surely you are mistaken.

Dear Husband: No, I am ever so sorry, but I do believe this is a fact. Also, I do believe that you have taken your own keys with you to work as well.

Dear Wife: No, this just cannot be. I beg of thee to check the top desk drawer again. I am sure that you will find your car keys resting comfortably within.

Dear Husband: Done and done, and yet there are no keys, and what with me needing to drive our eldest child to a birthday party in fifteen minutes.

Dear Wife: You don't say.

Dear Husband: I do say.

Dear Wife: Hmmm. Well, in fact, I did just walk to the break room and have discovered that I am, in fact, in possession of both our sets of keys.

Dear Husband: Fancy that!

Dear Wife: Yes! Fancy that!

Dear Husband: Fancy, fancy that!

Dear Wife:

Dear Husband:

Dear Wife: I suppose that I can clock out momentarily and drive home to return your keys.

Dear Husband: That would be much appreciated! Thank you so much for your gracious return of my keys!

Dear Wife: You're welcome.

Dear Husband: That you took.

Dear Wife: Yes, yes...took accidentally.

Dear Husband: Oh, of course! Accidentally.

Dear Wife: Yes.

Dear Husband: And, moreover, thank you for all those other times that you remembered not to take my keys to work with you. I so do appreciate your previous consideration in this matter.

Dear Wife: You're welcome.

Dear Husband: Did I also ever thank you for all those times that you didn't accidentally hit me in the hand with a hammer? That was awfully copacetic of you.

Dear Wife: Okay, har-dee-har. I get it Mr. Funny Guy.

Dear Husband: At this time, I'd also like to thank you for all those times you didn't light my socks on fire...and the for all those times that you remembered not to...

Dear Wife: *click*


It's like Hepburn and Tracy around here, I tell ya.

Hepburn and Tracy.


anne said...

Hmmm...I'll have to remeber this and work it into our own little screen play.

Katie Alender said...

I love the dramatic pause in the middle there.

You can tell everybody's thinkin'!

(My verification word is "nwpoo".)

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Did you run into the house, throw the keys at him and then set his socks on fire as you ran back out? Because, that would've been a good one.

I tend to say nothing, but stomp around and give Dear Husband dirty looks. I'm sure that is MUCH more effective and pleasant for all.

Mother Theresa said...

Not sure which argument I prefer. The second is a bit too civilized. Sometimes you just have to let it all out, but not to the point of hitting Dear Husband with a hammer, okay? ;) said...

I never did actually hit him in the hand with a hammer, accidentally or otherwise - just want to be clear on that. I should still be thanked for this gracious lapse in wielding home repair tools. :-D

And although I never lit his socks on fire, I have lost some in the mystical ether of our laundry room and they may, in fact, be now fueling bonfires in the realm of the gods. One can only guess.

Anonymous said...

I put on my lollerskates and I do a circle eight of giggles around this post!

MamaMo said...

oh... and thank you for all those times you didn't leave a snippy comment on my blog. :-)

Noelle said...

That's a good reason to get married, because when I turn on the car to find out that the radio's been left on, I conveniently have someone else to blame.

Anonymous said...

well, now we know how you start campfires!

Paula Lynn Johnson said...

Forsooth, I truly ADORE how you get all Shakespearean when you speak civilized.

Also? I like that your Google ad is for "LOVE YOUR MARRIAGE -- PROVEN METHOD"

Krista said...

A few suggestions to avoid future confrontations:
1. Leave car radio on blaring on NPR station but be sure Dear Husband only enters such car when either a) Car Talk, Click & Clack is on ~ talking about cars, he won't notice loud it is, or b) when Terry Gross is interviewing a famous sports legend ~ again, won't notice.
2. Despite consumerism, costs of gas and insurance and trying to keep our earth "green", purchase another car so Dear Husband can leave yours damned well along
3. Get rid of all cars and walk, take the bus, take a cab or mooch rides from friends and family.
4. Tell Dear Husband that there are worse things (like Dear Wife accidentally forgetting to change the oil in Family Car and burning out the engine) than a loud radio station and let's find something "real" to fight about.
Kiss and make up after a few hours or days of the silent treatment and one of you (hopefully Dear Husband) sleeping on the couch and get on with life! I've personally never met a married couple who fights fair!! :-)

Carey said...

How not to argue? Gee I think it kind of sounded like my hubby and I. LOL. But the best ones are the ones I have with myself...I tend to always win those! LOL.

Angela said...

Too funny.
I have had many of those arguements

Variations On A Theme said...

I love when I read a blog that makes me chuckle out loud and then smile stupidly for 10 minutes!!! Thank you!!!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

We're going to have to give that a try sometime.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

We're going to have to give that a try sometime.

Kristin said...

You are much more civilized than we... in our house it would roll something like, "Mommy took the keys so you can't go to the party and now you can blame Mommy for your social outcast status".

I KID, people, I kid.

Mary Alice said...

Yes, the dramatic pause was my favorite. Brilliant.

Peggy Sez.. said...

I prefer Hepburn and Tracy to Chip and Dale anyday!

Thank you for NOT using the "Hammer Time" you were given..;p

Shawn said...

I used to think it was dumb that infants don't come with manuals, but lately I've been reconsidering that and thinking that men really should come with manuals, instead. The mysterious infant/toddler chaos is rather easy to figure out compared to the brains of men. IMO.

Hope all is well!!

Karen Jensen said...

What clever repartee! You two would be ever so much fun at a cocktail party.

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