Thirteen Things My Wife and I Disagree On

by Steve, January 3rd, 2007

meWacky Mommy and I have a lot we agree on, but there are a few glaring discrepancies.

1. Religion. She’s a pantheist. I’m a born-again atheist with pantheist tendencies (after starting Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, I’ve foresworn agnosticism). Right. We’re really not that far apart. (But isn’t a religious discussion a nice way to start things off?)

She joined the Unitarian church, which spurred my father to quip, “That’s not a church, that’s a social club!” My seven y.o. daughter calls herself an atheist (and asks, “what’s that mean again?”), but loves going to Sunday school. They eat snacks there.

A Christian friend asked my wife, “What’s your husband think about you joining the church?” and she responded with my joke about not needing to believe in God to be a Unitarian. You know, the Atheist club meets Tuesday nights in the fellowship hall. Coffee and donuts provided. Okay, it’s not really a joke.

Really, I’m fine with Unitarians. So far as I know, they’ve never started any wars or advocated communal violence against Quakers or anything. And they don’t go knocking on doors telling people it’s okay to believe whatever they want, because there are many paths to God.

2. Home decor. I shouldn’t get too far into this one at the risk of starting WWIII, but suffice it to say I deplore clutter and adore surfaces with nothing upon them. There are very few surfaces in our home without piles of papers upon them.

3. Dogs. Well, really, we pretty much agree now that dogs aren’t so great. But when she brought home the pooch in question, it nearly ended our engagement. Okay, all right, I love the stinky ol’ feller, but damn, a dog can really crimp your style.

4. TV. I don’t want to watch it, and I definitely don’t want to talk about it. Oh, okay, I like the Simpsons, Jeopardy, and hockey. And Frontline when I remember that it’s on. But trying to engage me in coversation about “My Name is Earl” is a sure way to bore me to tears.

5. Movies. I like art films, foreign films and documentaries. She likes romantic comedies.

6. Books. She likes chick lit; I like non-fiction.

7. Food. I’m an herbivore. She’s an omnivore.

8. Jewelry. I think it’s ostentatious; she loves sparkly, shiny things.

9. Education. She thinks Catholic school would be just peachy for our youngins (they don’t have nuns teaching any more! they don’t even pray so much!). I would just as soon drill holes in my head as trust my precious children to the Catholic church.

10. Portland. When we first got together, I was hell-bent on leaving Portland. She had a job she loved, and wanted to retire here. Now she is hell-bent on leaving Portland, and I’m comfortably employed and ambivalent about leaving. Go figure.

11. Loading the dishwasher. How can I convince her that my way is right and her way is wrong?

12. Yogurt containers. Me: they go in the recycling bin. Her: they go in the dishwasher, and then left to clutter the drying rack, and then get stuffed in a drawer with a bunch of other yogurt containers we don’t need.

13. Hockey. Now get this: last season, we had a 12-game package for the Winter Hawks. A couple games a month, mostly Saturday night dates. Well, you might guess this got a little old for Wacky Mommy by the end of the season, and you’d be right. So we decided not to buy another ticket package this season. Instead, we’d buy single game tickets, but also go to the theatre, symphony and opera, all of which I love. Now, get this: when it comes time for a date, I can’t get her to the theatre to save my life.

That’s right, folks, she’d rather go to a hockey game than a play.

I haven’t been to a play since last spring, and I’ve been really jonesin. “You can go by yourself,” is her typical response when I ask if she wants to see this play or that. The guys in the locker room at the rink don’t understand. They think I should be thrilled. But you heard me correctly: there is more to life than just hockey.

And with that, I bid you Good Day.