|Set your tomato preferences here|
Michael told me this week that he thinks he often concedes to me in an argument. Because I’m older, because he first knew me as an authority figure (he was a reporter; I was an editor, but not his editor), he still subconsciously believes, he says, that I must always be right. This isn’t true all the time, but enough so that it apparently gnawed at him.
We’ve been talking about this lately because of an ongoing discussion regarding two rather quotidian items: how to cut tomatoes and vacuum wood floors.
Last week Michael asked me for the 875th time in our life together how I like a tomato cut. (I like it cut across; he cuts from top to bottom). I figured he was just being passive-aggressive, because it’s not really that hard to remember. So this time I just opted out. I don’t care anymore how you cut the blasted tomato, I said. Eureka! I realized that I really didn’t care how he cuts a tomato. It tastes the same. There is no right way.
If I’m honest with myself, I can admit that having Michael think I was right all the time gave me a little ego boost. We both know I'm wrong a lot. (There was that time I was outraged in the supermarket checkout line to find David Duke, leader of the Louisiana Ku Klux Klan, on the cover of a national magazine, only to have Michael tell me it was really Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman).
But we both fell for the myth (she must be right: she's older!) without even realizing it. Now, when I drag that myth out of the dark corner of my brain and into the light, it seems not only silly but dangerous.
I still think I’m right about the wood floors, though.